Biographical Sketches of Committee Members and Staff
Roger M. Downs, chair, is currently professor of geography and head of the Department of Geography at The Pennsylvania State University. Previously, he has held a permanent position at the Johns Hopkins University and sabbatical positions at Colgate University, the University of Washington, and the National Geographical Society. He holds B.A. (first class) and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Bristol and has received honors from the National Geographic Society, the Association of American Geographers, and the National Council for Geographic Education. His research interests are in three areas: the development of spatial cognition in children, graphics and wayfinding, and the history and theory of geography education. He has published three books and nearly 100 articles, reports, and reviews.
Sarah Witham Bednarz received her A.B. from Mount Holyoke College, M.A.T. from the University of Chicago, and Ph.D. from Texas A&M University. Dr. Bednarz is associate professor of geography at Texas A&M University. Her research interests focus on learning and teaching geography and related disciplines, particularly on the ways people learn to think spatially using different technologies. In addition, she has published on the implementation of discipline-based education reform and on the application of research to the development of effective science and social science instruction. As one of the primary authors of the national geography standards, she developed the materials on geographic skills as well as other components of the project.
Robert A. Bjork is professor and chair of psychology at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His research focuses on how humans learn and on the implications of that research for instruction. He co-edits Psychological Science in the Public Interest, and earlier, he edited Psychological Review, and Memory & Cognition. His other responsibilities include chairing a National Research Council Committee on Techniques for the Enhancement of Human Performance, serving as president of the American Psychological Society, and chairing the Psychonomic Society. He is a recipient of UCLA’s Distinguished Teaching Award and the Distinguished Scientist Lecturer Award of the American Psychological Association.
Peter B. Dow’s involvement in education has spanned four decades. He currently serves as president of a newly formed not-for-profit company, First Hand Learning, Inc., an organization dedicated to supporting the implementation of hands-on, experience-based learning environments in schools. He has developed and co-led a number of foundation-supported educational projects, including TEAM 2000, a five-year National Science Foundation Local Systemic Change project that is providing professional development in inquiry-based science to 1,400 K–8 teachers in the Buffalo Public Schools, and Object Lessons, a natural history-based curriculum program for elementary schools funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His work in educational innovation includes 10 years at the Education Development Center where he served as director of the Social Studies Curriculum Program, and 7 years at the Buffalo Museum of Science where he founded the Center for Science Education. Mr. Dow has served on a number of national advisory boards including the National Research Council’s Committee on Science Education K–12, the California Institute of Technology PreCollege Science Initiative, the MACE Project in Las Vegas, the National Science Resources Center, and the Glenn T. Seaborg Center for Teaching and Learning Science and Mathematics in Marquette, Michigan. He has published articles for a variety of educational publications and a book entitled Schoolhouse Politics: Lessons from the Sputnik Era, published in 1991. He holds adjunct appointments in the Anthropology Departments at the State University of New York at Buffalo and at Buffalo State College. He attended Harvard University, where he earned a B.A. in history in 1954, a M.A.T. in 1960, and an Ed.D. in 1979.
Kenneth E. Foote is professor and chair of the Geography Department at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he also directs the Center for Geographic Education. He is vice president for research and external relations of the National Council for Geographic Education (NCGE), national councilor of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), NCGE editor of special publications, and a member of the Geography Education National Implementation Project. He is a past editor of the Journal of Geography in Higher Education and past chair of the AAG’s Commission on College Geography.
J. Freeman Gilbert is a research professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego. His research interests include theoretical, inferential, and computational geophysics. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, American Geophysical Union, and Geological Society of America, and a foreign member (Socio Straniero) of the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei. He is one of the founders of the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the National Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Reginald G. Golledge is professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His research interests are in behavioral geography, disaggregate transportation modeling, spatial cognition, cognitive mapping, individual decision making, household activity patterns, geographic education, and the acquisition and use of spatial knowledge across the life span. His research has included work on adults, children, teenagers, mentally retarded persons, and adventitious and congenitally blind people. He has published extensively in the literature of several fields including geography, regional science, and psychology. He was awarded an Association of American Geographers Academic Honors Award in 1981 and the Institute of Australian Geographers International gold medal in 1999. He was a Guggenheim fellow in 1987–1988. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Institute of Australian Geographers and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has been associate editor and editor of Geographical Analysis and founding co-editor of Urban Geography. He has served on editorial boards of the Annals of
the Association of American Geographers, the Professional Geographer, Tijdschrift Voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, Environment and Behavior, and the Journal of Spatial Cognition and Computation.
Kim A. Kastens is a senior research scientist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in geology and geophysics from Yale University, and a Ph.D. in oceanography from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California at San Diego). Her training and early career were in marine geology. She participated in or led 27 oceanographic cruises, most of which involved mapping the seafloor and interpreting the tectonic and sedimentary processes that shaped it. She has published maps of the Tamayo Transform Fault, Clipperton Transform Fault, Vema Fracture Zone, Mississippi Fan, Ebro Fan, and Mediterranean Ridge. Over the past five years, Kastens’ professional interests have shifted to geoscience education, geoscience education research, and instructional technology. She designed and produced Where Are We? educational software and curricula for helping elementary school children learn to “translate” from the visually perceived terrain around them to a map of that same terrain. She is currently leading the collection-building effort of the Digital Library for Earth System Education.
