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The University of Tennessee GK-12 Earth Project
Funded by the National Science Foundation

Personnel

Our GK-12 project involves many dedicated individuals including University of Tennessee faculty and staff who serve as principal investigators and faculty advisors, UT graduate students who serve as GK-12 fellows, middle school teachers who host and collaborate with fellows and faculty as our GK-12 Teacher-Partners, and an external project evaluator.

Principal Investigators

Henri Grissino-Mayer

Dr. Sally P. Horn

Department of Geography

Dr. Lynn J. Champion
Director of Academic Outreach
College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Kenneth H. Orvis

Department of Geography

(2006-2009)

Dr. Henri D. Grissino-Mayer
Department of Geography

(2009-2010)


GK-12 Teacher-Partners

Mr. Jay Bachmann
Holston Middle School

Ms. Michele Ballard
Seymour Middle School

Mr. Larry Cordell
Halls Middle School

Dr. Victoria Headrick
Carpenters Middle School

Ms. Ann McGhee
Jefferson Middle School

Mr. Gregory Metcalf
Heritage Middle School

Mr. Oscar Osorio
Heritage Middle School

Ms. Betsy Tillett
Carpenters Middle School

Ms. Marian White
Seymour Middle School

Ms. Crystal Yates
Northview Middle School


GK-12 Fellows (22)

Ms. Sarah Cadieux
2008-2009
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Ms. Cadieux's research interests involve sedimentology and stratigraphy, with an emphasis on the use of stratigraphical techniques to reconstruct paleoenvironments on Earth and other planets. She worked at Carpenters Middle School with Dr. Headrick.

Ms. Angela Danovi
2006-2007
Department of Geography
Ms. Danovi is investigating water quality issues, focusing on phosphorus and its impact on water quality. She worked at Carpenters Middle School with Ms. Tillett.

Ms. Sarah Deane
2006-2007, 2007-2008
Department of Geography
Ms. Deane's research interests include climatology, conservation, and environmental change. Her MS thesis research focuses on the micromorphology of quartz grains in lake sediments as evidence for glaciation in the mountains of Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic. She worked at Seymour Middle School with Ms. Ballard in 2006-2007 and at Jefferson Middle School in 2007-2008 with Ms. Mcghee.

Mr. Jim Durland
2008-2009
Department of Geography

Mr. Durland is interested in future climate change and in efforts to mitigate future change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  He worked at Heritage Middle School with Mr. Osorio.

 

Mr. Geoff Gilleaudeau
2007-2008
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Mr. Gilleaudeau is interested in examining mineralogy, sedimentary structures, and fossils in ancient rocks to reconstruct paleoenvironment conditions.  His M.S. thesis research focuses on evidence of ancient tsunamis in the rock record. He worked at heritage Middle School with Mr. Metcalf.

Ms. Emily Goodman
2006-2007
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Ms. Goodman studies the origin of unusual ancient carbonate rocks to investigate the chemical evolution of Earth's early atmosphere. Emily finished her MS degree in geology in August 2007, and is employed as a geoscientist at the ExxonMobile Production Company in Houston, Texas. She worked with Mr. Cordell at Halls Middle School.

Ms. Jorene Hamilton
2007-2008, 2008-2009
Department of Geography
Ms. Hamilton's research interests involve fluvial geomorphology, especially how human activities and changing land use can alter stream channels, and how changes in channel form can subsequently affect stream ecology. She worked at Carpenters Middle School with Ms. Tillett in 2007-2008 and at Northview Middle School with Ms. Yates in 2008-2009.

Mr. Grant Harley
2008-2009, 2009-2010
Department of Geography

Mr. Harley’s doctoral research involves investigating the history of wildfires and the impact these fires had on stand history and composition in several keys in the National Key Deer Wildlife Refuge in southern Florida. He worked at Seymour Middle School with Ms. Ballard in 2008-2009 and then with all participating teachers in 2009-2010.

Dr. Justin Hart
2006-2007
Department of Geography
Dr. Hart's research interests include forest ecology, biogeography, vegetation dynamics, and riparian ecosystems. He finished his Ph.D. degree in geography in August 2007, and is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography at University of Alabama. He worked at Seymour Middle School with Ms. White.

Mr. Daniel Lewis
2006-2007, 2007-2008
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Mr. Lewis is interested in using stable isotopes in tree rings to examine past climate change and hurricane activity along the Gulf Coast of Texas. He worked at Holston Middle School with Mr. Bachmann in 2006-2007 and at Northview Middle School with Ms. Yates in 2007-2008.

Dr. Whitney Nelson
2006-2007
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Dr. Nelson completed her doctoral research in Fall 2008 on the use of oxygen isotopes as a proxy for detecting hurricane activity in the recent past, and is currently working for an intelligence agency in Washington, D.C. She worked with Ms. McGhee at Jefferson Middle School.

Ms. Maggie Patrick
2008-2009
Department of Geography

Ms. Patrick’s research interests include tropical ecology, conservation, environmental change, and environmental policy. She is developing dissertation research related to the impact of land-use change on water quality and stream ecology. She worked at Jefferson Middle School with Ms. McGhee.

 

Mr. John Sakulich
2008-2009
Department of Geography

Mr. Sakulich's interests include biogeography and dendrochronology. His research uses tree-ring analysis to understand how the distribution of different tree species in the southern Appalachian Mountains respond to climate change. He worked at Heritage Middle School with Mr. Greg Metcalf.

