Dr. Alexa LammResearch Assistant Professor

University of Florida
307B Rolfs Hall
PO Box 110540
Gainesville, FL 32611
352-273-3690
stofer@ufl.edu

Katie Stofer focuses on researching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, especially in free-choice or informal education and outreach settings, with an emphasis on making STEM evident in agricultural education. Her primary interests center on how the public gathers, makes meaning from, and uses current scientific research findings, and how that use relates to their science identities. In particular, she examines science communication using visualizations of data and models. She collaborates with scientists doing basic research to help them design innovative outreach projects around their work. Finally, she is interested in turning her research into practice by helping scientists and formal and informal educators improve their outreach. 


A lifelong love of learning, especially in museums and out-of-school activities has ultimately shaped her career. After growing up in Texas, Katie has enjoyed moving around the country as part of her studies and work. Her original interests in neuroscience led her from her undergraduate degree in California to researching brain activity using fMRI in San Antonio. She moved to Boston to pursue science journalism and began working in outreach at the Museum of Science there. She spent two years as a video news release producer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center outside of Washington, DC, and then moved to full-time education and outreach at the Maryland Science Center, managing an exhibit on Earth Science news. It was there that she began educational research and evaluation in the museum setting. Her Ph.D. work ultimately brought her interests in research, education, and communication together and set up her long-term research agenda at the University of Florida.

Education

  • Oregon State University, PhD., Science Education (Free-Choice Learning), 2013
  • Boston University, M.S., Science Journalism, 2002
  • California Institute of Techonology, B.S., Biology, 1998

Research Areas

  • Free-Choice/informal STEM learning
  • Science identity in non-professionals
  • Impact of science outreach on researchers
  • Data visualization and modeling
  • Museum education

Recent Publications

Awards & Honors

  • 2015-16 eXtension Citizen Science Fellow
  • 2014 Faculty Fellowship Summer Institute in Israel
  • 2014 Jhumki Basu Equity Scholars Award, National Association for Research in Science Teaching
  • 2012 Hatfield Marine Science Center Markham Symposium, Best Poster
  • 2012 Curtis and Isabella Holt Marine Education Award, Hatfield Marine Science Center
  • 2011 NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program, Honorable Mention

Membership in Professional Organizations

  • Citizen Science Association
  • American Association for Agricultural Education
  • NARST
  • International Network on Public Communication of Science and Technology
  • Geological Society of America
  • Association of Living History, Agricultural, and Farm Museums