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NSDL/NSTA Web Seminar Series, Fall 2008


Jessica Fries-Gaither
Jessica Fries-Gaither Jessica Fries-Gaither is an Elementary Resource Specialist with The Ohio State University. Currently she is working on a free multimedia cyberzine called Beyond Penguins and Polar Bears. This online magazine will integrate polar science, literacy skills, and other cross-curricular content for elementary educators. Fries-Gaither earned bachelor’s degrees in Biological Sciences and Anthropology and a master’s of Education from the University of Notre Dame. She has had a variety of teaching experiences including middle school science and math, upper elementary science and math, and elementary (self-contained) classrooms. Most recently, she taught fourth grade in Anchorage, Alaska, where she lived for six years.

Fries-Gaither is a member of the National Science Teacher’s Association (NSTA) and has traveled to Japan with the Fulbright Memorial Fund and to South Africa and Botswana with the Fulbright Hays program. She enjoys learning and teaching about the world’s diversity in its scientific and cultural forms.

Dr. Carol Landis
Dr. Carol Landis Dr. Carol Landis completed her Ph.D. in Science Education at The Ohio State University in 1995. She also holds an MA (Biology Ed.) from Kent State and a B.S. (Biology Education) from the University of Wisconsin--Superior. She taught biology and Earth science for 17 years in NE Ohio before entering the Ph.D. program at OSU. Upon completing her Ph.D., she served as a visiting assistant professor in the Math, Science, and Technology (MSaT) faculty in the College of Education at OSU. She taught Science in the School Curriculum, Teaching Science in the Field, and Science Methods, and served as a University Supervisor for the M.Ed. student teaching and field experiences. She also co-taught Geological Sciences 583B, Field Geology for Science Teachers, offered at the Bahamian Field Station on San Salvador Island. In 2005, Carol retired from teaching science at the Linworth Alternative Program in the Worthington School system, where she had worked for the previous nine years. While there, she coordinated the production of an educational CD-ROM about Long-Term Ecological Research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica, a program funded through the National Science Foundation. The CD set is available at cost of shipping and handling to middle- and high-school teachers. In addition to the Education Outreach position at BPRC, she facilitates iDiscovery, an on-line course offered through Miami University (Ohio) for teachers who completed the summer teacher workshop about climate change at BPRC.

At some point, she would love to resume teaching marine biology and Earth systems to Elderhostel groups in the Bahamas…especially in the winter!

Susana Deustua
Susana Deustua Susana Deustua attended Swarthmore College graduating with a BA in Physics with Honors, followed by a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Michigan. In February of 2008, she joined the Hubble Space Telescope WFC3 Team, at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, MD. Before this, she was the Director of Education of the American Astronomical Society. While a staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory she worked with the Supernova Cosmology Project, led by Saul Perlmutter, and continues collaborating on the SNAP (SuperNova / Acceleration Probe) Collaboration co-led by S. Perlmutter and M. Levi. SNAP is a proposed space experiment to measure the properties of the accelerating universe and investigate the nature of the dark energy which seemingly accelerates the expansion of the universe. Her education experience is quite broad, ranging from teaching astronomy undergraduate and graduate courses to developing science courses for middle school and high school science teachers in astronomy and physics. She has reviewed middle school curriculum materials for content accuracy for the State of California’s Department of Education, written middle school curriculum, as well as served on many education program advisory boards. She is currently co-chair of the US International Year of Astronomy 2009.

Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson
Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson Cathy Mariotti Ezrailson, Assistant Professor of Science Education at the University of South Dakota, where she teaches physical science and science methods for pre-service teachers. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Geology/Comp. Science from Ashland University, graduated with a master’s degree in Curriculum & Instruction: Science Education from the University of Houston and a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction: Physics Education from Texas A& M University. She was a Research Scientist and director of the Texas Alliance for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics at Texas A&M University. She was a member of the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills writing team, editing the Texas high school physics tutorial “The Science Traveler” in 2000. She taught physics, geology and computer science in public schools and junior colleges for over 20 years. She was a Presidential Award Winner for Excellence in Physics Teaching in 2000, and a RadioShack Tandy Scholar in 1999. She has been a Physics Teaching Resource Agent since 1992 and has developed science curriculum materials and does research in the areas of science safety and literacy. She is the Managing Editor of ThePhysicsFront, digital library for Physics and Astronomy Teachers K-12---where highlights of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 and The Year of Science 2009 will be featured.