 

Ms. Alice Schoen
2009-2010
Department of Geography

Ms. Schoen’s research focuses on sediment records of climate history in the circum-Caribbean region. She is currently examining a sediment profile from a coastal lake in Puerto Rico, with the goal of comparing proxy indicators of terrestrial vegetation and fire history in this core with evidence of climate shifts in marine cores from basins north and south of the island. She is working with all participating teachers in 2009-2010.

Mr. Bryan Schultz
2006-2007, 2007-2008
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Mr. Schultz's research in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Tennessee focused on paleosols as evidence for paleoclimate and environmental conditions. He is presently teaching science at Bearden Middle School in Knoxville. He worked at Northview Middele School with Ms. Yates in 2006-2007 and at Heritage Middle School with Mr. Osario in 2007-2008.

Ms. René Shroat-Lewis
2007-2008, 2008-2009
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Ms. Shroat-Lewis's research interests include all things marine, though echinoderms are her passion. The focus of her current research is edrioasteroid paleoecology. She worked at Halls Middle School with Mr. Cordell and at Carpenters Middle School with Ms. Tillett.

Mr. Mark Spond
2008-2009
Department of Geography

Mr. Spond uses tree rings to investigate past climates, stand dynamics, and, conservation opportunities in old-growth forests. He is conducting his dissertation research on forest and climate history in El Malpais National Monument in western New Mexico. Mr. Spond worked at Holston Middle School with Mr. Bachmann.

Mr. Zachary Taylor
2006-2007, 2008-2009
Department of Geography

Mr. Taylor’s research uses a variety of analytical techniques, including stable isotope analysis, applied to lake sediments to reconstruct climate and human-environment interactions in Costa Rica. He worked at Heritage Middle School with Mr. Osario in 2006-2007 and at Seymour Middle School with Ms. White in 2008-2009.

Mr. Chris Underwood

2006-2007, 2007-2008
Department of Geography
Mr. Underwood's research interests include dendrochronology and forest and fire history reconstructions from soil charcoal. Several GK-12 Teacher-Partners assisted Chris with his dissertation research on charcoal records in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. He is currently serving as a Graduate Assistant in the College of Arts and Sciences Advising Center at the University of Tennessee. He worked at heritage Middle School with Mr. Metcalf in 2006-2007 and at Holston Middle School with Mr. Bachmann in 2007-2008.

Mr. Matt Valente
2007-2008, 2008-2009

Department of Geography
Mr. Valente's research interests include biogeography, conservation, and reconstructing past environments using biological archives. He worked at Seymour Middle School with Ms. White in 2007-2008 and at Halls Middle School with Mr. Cordell in 2008-2009.

Dr. Saskia van de Gevel
2006-2007, 2007-2008
Department of Geography
Dr. van de Gevel-Edidin's doctoral research focused on disturbance dynamics in forested ecosystems of the western U.S. In summer 2008, she received her Ph.D. degree and is currently a Lecturer of Physical Geography at Appalachian State University. She worked at Carpenters Middle School with Dr. Headrick in 2006-2007 and at Seymour Middle School with Ms. Ballard in 2007-2008.

Ms. Annie Wambersie
2007-2008
Department of Geography
Ms. Wambersie’s MS thesis, completed in May 2009, investigated the varying land use effects on E. coli concentration and sediment loading in Blount County. She worked at Carpenters Middle School with Dr. Headrick.


Faculty Advisors

Dr. Henri D. Grissino-Mayer
Department of Geography
Dr. Grissino-Mayer’s primary research interest the reconstruction of past environments using information from tree-ring data (dendrochronology).

Dr. Carol P. Harden
Department of Geography
Dr. Harden specializes in geomorphology, especially soil erosion and stream and sediment dynamics, and in water resources. She currently serves at the President of the Association of American Geographers (2009-2010).

Dr. Sally P. Horn
Department of Geography
Dr. Horn is interested in the impacts of modern and prehistoric human activity and long-term climate change on vegetation and landscapes of the southeastern U.S. and circum-Caribbean region.

Dr. Linda C. Kah
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Dr. Kah’s research blends geology, chemistry, and biology to address ocean-atmosphere feedbacks the relative roles of these systems in the evolution of the Earth's early biosphere.

Dr. Claudia I. Mora
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Dr. Mora studies stable isotopes in paleosols, sediments, and tree rings as proxies of past climates and environments. She is now a staff scientist at Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico, but she continues to collaborate with Fellows and faculty as an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Kenneth H. Orvis
Department of Geography
Dr. Orvis’s specializations include urban and landscape climatology, anthropogenic effects on climate, paleoeclimatological reconstructions from sediments and soils, and biogeography. He is now living in Wyoming, where he teaches and conducts research at the University of Wyoming, but he continues to collaborate with Fellows and faculty as an Adjunct Professor of Geography at the University of Tennessee.

Dr. Kristin T. Rearden
Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education
Dr. Rearden specializes in science education, and has special interest in the development of content knowledge of middle school science teachers and the integration of children’s literature and science. She helps all of our GK-12 fellows develop skills for teaching science to middle school students.

Dr. Colin D. Sumrall
Department of Earth and
Planetary Sciences
Dr. Sumrall specializes in the use of fossils to reconstruct evolutionary relationships and past environments.


Project Evaluator

Dr. Loretta A. Kelley
San Francisco, California

Dr. Kelley is the external evaluator for our GK-12 project. Dr. Kelley holds a Ph.D. in mathematics education and is the evaluator for three other GK-12 projects in addition to ours.