Skip to main content

 Geoscience Education, UNC-BEST Coordinator for Earth Science Education


Office: 105 Mitchell Hall
Phone: (919) 966-4516
E-mail: mfplenge@unc.edu


Education

Ph.D., The University of Texas at Austin, 2012
M.T. and B.S., University of Virginia, 2005


 

Courses Taught

Geology 101: Planet Earth

Geology 101 Laboratory

Geology 412: Principles and Methods of Teaching Earth Science

IDST 108: Fake News, Real Science

Research Interests

My dissertation work focused on the role microorganisms play in biogeochemical cycling, specifically carbon cycling, in a high-altitude hydrothermal field in northern Chile.

My current research endeavors focus on geoscience education and pedagogy, specifically exploring how skill based learning objectives and active teaching techniques impact student outcomes, including content knowledge and student attitudes towards geoscience. I am also interested in how student conceptions around the nature of science change based on teaching methodology.

I do not have an active research program and I am not taking students, though I am happy to consult with graduate or undergraduate students on relevant projects.

UNC-BEST Teacher Preparation Program

I am the UNC-BEST coordinator for Geological Sciences.  The UNC-BEST program allows Geological Sciences majors to become certified as NC high school teachers while completing their undergraduate degrees.  Please click the link below for more information!


Interested in the UNC-BEST program?  Visit https://geosci.unc.edu/students/unc-best/ or send me an email!

 

Interested in checking out lessons and demos created by GEOL 412 students?

https://geosci.unc.edu/geol-412-lesson-plans/


Outreach

Please contact me (via email) to discuss outreach opportunities, teaching resources