I conduct research examining how museums engage audiences through online learning. I am particularly interested in interactive online learning with audiences of all ages. This includes school based programs, public programs, teacher professional development, and many others. This does not include static virtual tours, online games, or other online educational content that does not include synchronous or asynchronous interaction with an educator. You can learn more about this work in this open access article and in my blog post for AAM.
Funded by the Thoreau Foundation, my Thompson Earth Systems Institute colleagues and I are providing undergraduate students the opportunity to gain experience in environmental research, outreach, and civic engagement. Fellows will attend seminars featuring environmental experts, receive mentoring, network with peers, and take part in a Fellow-designed, multi-day field experience focused on environmental challenges across Florida. Fellows will culminate their experience by working with a community organization on a project that contributes to research, education, or civic engagement on a salient environmental issue. Learn more about our project here.
Family Engagement in Museums
Along with Dr. M. Gail Jones at North Carolina State University, I conduct research on how families can support the science interests and career aspirations of underrepresented youth through museum-based family science programs. We found that engaging in a year long, family science program was beneficial for all participants including caregivers and children. You can learn more about this project, Families and Museums Exploring, here. You can read more about our study in this book chapter as well as in this article and this article.
As a former museum educator, I am very passionate about the development of current and future museum educators. To this end, I have conducted research on museum educators' levels of confidence in their ability to do their job. We examined how skillful museum educators felt in various tasks associated with their position. The areas where they felt the least skillful were in facilitation and physical science content knowledge. You can read more about this work in this article.