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UCAR Educator/Scientist Named Executive Director of National Earth Science Teachers Association

March 28, 2006

BOULDER—Roberta Johnson, director of Education and Outreach at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), has been named executive director of the National Earth Science Teachers Association (NESTA). Her voluntary appointment begins on April 6. Johnson will continue in her position at UCAR.

Roberta Johnson

Roberta Johnson. Click here or on the image to enlarge photo. (Photo by Carlye Calvin, UCAR.)

NESTA is a nonprofit educational organization that works to advance and improve Earth science education at all levels. The organization, which has nearly 1,000 members, provides classroom resources and support for educators, participates in professional meetings, publishes a quarterly journal, and more.

"NESTA represents the national community of teachers on the front lines of K-12 geoscience education who seek to bring the wonder of our science to life for students across the country," Johnson says. "I'm eager to work with the organization's leadership and membership to improve geoscience education, develop new opportunities for professional development, and build community among teachers and the geoscience research community."

Johnson has been at UCAR since 2000. She serves on numerous advisory boards for projects in science education, outreach, and diversity, and has extensive experience advising NASA, the National Science Foundation, and a variety of professional societies. She has been an active member of the National Science Teachers Association, with which NESTA is formally associated, since 1996.

Before coming to UCAR, Johnson was a research scientist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she started Windows to the Universe, an award-winning Web-based educational tool. In addition to her role in Education and Outreach at UCAR, Johnson is a research scientist in the High Altitude Observatory at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is managed by UCAR. She holds a doctorate in geophysics and space physics.

As executive director of NESTA, Johnson will focus on supporting the needs of members, implementing new programs to provide opportunities for in-service professional development, linking classroom teachers to advances in geoscience research, and planning for the future of K-12 geoscience education. 

"Roberta has a refreshingly clear understanding of the needs of the K-12 education community, as well as the ability to work seamlessly with both the scientific community and governmental agencies," says Parker Pennington IV, president-elect of NESTA. "She's great at bringing people together and allowing synergy to happen."

UCAR is a consortium of 69 universities offering Ph.D.s in the atmospheric and related sciences.


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