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Geology Alum Spotlight

Lisa Gardiner

Dr. Gardiner – an educator, scientist, writer and artist – leads the Mixed Media Learning Team within the education arm of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, the organization that manages the NSF-funded National Center for Atmospheric Research, a center of climate, weather, and geoscience research, in Boulder, Colorado. She is also an acclaimed freelance science writer. Her book, Tales from an Uncertain World: What Other Assorted Disasters Can Teach Us about Climate Change, is considered by Independent Publishing Book Awards as the Outstanding Book of the Year Most Likely to Save the Planet. Her latest book is on reef resilience, Fossil Islands: Coral Reefs at the Shallow End of Deep Time, and will be coming out soon from Princeton University Press. Lisa has also written and illustrated science books for children, including What’s Up with Altitude, and has, with UCAR teams, created materials for K-12 science learning including curriculum like GLOBE Weather and Hurricane Resilience. With her team, she develops UCAR's Earth and environmental science website for the public and K–12 learners, which reaches five million people per year. Additionally, she collaborates on museum exhibits, educational games, videos and teacher professional development workshops. She has won numerous awards for her creative STEM work, including UCAR’s Outstanding Accomplishment Award for Education and Outreach (2022), the Louis J. Batten Author’s Award K-12 (2021), and book awards.  Lisa received her Ph.D. in Geology in 2001 for her research on the resilience and stability of Caribbean molluscan fossil assemblages in Pleistocene reef communities. She also has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction Writing from Goucher College (Maryland) and graduated cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa and with highest honors from Smith College with a BA in Geology and Marine Sciences. 


Dr. Lisa Gardiner

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