Gaea Leinhardt is senior scientist at the Learning Research and Development Center and professor, School of Education, University of Pittsburgh. She received her B.A. and M.S.T. from the University of Chicago and her Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh. Over the past 25 years she has conducted innovative and rigorous quantitative and qualitative research in classroom discourse, instructional processes, and subject-matter instruction and learning. She has engaged in fine-grained cognitive analysis of classroom phenomena that has led to the development of a model of instructional explanation, a model tested in both computer simulations and instruction in geography as well as mathematics and history. Her evaluation work has ranged from large-scale studies of federally funded programs (such as Title I) to state-level and local programs. Her current research interests focus on how people learn in museum-like settings; how learning best occurs in web-based environments; and how teachers can be supported in learning what they need to teach well in classrooms. As the lead evaluator for the Open Learning Initiative at CMU and consulting advisor to the evaluation of MIT’s OCW she has been engaged in designing complex multilayered evaluations and developing models for innovative evaluation use. She has published over 150 articles in major educational research journals (e.g., American Educational Research Journal, Cognition and Instruction, Journal of Geography), and she is the co-editor of three books (Analysis of Arithmetic for Mathematics Teaching, 1992; Teaching and Learning in History, 1994; and Learning Conversations in Museums, 2002) and co-author of Listening in on Museum Conversations (2004). She has been a fellow at the Center for the Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford and has won awards from the American Federation of Teachers, American Educational Research Association, and the National Council on Geographic Education; serves on several journals’ editorial advisory boards; and has been a member of several National Research Council panels on education.
Lynn S. Liben is currently distinguished professor of psychology at The Pennsylvania State University, where she previously served as head of the Department of Psychology and director of the Child Study Center. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) and the American Psychological Society, former president of the Developmental Psychology Division of APA, and former president of the Jean Piaget Society. Dr. Liben is former editor of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, and is currently the editor-in-chief of Child Development. She holds a B.A. from Cornell and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Her work has focused on
the development of spatial cognition and representational understanding, and the application of this work to formal and informal education in Earth sciences and in the graphic arts. She has also conducted research on sex-related differences in spatial skills and geographic knowledge and has directed research grants and published widely on these topics.
Marcia C. Linn is professor of cognition and education at the University of California at Berkeley. Her research focuses on the role of sex differences in cognition and the use of the web and the Internet to facilitate science education in school and museum contexts. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Psychological Association, and the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences. She received the first Award for Excellence in Educational Research from the Council of Scientific Society Presidents.
John J. Rieser is currently professor in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. He received his B.A. from Harvard, and after teaching secondary sciences and mathematics in Botswana, earned his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota. A fellow of the American Psychological Association, he has served as associate editor of Developmental Psychology, and a member of the NSF’s Review Panel on Cognition and Perception, and he recently finished two terms as chair of his department. His research is about dynamic space perception and spatial orientation of infants, children, and adults. It is aimed at understanding how objects and environments are perceived, imagined, and acted on in contexts that involve solutions to practical problems involving wayfinding, navigating in virtual environments, and understanding science and math problems.
Gerald M. Stokes is the director of the Joint Global Change Research Institute, a collaborative effort between the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and the University of Maryland. Previously he served as an associate laboratory director at PNNL, responsible for the Environmental and Health Sciences Division, the basic research division of PNNL. He also has held a variety of other scientific and management positions during his 27-year tenure at PNNL. He served as the chief scientist of the Department of Energy’s Atmospheric Radiation Measurement program from 1990 to 1998. He has served previously on the National Committee on Science Education Standards and Assessment. He holds a B.A. in physics from the University of California at Santa Cruz and both a Ph.D. and a Master’s in astronomy and astrophysics from the University of Chicago. His research interests include climate and the design of large-scale field research facilities. He has authored or co-authored more than 80 book chapters, journal articles, and reports on topics ranging from the interstellar medium to atmospheric spectroscopy, energy utilization, and climate policy.
Barbara Tversky is professor of psychology at Stanford University. After completing a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology at the University of Michigan, she taught at Hebrew University in Jerusalem before coming to Stanford. Her research focuses on spatial thinking and language, event cognition, memory, and categorization with applications to education, Human-Computer Interaction, eyewitness testimony, and cross-cultural research. She is a fellow of the Cognitive Science Society, and the American Psychological Society, is on the Governing Board of the Psychonomic and Cognitive Science Societies, and is a member of NRC’s U.S. National Committee for the International Union of Psychological Sciences. She designed a prize-winning package of classic experiments in cognition, received a Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Award, and has served on the editorial boards of eight journals.
National Research Council Staff
Anthony R. de Souza is currently director of the Board on Earth Sciences and Resources at the National Research Council in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was executive director of the National Geography Standards Project, secretary general of the 27th International Geographical Union Congress, editor of National Geographic Research & Exploration, and editor of the Journal of Geography. He has held positions as a professor and as a visiting teacher and scholar at the George Washington University, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, University of Minnesota, University of California-Berkeley, and University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He has served as a member of NRC committees. He holds B.A. (honors) and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Reading in England and has received numerous honors and awards, including the Medalla al Benito Juarez in 1992 and the Gilbert Grosvenor honors award from the Association of American Geographers in 1996. His research interests include the processes and mechanisms of economic development and human-environment relationships. He has published several books and more than 100 articles, reports, and reviews.