Space Grant welcomes new WWU representative

SMATE Director Edward Geary
Photo by Dylan Koutsky | WWU Communications and Marketing intern

News from Western Today: Edward Geary has been hired as director for the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMATE) Program at Western Washington University. As director, he will also serve as the Space Grant representative on the WWU campus.

Geary, who started at Western in January 2013, was hired following a national search. He succeeds George “Pinky” Nelson, who has retired as SMATE director.

Nelson, a former NASA astronaut and UW astronomy professor, served as associate director of Washington NASA Space Grant Consortium from its founding in 1989 until 1996 when he was selected by the American Association for the Advancement of Science to serve as the deputy director for Project 2061, the organization’s long-term initiative to advance literacy in science, mathematics, and technology. In 2002, he became the SMATE director and director of WWU’s Space Grant scholarship and research programs.

“Professor Geary comes to Western with a wealth of experience and expertise well-suited for leading our continued excellence in science education within the College of Sciences and Technology (CST) at Western,” said CST Dean Jeff Wright. “His immediate past experience with the National Science Foundation has provided a perspective on the needs of our nation to refocus and grow our technical workforce in a manner that will attract, retain, and empower the science educators of the future. Under Ed’s leadership, SMATE will continue its record of scholarly innovation in this vital area.”

Before coming to Western, Geary was program director for the Division for Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings with the National Science Foundation (NSF), where he worked with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education programs.

Geary has master’s and doctorate degrees in Geology from Cornell University. He previously was assistant and associate professor of Geology at San Jose State University, director of Education for the Geological Society of America, and president of the consulting firm Earth Science Insights. He was director of the Center for Science, Mathematics and Technology Education at Colorado State University, senior science education program manager for the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), and director of the Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program that is part of UCAR. He has written extensively for academic and science education publications.

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