Bridge over bay in Newport, Oregon.

Alicia Christensen

Education & Outreach Associate, RECCS Program Manager

Alicia Christensen


Alicia Christensen is an Education and Outreach Associate at CIRES. She currently manages the Research Experience for Community College Students (RECCS) program.  She is passionate about connecting students from under-served communities with the natural world.  Before joining CIRES, Alicia served as the Outreach Programs Manager for Denver Zoo for over seven years. Previous to this work, Alicia worked for the Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences Program at Oregon State University, where she coordinated a summer bridge to college program for entering OSU freshmen, facilitated teacher professional development, and taught undergraduate and graduate courses around the nature and communication of science.  Alicia holds a M.S. in Marine Resource Management, focused on marine education, and spent 7 years before and during her M.S. teaching in informal learning environments, including two aquariums.  Alicia is an enthusiastic ocean lover and can be found exploring some coastline when not in Colorado.

  • Outreach Program Manager, Denver Zoological Foundation, 2012-2020

  • Program Coordinator, Science and Math Investigative Learning Experiences Program, Oregon Sea Grant; Oregon State University, 2008-2012

  • Program Coordinator, Oregon Coast Aquarium, 2007-2008

  • Research and Teaching Assistant, Dept. Science Education, Oregon State University, 2005-2007

  • Regional Ocean Sciences Bowl Coordinator, Oregon State University, 2004-2006

  • Interpretive Park Ranger, National Park Service, 2004-2005

  • Marine Science Educator, Newfound Harbor Marine Institute, 2004

  • Educator, Ocean Journey Aquarium, 2002-2003

  • Project Manager, Colorado Natural Heritage Program, 2001-2002

  • Bat Field Research Technician, University of Kentucky, 2001

  • Christensen, A., Needham, M. D., & Rowe, S. (2009). Whale watchers’ past experience, value orientations, and awareness of consequences of actions on the marine environment. Tourism in Marine Environments, 5(4): 271-285.

  • Christensen, A., Rowe, S. and Needham, M. (2007). Value orientations, awareness of consequences, and participation in a whale watching education program in Oregon. Human Dimensions of Wildlife 12(4): 289-293.

  • Christensen, A. (2007) Tools for studying audience impact. Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conservation Education Committee Newsletter 1 (2): 6.

  • Christensen, A. (2007). A study of whale watching visitor’s cognitive constructs in relation to a whale watching outreach program: An assessment of Past Experience, Value Orientations, Awareness of Actions, and Conceptual Knowledge Structure. Oregon State University Scholars Archive (

  • Presentation and abstract “Developing Empathy Using Animals”, Out-of-school-time Initiatives Conference, San Antonio, TX, June, 2019

  • Presentation “STEM in Life Science: Connecting to Your Local Zoo”, NSTA STEM Forum and Expo, Denver, CO, July 2016

  • Presentation and abstract “Understanding the Needs of Out-of-School-Time Audiences, North American Association for Environmental Education, Oct., 2015

  • Poster Presentation and abstract “Peer evaluation of programming and teaching practices”, Association of Zoos and Aquariums Conference, 2014

  • Presentation and abstract “Engaging Students, Educators, and Scientists in a Community of Practice”, Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators Conference (NAME), July 2011

  • Co-presentation “The Nature and Process of Science for Ocean Educators”, (NAME), July 2011 Presentation and abstract “Developing Evaluation Tools For Free-Choice Learning Environments”,National Marine Educator’s Association (NMEA) conference, July 2006


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Get involved and stay up-to-date with CIRES CEEE.

CEEE Contact
Phone: 303-492-5670
Fax: 303-735-3644


CIRES Center for Education, Engagement and Evaluation
University of Colorado Boulder
488 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0449

CEEE Office Hours

8:00 am to 5:00 pm MT -- fall and spring semesters