Principal Investigator
Michigan State University
Team Member Bio

I am a Professor of science and urban education at Michigan State University and Principal Investigator on the project. I have taught elementary, middle and high school science and for more than 25 years. I have been helping to prepare university students for careers in middle- and high-school science teaching, and graduate students for careers in STEM education in both formal and informal settings.

What is your academic background?

I have undergraduate degrees in biology and psychology (Franklin & Marshall College), a masters in experimental psychology, and a PhD in neuroscience (both from the University of Connecticut).

Why are you involved in this project?

I am involved in this project because I have a strong commitment to the power of experiences which leverage outdoor spaces and phenomena in enhancing the learning and well being of students and the professional growth of teachers, particularly those living and working in communities marked by high levels of poverty.

Favorite urban plant or animal?

This is a tough question, as I have many favorites. I think that hawks impress me the most, and the Northern goshawk is among my favorite birds of prey to watch. They are not as plentiful in urban areas as Cooper’s hawks because  they reside mostly in forested areas, but you can spot them in urban communities, and once you do, you aren’t likely to forget them, as they are remarkably beautiful.