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CIRES | Education and Outreach

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Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer Taylor

Jennifer is a licensed secondary science educator and enjoyed teaching middle school science for fourteen years. In 2013, she joined the Education & Outreach team of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder.  To support the mission of CIRES, Jennifer has developed and implemented a variety of programs focused on Earth Systems education­—from air quality to soil microbes to wildfire fuels.  The core focus of her work involves curriculum development, educator workshops, informal science education programs, webinars, and online resources that are funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, and the University of Colorado. Her approach to STEM education centers on project-based learning and citizen-science research. Jennifer’s goal is to help inspire the next generation of scientists and engage the wider community in the project work of CIRES scientists and partners. She has a Master’s degree in Environmental Biology.


Professional Preparation

University of Illinois, Chicago, IL; Biological Sciences; B.S. 1988

University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK; Environmental Biology; M.S. 1996

University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Secondary Science Education Licensure 2000



Professional Research Assistant/Associate Scientist II, 2013-present, CIRES Education and Outreach, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado

Science Educator, 2004-2013, Estes Park Middle School, Estes Park School District, Estes Park, Colorado

Science and Math Educator, 2000-2004, Heritage Middle School, St. Vrain Valley School District, Longmont, Colorado

Manager and Climbing Guide, 1997-2000, Colorado Mountain School, Estes Park, Colorado

AmeriCorps Team Leader, 1996-1997, Larimer County Youth Conservation Corps, Fort Collins, Colorado


Synergistic Activities

Educational Peer-Reviewer for Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) collection of 100+ climate and energy resources (learning activities, videos, visualizations)

Professional Development Designer and Facilitator of environmental science content (climate, air quality, water, microbial ecosystem, energy) delivered through virtual webinars, in-person workshops and training educators in delivering content through NSF, NASA, locally funded programs.

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program teacher (since 2010) and GLOBE trainer (since 2015) certified to train educators in implementing Earth system and global environment GLOBE protocols. Currently the U.S. GLOBE Partner Forum Southwest Regional Representative.

Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) Program developer and PI for the Biosphere - Fire Fuel protocol, redesign of the existing protocol, pilot-testing revised protocol for educational users including citizen-science and public audience, wildfire manager, including park rangers and scientists, and K-12 educators through a NASA grant. 

Instructor and facilitator of multiple visual storytelling and blogging workshops for undergraduate research students as part of the Research Experience for Community College Students (RECCS) program and visual storytelling for Inside the Greenhouse program at the Center for Science Technology and Policy (CSTPR). 

Goldin Foundation Excellence in Education Award, Co-recipient, 2018

National Center for Science Education Friend of the Planet Award, Co-recipient, 2017

CO-LABS Governor’s Award for High Impact Research Outreach Contributor, 2014


Taylor, J. (2017). Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN) Get Started Guide Unit Planning Resources

Taylor, J. (2016). Is soil really alive? Measuring soil microbial activity using low- and high-tech classroom methods.  Colorado Science Conference, Denver, CO

Sullivan, S. M., Taylor, J., Fierer, N., Holland-Moritz, H., Swihart, K., Heiland, R. (2016, May).  Achieving the Education Outreach Goals of an NSF CAREER Award Through the Mysterious Microbes Project. CIRES Rendezvous, Boulder, CO

Taylor, J. (2016). Mysterious Microbes webinar series and professional development workshop

Smith, L.K., Gold A., Anderson, S., Taylor, J., & Batchelor, R. (2016, September). Research Experiences for Community College Students in Colorado: Insights into improving the pipeline of 2YC students into the geosciences. Geological Society of America. Denver, CO

Taylor, J., Sullivan, S.  (2015). Know Your AQ: Tracking air quality in Colorado four-module curriculum funded by and produced in support of the NASA DISCOVER-AQ mission that integrates research from the air quality campaign.

Sullivan, S.M., Taylor, J., Rockwell, A., Lee-Taylor, J., Gardiner, L. (2015, July). Know Your AQ Engaging action and awareness about air quality issues in Colorado’s Front Range. NAGT Earth Educators Rendezvous, Boulder, CO

Sullivan, S.M., Taylor, J., Rockwell, A., Lee-Taylor, J., Gardiner, L. (2015, March). Know Your AQ: Citizen-science air pollution monitoring & air quality education in Rocky Mountain National Park. RMNP Biennial Research Conference, Estes Park, CO

Taylor, J., Kellagher, E., Sullivan, S. (2014). SDO Project Suite curriculum funded by and produced in support of the NASA-funded Solar Dynamics Observatory mission featuring space weather and Sun-Earth interactions data and concepts.