The mission of GLBRC Education & Outreach is to inform a variety of audiences about bioenergy research, energy concerns, and sustainability issues affecting our planet. Our goal is to broaden the understanding of current issues in bioenergy for the general public, students, and educators at the K-16 levels. We place a strong emphasis on the use of critical thinking, quantitative reasoning and systems-based logic. Because bioenergy research and development are extremely important contemporary issues, Education & Outreach uses a variety of programs and events to present research from GLBRC labs in a way that is accessible and interesting to a broad array of audiences. GLBRC Education & Outreach resources and projects include:
- Inquiry-based bioenergy classroom activities for K-16 education
- Libraries of information on bioenergy, energy and sustainability
- Summer undergraduate research programs
- Summer Research Experience for Teachers
- Public speaking engagements
- Collaboration with existing education and outreach programs that address bioenergy and related issues
Richard Amasino’s research focuses on understanding the genetic controls of plant flowering and how flowering is altered in response to environmental variables such as changes in day length or temperature. He also serves as education and outreach coordinator for the GLBRC, capitalizing on his excellence and innovation in teaching science to students. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor, Amasino has won numerous national awards for his innovative uses of genetics in the classroom and his involvement of undergraduate students in original research.
John Greenler works on GLBRC education and outreach efforts with a diversity of audiences including formal and informal educators, the general public, legislators and scientists. Greenler completed his Ph.D. studies here at UW-Madison in Plant Molecular Biology. He has worked on a number of national education programs including the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium and Wisconsin Fast Plants; and taught at Beloit College as faculty in the
Leith Nye works on a number of GLBRC outreach and education activities, specializing in the development of K-16 educational materials and professional development for educators. Leith completed his M.S. in Plant Biology at UW-Madison where he was also a HHMI Scientific Teaching Fellow. A former high school science teacher, research scientist and sustainable energy advocate, he has conducted education outreach in formal and informal settings, and for a wide range of learners and educators.
Joyce Parker works on GLBRC education and outreach at Michigan State University where the emphasis is on developing K12 curriculum materials and doing research on students’ understanding of ideas such as conservation of matter and energy necessary for understanding GLBRC research. She has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from Princeton and is a faculty member in the Departments of Geological Sciences and Teacher Education
Elizabeth de los Santos has her M.S. in Science Education and taught secondary science for 11 years in public schools with diverse student populations. Her outreach experiences include collaborations with the Aquarium of the Pacific and Johns Hopkins University. Currently, she is pursuing a Ph.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Teacher Education at Michigan State University, and is working with GLBRC on education materials development and research on student learning as related to energy.
Michael Polkoff is an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison that works on a variety of GLBRC education and outreach projects. He is concurrently employed as an undergraduate in Sara Patterson’s GLBRC Lab where he studies molecular biology as it relates to improving plants for biofuels. In his role for GLBRC education and outreach, he assists in the development of education materials and the Bioenergy FIG course.