LAB ASSOCIATES

Alison Bowers
Research Associate
Alison Bowers

Alison is a part-time graduate student at Virginia Tech pursing a PhD in the Educational Research and Evaluation program. Concurrently, she is also a researcher and consultant with a number of university faculty and environmental nonprofits. Her background and experience include working as a field-based environmental educator and at the national-scale with nonprofit conservation and education organizations such as Project Learning Tree. Alison also has worked as a special education teacher. Alison has an EdS in Early Childhood Special Education from George Washington University, a MFRC with a Certificate in Environmental Education and Communication from the University of Florida, and a BA in Psychology from the University of South Carolina.

Alice Fu
Research Associate, Graduate School of Education & Woods Institute for the Environment
Alice Fu

Alice Fu manages the ee360 project, a US EPA-funded initiative that focuses on innovative approaches to connecting environmental research with practice and policy. Previously, Alice worked with SK Partners, LLC, an education consulting group based in Menlo Park, CA. There, she managed a project on high-quality assessments and evaluations in informal science education, funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. She completed her PhD in science education at Stanford's Graduate School of Education. For her dissertation research, Alice conducted multiple case studies of how educators at informal science institutions design and develop field trip programs for schools; she used a model of knowledge-brokering to explore the types of knowledge and resources the educators use in their work. Previously, Alice worked at WestEd as Science Specialist on the development of the science framework and test specifications for the 2009 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP). Alice has a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teacher Education from Stanford. Her research interests include assessment, informal science and environmental education, and relationships between schools and informal science institutions.

Megan Luce
Research Associate
Megan Luce

Megan is a developmental psychologist and educator who designs science learning experiences for families with young children, and studies how families make sense of phenomena together.  Her research is focused on out-of-school settings such as children’s museums, family science nights at elementary schools, outdoor spaces (beaches and parks), and families’ homes. Her design work has focused on collaborative inquiry-based activities that families can do “anytime, anywhere,” which includes a mobile app called Playful Science. Motivating Megan’s research and learning design efforts are the goals of broadening what counts as science learning and inviting families to see themselves as capable of learning and doing science. Megan studies family learning as an important context of science education in its own right, but also seeks to understand how family learning connects with school-based learning. She has a PhD in psychology from UC Santa Cruz.

Lauren Oakes **
Research Consultant, Stanford University
Lauren Oakes

Lauren completed her PhD in June 2015 in the Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. Drawing from the social and ecological sciences, Lauren’s research focuses on adaptation to climate change. She studies ecological impacts of climate change and how people respond to impacts occurring in order to inform conservation and management strategies in a changing climate. At the core of her passions for research, teaching, and creatively communicating issues of environmental change is the desire to understand human-environment interactions critical to improving resource management and conservation practices. She has written about her research for The New York Times Green blog. Lauren holds a B.A. degree from Brown University in Environmental Studies (Honors) and Visual Art. While at Stanford, Lauren received a National Science Graduate Student Research Fellowship and the Lieberman Fellowship for outstanding scholarship, teaching, and university service. She is currently a Visiting Scholar in Environmental Science Writing in the Earth Systems Program at Stanford University, and works with the Social Ecology lab as a research associate.

Samantha Selby
Research Associate, Challenge Success
Samantha Selby

Samantha is a quantitative research associate with Challenge Success, where her work focuses on socio-emotional learning with youth in formal and informal settings. She continues to work part-time as a research associate with Professor Ardoin’s group. Formerly, she was a research associate and lab manager with Professor Ardoin’s Social Ecology lab and a social science researcher in Stanford’s Anthropology Department. Samantha’s research interests include international environmental education, and she has experience teaching English in Spain, as well as teaching mathematics, science, and Spanish at a nonprofit, tuition-free school in Arizona. Samantha holds a master’s degree in International Comparative Education from Stanford and a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and Spanish from the University of Southern California.

Mele Wheaton
Senior Research Associate, Graduate School of Education & Woods Institute for the Environment
Mele Wheaton

Mele is a senior research associate with Prof. Nicole Ardoin’s team in the Graduate School of Education at Stanford University. Her research interests include environmental education, environmental behavior change, and nature-based tourism.  As lead on a variety of projects, Mele has studied behavior change in ecotourists in Galapagos and California, environmental identity and action in high-school students participating in an intensive conservation education program, and professional development in environmental educators. She currently manages a project exploring the various pathways to environmental literacy through environmental education programming. Mele has both an M.A. and Ph.D. in Education from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is a former fellow of both the NSF-funded Center for Informal Learning and Schools and the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation for environmental leadership. She is a former board member of the California Environmental Education Foundation (CEEF). Before becoming a social science researcher, Mele taught for many years in a variety of informal education settings in Alaska, Arizona, and California.  In addition, Mele worked as a field biologist conducting botanical surveys and studying nesting bald eagles.