Ron Gray, Ph.D.
professor of science education
Welcome! I am a professor of science education in the Department of STEM Education and co-director of the Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Northern Arizona University. Please enjoy browsing the site and contact me if you have any questions, comments or recommendations for resources I should add.
My work focuses on providing secondary science teachers the tools to design and implement learning experiences for their students that are effective and authentic to the discipline. Much of this work has been centered on model-based inquiry and the integration of scientific practices in a supportive and structured way. I am also interested in the history of science and science studies which, taken together, help to provide a background for understanding what "authentic" scientific practice in the K-12 context might look like. Framing this work are the ideas of practice-based teacher education and ambitious science teaching. Please see the 'Research' page for more details.
In addition to my research and work with science teachers, I am interested in conservation education. While a middle school science teacher, I worked in the summer as the education coordinator of the Cheetah Conservation Fund in Namibia. That experience led to work with other international conservation organizations and, more recently, with Earth Expeditions. Through Earth Expeditions I have facilitated field courses in conservation hot spots around the world including Namibia, Trinidad and Tobago, and, most recently, Malaysian Borneo.
Before coming to NAU I coordinated a graduate licensure program in mathematics and science education at Oregon State University where I received my doctorate in science education in 2009. Previously, I was a middle school science teacher in Salem, Oregon, and in South Central Los Angeles. Before I became a teacher I conducted research in pharmacology at Oregon Health Sciences University, immunology at the Scripps Research Institute, and ecology in the Chiricahua National Monument of southern Arizona.