an M.S. in population genetics and population biology from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in science literacy and education from Rockefeller University.

Tanya Atwater is professor of tectonics at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1997. Her research has concerned various aspects of tectonics, ranging from the fine details of sea floor spreading processes to global aspects of plate tectonics. She has participated in or led numerous oceanographic expeditions in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, including 12 dives to the deep sea floor in the tiny submersible, Alvin. She is especially well known for her works on the plate tectonic history of western North America, in general, and of the San Andreas fault system, in particular. She is devoted to science communication, teaching students at all levels in the university, presenting numerous workshops and field trips for K-12 teachers, and consulting for the written media, museums, television, and video producers. She is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the Geological Society of America and was a co-winner of the Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She received her education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the University of California, Berkeley; and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, completing a Ph.D. in 1972.

Philip Bell is associate professor of the learning sciences and the Geda and Phil Condit professor of science and mathematics education at the University of Washington. He pursues a cognitive and cultural program of research across diverse environments focused on how people learn in ways that are personally consequential to them. He directs the ethnographic and design-based research of the Everyday Science and Technology Group as well as the University of Washington Institute for Science and Mathematics Education, which cultivates innovative projects in P-20 education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics between university groups and community partners. He has studied everyday expertise and cognition in science and health, the design and use of emerging learning technologies in science classrooms, children’s argumentation and conceptual change in science, culturally responsive science instruction, the use of emerging digital technologies in youth culture, and new approaches to inquiry instruction in science. He is a co-leader of the Learning in Informal and Formal Environments Science of Learning Center ( and is a co-principal investigator of COSEE-Ocean Learning Communities ( At the National Research Council, he is a member of the Board on Science Education

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001

Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement