Nate is an educational researcher currently focused on the topics of data science education, and on how people come to know about climate change and why they hold a particular set of beliefs. At Earth Lab, Nate helped organize and implement the Earth Data Science Corps program, leading assessment and evaluation efforts. He is also involved with assessment and program evaluation of the Earth Data Analytics--Foundations Online Professional Graduate Certificate.
He holds degrees from the University of Iowa in Physics & Astronomy (BS), Civil & Environmental Engineering (MS), and Teaching & Learning/Science Education (PhD). His dissertation focused on 8th grade students' climate literacy, and how their ideas about climate change interact with their epistemic orientations of science (how do we know what we know in science?). Prior to coming to Earth Lab in 2020, Nate taught physics, math, and environmental science at Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) in Calmar, Iowa. He also taught an applied earth and environmental science course for preservice science teachers at the University of Iowa. From 2017-2019 Nate helped lead an immersive geoscience field course in Crested Butte, CO also for preservice teachers through the University of Iowa. As a STEM educator, Nate was very active in the two-year college physics teaching community, helping to organize and implement professional development focused on incorporating computational modeling in the physics classroom. He was also an active member of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) where he served as the Iowa AAPT Section Representative, and chair of the AAPT Committee on Physics at the Two-Year College (CPTYC).
When he’s not working, Nate likes to get outdoors, be it on foot, on a bicycle, or on a snowboard.