Dr. John W. Moore
Dr. John W. Moore John Moore is W. T. Lippincott Professor of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin at Madison where he serves as chair of the General Chemistry Division and director of the Institute for Chemical Education (ICE). He is a leader in chemical education, especially in his use of technology. As editor of the Journal of Chemical Education, a position he has held since 1996, his monthly editorials discuss with readers current issues, concerns, and developments in chemical education. John was the founding editor in 1988 of Journal of Chemical Education: Software, the first peer-reviewed, academic journal to publish technology-based, digital resources in science education. The JCE Digital Library collection and the ChemEd Digital Library pathway have been established by JCE under Moore's direction.

John Moore has a passion for teaching chemistry, for which he has received many national and local awards. He teaches general chemistry, advanced and honors general chemistry, and inorganic chemistry, using technology and demonstrations to great effect. John is the author of one of the leading introductory college textbooks, Chemistry: The Molecular Science with co-authors Conrad Stanitski and Peter Jurs. He is the author of more than 100 journal articles and book chapters and has presented nearly 400 lectures at conferences and colloquia.

Moore is a leader in chemistry curriculum reform, most recently as co-director of the NSF New Traditions systemic chemistry initiative. He is an active member of the American Chemical Society, serving both the Society Committee on Education and the Division of Chemical Education in several capacities.

Lynn Diener Dr. Lynn Diener
Dr. Lynn Diener is an Assistant Professor at Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, WI where she teaches science classes. She has been heavily involved in the ChemEd Digital Library as the library's former outreach specialist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and uses ChemEdDL resources frequently in her teaching.


James Skinner
James Skinner James Skinner attended the University of California at Santa Cruz, where he was a double major in physics and chemistry. He then entered Harvard University, where he studied with Professor Peter Wolynes, receiving his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1979. He did his postdoctoral work at Stanford under the direction of Hans Andersen. In 1981 Skinner joined the faculty of Columbia University, and in 1990 he moved to the University of Wisconsin, as the Joseph O. Hirschfelder Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Theoretical Chemistry Institute. He served as Department Chair during 2004-07. Skinner has been the recipient of a number of awards for both scholarship and teaching, including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award (2003) and Fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006). He has coauthored over 160 scientific publications, has given over 250 invited lectures, and has served as advisor to 25 graduate students and 11 postdocs. Skinner's research interests are in the theoretical chemistry of condensed phases.

Daniella Quiñones
Daniella Quiñones Daniella Quiñones is the marketing coordinator for Teachers' Domain, an educational service for teachers provided by Boston public television station WGBH. Teachers'Domain ( is a free online library of over 1,800 standards-based media resources for K-12 educators produced by public television, as well as online professional development courses for science teachers. Prior to WGBH, Daniella began her career in Los Angeles working as a production assistant for several hit NBC shows, including the Emmy Award winning "Will & Grace." She left Los Angeles to pursue a Master's Degree in Marketing Communications from Emerson College. She currently lives in Boston and works to promote Teachers' Domain resources to K-12 teachers across the US.

