Education Outreach Program

Susan Buhr Sullivan

Dr. Buhr Sullivan directs the Education Outreach program of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES). Before beginning her work in K-12 education, she conducted research in atmospheric chemistry analytical methods with CIRES and the NOAA Aeronomy Laboratory About this Lab ] . Susan enjoys the opportunity to learn about a wide variety of science topics through education work, and the opportunity to work with educators, students, geoscientists and social scientists. Susan's current projects include professional development workshops for science teachers, provision of education related to research projects and oversight of numerous other education projects within the CIRES Outreach group.

Ph.D. (Analytical Chemistry) University of Colorado, Boulder 1995

Professional Preparation

Ph.D. (Analytical Chemistry) University of Colorado, Boulder 1995
B.S. (Chemistry) California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 1988


CIRES Outreach Program, September 1996-present
Director, April 1, 2001-present
Acting Director, January 1, 2001-March 31, 2001
Assistant Director, September 1996-January 2001

Instructor, Geology Department, University of Colorado, Fall 2001-2003. GEOL 2110 Physical Science in Earth Systems content course for prospective teachers.

Lecturer, Science from CU Outreach Program, University of Colorado, Boulder, November 1998-June 1999.

Synergistic Activities

CIRES Outreach Program Long range direction for outreach projects within a research institute. Developing internal support for outreach, recruiting and retaining scientist involvement in outreach, and developing collaborations locally and nationally. Focus on teacher professional development and school district partnerships. Provision of education and outreach expertise for geoscience research projects including projects in space weather, atmospheric science, ocean science, and geology.

Oversight of evaluation projects - Working with partners and on-staff evaluator to provide external evaluation support to geosciences education projects.

ICEE "Inspiring Climate Education Excellence" NASA - funded project to develop[ online teacher professional development around the Essential Principles of Climate Science.

CLEAN "Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network" NSDL Pathways project to steward digital resources on the topics of climate literacy and energy awareness, and to build community around these topics.

Climate Change PD: "Making Climate Hot: Effective Communications in Climate Change" Workshop for scientists, educators and students on aspects of effective climate communications.

Earthworks: Earth System Science for Secondary Teachers (1997-present) Principal investigator for field-based workshops in which teachers collaborate with scientists on a small research project suitable for classroom implementation. Design of Earthworks using education research and formal evaluation methodology.

GEOL/ARSC 2110 Physical Science in Earth Systems (1999-present) Principal investigator/instructor for course which is one of a set; science content courses for prospective teachers. These are the first of their kind at CU Boulder, which required development of support within School of Education and School of Arts and Sciences departments.

St. Vrain Valley School District Partnership (1997-present) Support implementation of Earth science content standards by supporting organization change, and providing in-service professional development and scientist content expertise.

Collaborators and Other Affiliations

  • University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Elisabeth Andrews, CIRES/CMDL NOAA; Anita Boehm, CIRES/St. Vrain Valley School District; Judith Curry, Aerospace Engineering; Mark Dubin, Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology (MCDB); Paul Dusenberry, Director, Space Science Institute; David Fahey, Aeronomy Laboratory, NOAA; Dan Hanley, School of Education; Sandra Laursen, CIRES/Sociology Department; Carol McLaren, Director, Science Discovery; Samantha Messier, Hughes Initiative, MCDB; Andrew Moore, Program for Atmospheric and Oceanic Science; Cherilynn Morrow, Space Science Institute; Marie Rundle, CIRES/Boulder Valley School District; Lesley Smith, CIRES/Center for Limnology; Hartmut Spetzler, CIRES/Geology Department; Kristin Swihart, Hughes Initiative, MCDB; Adrian Tuck, Aeronomy Laboratory, NOAA; Peter Webster, PAOS.
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins
  • Edward Geary, Director, Colorado Science Math and Technology Education (CSMATE)
  • University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Steve Ackerman, Director, Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS)
  • St. Vrain Valley School District
  • Karen Hunter, St. Vrain Valley School District Science Coordinator

Graduate and Postdoctoral Advisors: