Skip to Main Content
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Science Education
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education



Adam Gamoran
(Chair), William T. Grant Foundation, New York, New York
Megan Bang, University of Washington-Seattle, Seattle, Washington
Sunita V. Cooke, MiraCosta College, Oceanside, CA
Melanie Cooper, Department of Chemistry, Michigan State University
Rodolfo Dirzo, Department of Biology, Stanford University
Rush D. Holt, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC
Matthew Krehbiel, Achieve, Inc.
Michael Lach, Urban Education Institute, University of Chicago
Lynn Liben, Department of Psychology, The Pennsylvania State University
Cathryn (Cathy) Manduca, Science Education Resource Center, Carleton College
John Mather, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Tonya M. Matthews, Michigan Science Center, Detroit, MI
Brian Reiser¸ School of Education and Social Policy, Northwestern University
Marshall “Mike” Smith, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Roberta Tanner, Retired Physics Teacher, Thompson School District, Loveland, Colorado
Suzanne Wilson, Department of Teacher Education, Michigan State University




Adam Gamoran (Chair) was named president of the William T. Grant Foundation in 2013. He came to the Foundation from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he held the John D. MacArthur Chair in Sociology and Educational Policy Studies. His research career, which he developed over the course of three decades, focused on understanding educational inequality by attending to such challenging issues as academic tracking, racial segregation, school organization, and curriculum reform. His work has been recognized and published nationally and internationally, for example serving as lead author of Transforming Teaching in Math and Science: How Schools and Districts Can Support Change (Teachers College Press, 2003) and as co-editor of Stratification in Higher Education: A Comparative Study (Stanford University Press, 2007). He is an elected member of the National Academy of Education and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and was twice appointed by President Barack Obama to the National Board for Education Sciences.   Now in his second period of service to BOSE, he was appointed as chair in 2014. Previously, he chaired the Independent Advisory Panel of the National Assessment of Career and Technical Education for the U.S. Department of Education.   In his new role as president of the William T. Grant Foundation, he has prioritized supporting research to deepen our understanding of the programs, policies, and practices that reduce inequality in youth outcomes, and to understand and improve the use of research evidence in decisions that affect youth.  

Megan Bang is an associate professor in educational psychology, learning sciences & human development, education, equity, society studies and a program director of learning sciences and human development. She currently holds multiple faculty positions in the education department at the University of Washington-Seattle. Previously, Dr. Bang was an adjunct professor at Northwestern University. Dr. Bang’s research aims to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged children, families and communities, specifically through STEM education and the education of indigenous peoples. She is involved in three primary strands of work: the study of learning and development in everyday contexts, community-based design research that creates science learning environments based on indigenous systems of knowledge, and the study of child and teacher learning in novel environments. She holds awards from the American Educational Research Association, Cognitive Science Graduate Fellow for Interdisciplinary Research Projects, Spencer Foundation Dissertation Fellowship and Outstanding Advising Award from the University of Washington. She earned a Ph.D. in learning sciences and a certificate in cognitive science from Northwestern University.

Sunita V. Cooke is the superintendent/president of the MiraCosta Community College District. She has been a community college educator and administrator since 1993, and a president since 2007. A recognized community college leader, Dr. Cooke came to MiraCosta from Grossmont College, located in El Cajon, California, where she served as president from 2007 to 2014. Dr. Cooke is a collaborative and innovative leader with a strong dedication to the promotion of community colleges and workforce development. Since 2012, she represented all of the San Diego and Imperial Counties community colleges on the Workforce Investment Board and is now the liaison with the State Chancellor's Office regarding economic and workforce development efforts at the regional and state level. She is the chair of the statewide "Doing What Matters for Jobs and the Economy" campaign, a community college and industry collaboration that aims to close the skills gap. She is a board member of the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, the San Diego Economic Development Corporation, Biocom, and the San Diego Workforce Investment Board. Dr. Cooke received her bachelor's degree in biology and a teaching certificate from American University in Washington, D.C. After being awarded a doctorate in biology at Georgetown University, she completed a postdoctoral training program at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, in the molecular aspects of cell adhesion and metastasis. She then became a founding faculty member of Lone Star-Montgomery College in north Houston. She has taught full and part time for more than 13 years and continues to teach each summer in the San Diego State University Doctoral Program in Educational Leadership.
Melanie Cooper is Lappan-Phillips professor of science education and professor of chemistry at Michigan State University. Her initial appointment at Clemson University was one of the first tenure track appointments in chemistry education in a chemistry department. Her research has focused on improving teaching and learning in large enrollment introductory chemistry courses, including general and organic chemistry. She has worked on how students learn to construct and use representations, problem solving, conceptual understanding, and development of practices such as argumentation and metacognition. An outgrowth of this research is the development and assessment of evidence-driven, research-based curricula. She was a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Status, Contributions, and Future Directions of Discipline Based Education Research. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received a number of awards for excellence in teaching. She holds a B.S., an M.S., and a Ph.D. from the University of Manchester (England).
Rodolfo Dirzo is a professor of biology at Stanford University. Dr. Dirzo is one of the world's leading tropical forest ecologists and conservation biologists. He has performed seminal work on the evolution of plant-animal interactions. He carried out classical experimental studies on the ecosystem significance of biodiversity loss, fragmentation, and deforestation. He is a foreign associate of the National Academy of Sciences; a member of the American Academy of Sciences and of the California Academy of Sciences. His currently is on the boards of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies (New York, USA), the Fondo Mexicano para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (Mexico City), and Paso Pacifico (Ventura, California). Dr. Dirzo was awarded the Presidential Medal in Ecology in Mexico; the Pew Scholar in Conservation from The Pew Charitable Trust; and the Outstanding Service Award: Teaching, Organization for Tropical Studies. He also served on the NRC Committee on a Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards and the NRC's U.S. National Committee on DIVERSITAS. He earned his M.Sc. and his Ph.D. from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth.
Rush D. Holt is the chief executive officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of the Science family of journals in February 2015. In this role, Holt leads the world's largest multi-disciplinary scientific and engineering society. Before joining AAAS, Holt served for 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New Jersey's 12th Congressional District. In Congress, Holt served as a senior member of the Committee on Natural Resources and the Committee on Education and the Workforce. From 1987 to 1998, Holt was assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL), a Department of Energy national lab, which is the largest research facility of Princeton University and one of the largest alternative energy research facilities in the country. At PPPL, Holt helped establish the lab's nationally renowned science education program. From 1980 to 1988, Holt served on the faculty of Swarthmore College, where he taught courses in physics and public policy. Holt is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, and he holds M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from New York University.
Matt Krehbiel is the Science Director at Achieve and coordinates their work to use implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) as a lever to improve science education for all students. He previously served as the state science supervisor in the Kansas State Department of Education, leading Kansas’ participation as a lead state in developing the NGSS. Mr. Krehbiel also served on the Board and later as President of the Council of State Science Supervisors, an organization that serves to coordinate and support efforts of the state science supervisors of all states. He is a member of the Board on Science Education for the National Research Council and, in that role, was on the committee that wrote the Guide to Implementing the Next Generation Science Standards. Mr. Krehbiel began his career in science education as a high school science teacher in Kansas, where he taught a wide range of high school science courses over ten years. He earned his B.A. in biology and natural sciences and his secondary teacher certification in general science, biology, and physics from Bethel College. He earned his M.S. in curriculum and instruction with a focus in science education from Kansas State University.
Michael Lach is currently the director of STEM Education and Strategic Initiatives at the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education and the Urban Education Institute of the University of Chicago. Previously, he was appointed by Secretary Arne Duncan to lead science and mathematics education efforts at the U. S. Department of Education. Dr. Lach began his professional career teaching high school biology and general science at Alceé Fortier Senior High School in New Orleans in 1990 as a charter member of Teach for America. After 3 years in Louisiana, he joined the national office of Teach for America as director of Program Design, developing a portfolio based alternative-certification system that was adopted by several states. Returning to the science classroom in 1994 in New York City Public Schools, and then back to Chicago in 1995, he was named one of Radio Shack's Top 100 Technology Teachers, earned National Board Certification, and was named Illinois Physics Teacher of the Year. He has served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, advising Congressman Vernon Ehlers (R-MI) on science, technology and education issues. He was lead curriculum developer for the Investigations in Environmental Science curriculum developed at the Center for Learning Technologies in Urban Schools at Northwestern University and published by It’s About Time, Inc. As an administrator with the Chicago Public Schools, he led the district’s instructional improvement efforts in science and mathematics in a variety of roles between 2003 and 2009, ultimately becoming Chief Officer of Teaching and Learning overseeing curriculum and instruction in 600+ schools. He earned a bachelor's degree in physics from Carleton College, master’s degrees from Columbia University and Northeastern Illinois University, and a doctorate from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Lynn Liben is distinguished professor of Psychology at The Pennsylvania State University where she also holds faculty appointments in College of Health & Human Development and in the College of Education. Her research focuses on spatial cognition, its development, and on how individual differences in spatial cognition are relevant for science education. Illustrative is research examining children's and adults' success in identifying locations and directions on maps, and adults' success in mapping geological data. She has used her research to help design educational programs for television, museums, and classrooms. A second focus is on gender development, gender stereotypes, and how these influence educational and occupational goals. At the intersection of her interests in spatial and gender development are current projects examining the impact of spatial-skills training on middle-school students’ STEM achievement and interests, and the reasons that boys consistently achieve greater success than girls on the National Geographic Bee. Dr. Liben is currently president-elect of the Society for Research in Child Development, former president of the Piaget Society and of the Developmental Psychology Division of APA, and past editor of Child Development and of the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Eastern Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the American Educational Research Association. Her research has been funded by NSF, NICHD, NIE, and the National Geographic Society. Dr. Liben earned her B.A. at Cornell University and her Ph.D. at the University of Michigan, both in psychology.
Cathryn (Cathy) Manduca is director of the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton College. SERC is engaged in professional development projects for undergraduate faculty that use workshops, virtual events, and community-authored websites to facilitate sharing of teaching materials and expertise. SERC has developed tools and strategies for disseminating educational resources, and engages in evaluation and research projects. Topics of focus include bringing research results on teaching and learning into broader use in the geosciences, understanding geoscience expertise, and building strong geoscience departments. Manduca directs InTeGrate, an NSF funded STEP Center working to improve geoscience literacy and prepare a workforce that can use geoscience to address the challenges faced by society. She is the executive director of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT) and serves on the American Geophysical Union Board of Directors. She holds a B.A. in geology from Williams College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in geology from the California Institute of Technology.
John C. Mather (NAS) is a senior astrophysicist at the U.S. space agency's (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland and adjunct professor of physics at the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Mather won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the Cosmic Background Explorer Satellite (COBE) with George Smoot. COBE was the first experiment to precisely measure the black body form and anisotropy of the cosmic microwave background radiation, helping to cement the Big Bang theory of the universe. In 2007, Dr. Mather was listed among Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Dr. Mather is also the senior project scientist for the James Webb Space Telescope, a space telescope to be launched to the Sun-Earth Lagrange point L2 in 2014. He was a member of the NRC Board on Physics and Astronomy; he served on the Committee on Physics of the Universe. He earned his B.A. in Physics from Swarthmore College and his Ph.D. in Physics from the University of California, Berkeley. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tonya M. Matthews is Michigan Science Center’s chief executive officer and president. Dr. Matthews is the Michigan Science Center’s first permanent chief executive and has led its climb to becoming the STEM Hub for greater Detroit and the state of Michigan. Previously, Dr. Matthews served as the vice president of museums for Cincinnati Museum Center, directing the education, research and community engagement footprints of a multi-site museum and research institution. During her time in Cincinnati, she was instrumental in positioning the museum as a thought leader in STEM education and engagement. She created the Museum Center’s signature program in early childhood educator training in science that annually trains more than 150 teachers throughout the region with measurable classroom impact. Prior to that role, Dr. Matthews worked with the Maryland Science Center as manager of BodyLink, an innovative, multimedia education center focused on biotechnology. While at the Maryland Science Center, she created an outreach lab program for city high school students through formation of an institutional partnership between the science center, the National Institutes of Health, the University of Maryland and the Baltimore City Health Department. She is the recipient of a Whitaker Foundation Award for Engineering Excellence and an alumni member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society for Women Engineers.Always actively engaged in the work of building community, Dr. Matthews currently serves as a board member for Detroit Cristo Rey High School, Midtown Detroit, Culture Source, and Detroit Public Television. After completing her baccalaureate studies at Duke University in biomedical and electrical engineering, Dr. Matthews received her Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Brian J. Reiser is professor of learning sciences in the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. Dr. Reiser’s research examines how to make scientific practices such as argumentation, explanation, and modeling meaningful and effective for classroom teachers and students. This design research investigates the cognitive and social interaction elements of learning environments supporting scientific practices, and design principles for technology-infused curricula that embed science learning in investigations of contextualized data-rich problems. Dr. Reiser leads the Scientific Practices project to develop an empirically-based learning progression for scientific practices that species how learners can engage in constructing, applying, and refining scientific knowledge with increasing sophistication from elementary to middle school. Dr. Reiser is also on the leadership team for IQWST (Investigating and Questioning our World through Science and Technology), a collaboration with the University of Michigan developing a middle school project-based science curriculum, and led the BGuILE (Biology Guided Inquiry Learning Environments), developing software tools for supporting students in analyzing biological data and constructing explanations. Professor Reiser was a founding member of the first graduate program in learning sciences, created at Northwestern, and chaired the program from 1993, shortly after its inception, until 2001. He was co-principal investigator in the NSF Center for Curriculum Materials in Science, exploring the design and enactment of science curriculum materials, and served on the NRC panels authoring the reports Taking Science to School (2007) and Conceptual Framework for New Science Education Standards (2011). Dr. Reiser earned his Ph.D. cognitive science from Yale University.
Marshall ‘Mike’ Smith is a visiting scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. He is a former senior counselor to Secretary Arne Duncan and director of international affairs at the U.S. Department of Education (DoEd). He was under-secretary and acting deputy secretary in the DoEd during the Clinton administration. Recently he was a visiting scholar with the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Dr. Smith previously served as a director of education programs at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. While at the Hewlett Foundation he funded projects focusing on education technology, California state education policy reform, and college readiness. He is also a former dean of the School of Education at Stanford University. Dr. Smith served as a member of the advisory committee for the NRC Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education; advisory board of the NRC’s Center for Education; and the committee on improving learning with information technology. Dr. Smith earned an A.B. in psychology from Harvard College and an Ed.M. and Ed.D. in measurement and statistics from Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Roberta Tanner is a retired physics teacher. She taught physics, math, engineering and other science courses for 21 years at a high school in the Thompson School District in Loveland, Colorado. Wanting to spur her students to higher levels of achievement, she brought Advanced Placement Physics and integrated Physics/Trigonometry to the district and taught those for 15 years. She also designed and taught Microcomputer Projects, an award winning project-oriented microchip and electrical engineering course. In addition, she was privileged to work for a year as Teacher in Residence with the Physics Education Research group at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also taught introductory Physics at the University of Colorado. Ms. Tanner was honored with the International Intel Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and the Amgen Award for Science Teaching Excellence in 2011. She served five years on the Teacher Advisory Council, an advisory board to the National Research Council (NRC). She also served on a committee of the National Academy of Engineering, investigating the advisability of National K-12 Engineering Standards. Ms. Tanner is currently serving on the NRC Committee on a Framework for Assessment of Science Proficiency in K-12. She completed her undergraduate work in physics and mechanical engineering at Kalamazoo College and Michigan State University. She earned her teaching certificate and a master’s degree in education at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Suzanne M. Wilson is a professor and Neag endowed professor of teacher education Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Connecticut. Previously, Dr. Wilson was a university distinguished professor at Michigan State University (MSU), where she served as chair and professor in the Department of Teacher Education. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU, Dr. Wilson was the first director of the Teacher Assessment Project, which developed prototype assessments for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. While at MSU, she has collaborated on several large-scale research projects, including the National Center for Research on Teacher Education, the Educational Policy and Practice Study, and the National Partnership for Excellence and Accountability in Teaching. She has written on teacher knowledge, curriculum reform, educational policy, and teacher learning. She is currently co-principal investigator on Learning Science through Inquiry with the Urban Advantage: Formal and Informal Collaborations to Increase Science Literacy and Student Learning. Her interests include exploring various measures of teaching and teachers’ understanding that might be used for teacher education and education research, as well as a study of the contemporary and jurisdictional battles over who should control teacher education and licensure. Dr. Wilson is chair of the National Research Council (NRC)’s Committee on Strengthening Science Education through a Teacher Learning Continuum and a member of the Committee to Develop an Evaluation Framework for Successful K-12 STEM Education. She previously served on the NRC’s Committee on Teacher Preparation Programs in the U.S. and the Center for Education’s advisory board. Dr. Wilson has a B.A. in history and American studies from Brown University and an M.S. in statistics and a Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University.

Home BOHSI Home BOSE Home BECS Home BCYF Home TAC Home Home BOTA Home CPOP Home CNSTAT Home CLAJ Home BBCSS Home Home About BOSE BOSE Mission BOSE Members BOSE Staff Our Sponsors Visiting our Buildings About CPOP CPOP Mission CPOP Members CPOP Staff About BBCSS BBCSS History BBCSS Members BBCSS Staff Our Sponsors Forum Home About CNSTAT CNSTAT Members CNSTAT Staff CNSTAT Mission Other Sites of Interest TEstTAc2 About BCYF BCYF History BCYF Graphic Illustration BCYF Members BCYF Staff About BOHSI BOHSI History BOHSI Members BOHSI Staff Our Sponsors About Us Mission and Goals History Members Sponsors About BOTA BOTA Mission BOTA Members Visiting Our Buildings About BECS BECS Mission/History BECS Brochure BECS Members BECS Staff About TAC TAC History
left imagetext captioncenter image