Russanne Low
Russanne Low Russanne Low, Ph.D., earned her interdisciplinary Ph.D. in 2001, examining climate change, vegetation response, and human impact on the landscape on centennial and millennial scales. A strong advocate for public climate change education, she has substantial expertise in web-based educational resource development and on-line teaching. She has instructed on-line graduate level courses for Earth science teachers since 1999, served as an author, scientific advisor and curriculum architect for educational resources in Earth system science and climate change. She has held leadership positions in several federally funded national and international Earth system education projects. Most recently she has served as the Regional Desk Officer for Africa and the Near East for GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment), at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, and is an adjunct scientist with the Consortium for Climate Capacity Building at the University of Colorado, Boulder

Dr. Mike Mooney
Dr. Mike Mooney Dr. Mike Mooney is an Associate Professor of Engineering at Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Civil and General Engineering, and pursues research and development in construction technologies and intelligent systems. Mike began developing Adventure Engineering curriculum ( for K-12 science and math about 10 years ago and joined the development group about 7 years ago.

Mindy Zarske
Mindy Zarske Malinda S. Zarske is a former high school and middle school science and math teacher with advanced degrees in teaching secondary science from Johns Hopkins University and in civil engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She combines her love of teaching with her knowledge of engineering as a K-12 Engineering Coordinator for the University of Colorado's Integrated Teaching and Learning (ITL) Program, which is part of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Mindy’s work with the ITL Program’s award-winning outreach program includes directing a team of graduate and undergraduate engineering students who teach in grades 3-12 local classrooms, as well as the creation and editing of innovative engineering K-12 curricula, targeted at bringing pre-college engineering education to communities with fewer resources. After classroom testing, these lessons and activities reside at, an online digital library of searchable, educational standards-based K-12 engineering curricula. In addition, at the Denver School of Science and Technology high school, Mindy coordinates and instructs 9-11th grade Creative Engineering electives. And, at the university, she co-instructs the undergraduate engineering K-12 Engineering Corps course.

Colleen McLinn
Colleen McLinn Colleen McLinn is an education outreach associate at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology in Ithaca, New York. She is currently serving as a subject matter expert and instructional designer for undergraduate and adult informal education about bird behavior and communication. Previously, she developed K-12 curriculum materials using animal behavior to teach physics, as part of an NSDL-funded outreach effort by the Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Colleen's background is in animal behavior research and she received a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior from the University of Minnesota in 2006. She is particularly interested in using animal sound and video specimens in creative ways at different parts of the learning cycle.

Jennifer Fee
Jennifer Fee Jennifer has worked in many aspects of both formal and informal education, in respected nonprofits that maintain an educational mission. She is a skilled trainer, project manager, and curriculum developer. While at the Missouri Botanical Garden, she worked in School Programs, and was responsible for implementing the Discovery Unit science curriculum. These efforts included teacher professional development, lesson and field trip customization, and volunteer recruitment, training, and management. Later, she became more involved in teacher mentoring and professional development at the Center for Inquiry in Science Teaching and Learning (CISTL), where she served as the Missouri Botanical Garden's liaison.

Jim Pawelczyk, Ph.D.
Jim Pawelczyk, Ph.D. Since 1995, Dr. Pawelczyk has been at Penn State University where he currently holds the title of Associate Professor of Physiology, Kinesiology and Medicine.

In 1998, Dr. Pawelczyk took leave from Penn State to train for and fly as a Payload Specialist Astronaut on NASA's STS-90 (Neurolab) space shuttle mission. During this 16-day space flight, the seven person shuttle crew served as both experimental subjects and operators for 26 individual life science experiments focusing on the effects of microgravity (chronic free-fall) on the brain and nervous system. The STS-90 flight, which took place April 17 to May 3, 1998, orbited the Earth 256 times, covered 6.3 million miles, and logged over 381 hours in space. Serving as a physiologist during this flight, Pawelczyk made the first direct recordings from human nerves in space.

Since his return to Penn State, Dr. Pawelczyk has investigated the effects of microgravity on neural control of blood pressure; countermeasures for use in space to help improve cardiovascular control; neural causes of orthostatic intolerance; the effects of insulin on cardiovascular and autonomic regulation; and the effects of prolonged bed rest on the cardiovascular system and its regulation. He is an invited consultant for the National Academy of Sciences on issues related to medicine and biology during spaceflight.

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