Sandra Laursen works in both research and practice in science education. As co-director of Ethnography & Evaluation Research (E&ER), she leads research and evaluation studies of education and career paths in science, engineering, mathematics, and technology. Her research interests include underrepresentation of women and minorities in the sciences, professional socialization and career development of scientists, teacher professional development, and science education reform. As a research associate at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES), she collaborates with scientists and K-12 teachers to communicate science effectively to students and the public. She has developed inquiry-based teaching materials and led professional development for educators and scientists on a wide range of topics in Earth and physical science and inquiry-based teaching and learning.
Dr. Laursen earned a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley and previously taught at Kalamazoo College in Michigan. She has published chemistry curriculum manuals, journal articles in chemistry, education, gender studies, as well as in the Journal of Irreproducible Results, co-directed a documentary film, and recorded a CD with Resonance Women’s Chorus. She became a Westerner in 1998 when she took the Oregon Trail to Colorado, although she did not drive a covered wagon.