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Agricultural Education and Communication

Agricultural Education and Communication

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Headshot of Dr. Katie Stofer, Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication

Kathryn "Katie" Stofer

Research Associate Professor

218 Rolfs Hall
PO Box 110540
Gainesville, FL 32611

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Dr. Katie Stofer is a research associate professor in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication (AEC). She focuses her research on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, especially in free-choice or informal learning settings and public engagement programming.

Stofer's 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 works with both UF/IFAS and national Extension educators and healthcare professionals to combine their efforts to promote health equity through collaborative health education and health care.

Stofer focuses on bringing community voices into research and public engagement from conceptualization to sharing results. Stofer collaborates with scientists doing basic research to help them design innovative engagement projects. She turns her research into practice by helping scientists and formal and informal educators improve their public engagement.  

Originally from Lake Jackson, Texas, Stofer’s lifelong love of learning has shaped her career and led her all around the country. Her original interests in neuroscience led her to her bachelor’s degree and post-baccalaureate research. While working on her master’s degree at Boston University, Stofer began practicing engagement work 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 public engagement at the Maryland Science Center, managing an exhibit on Earth Science news. There, she began researching and evaluating learning in the museum setting.

In 2013, Stofer earned her Ph.D. from Oregon State University, studying free-choice science education. Her doctoral work ultimately brought her interests in research, education and communication together and set up her long-term research agenda at the University of Florida. You can read more about Dr. Stofer’s journey in science at the Journal of Stories in Science.

In addition to her work with students in AEC and beyond, Stofer is co-founder and steering committee member for the Coalition of Disabled Gators and Allies, and serves on the UF President’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities.


2022, UF/IFAS Extension James App Award for Outstanding Extension Team: Health Extension team

2022, UF/IFAS Dean for Research, AEC Department Highly-Cited Researcher

2021, UF/IFAS Dean for Research, AEC Department Highly-Cited Researcher

2020, UF Center for Undergraduate Research, Undergraduate Research Champion

2019, University Research Scholars Program Mentor Award (student: Mingyin Zhu)

2016 Outstanding Article, Journal of Geoscience EducationWhen a Picture isn't Worth 1000 Words: Learners Struggle to find Meaning in Data Visualizations

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