Susan Lynds

Geoscience Education Evaluation, Program Assessment

Susan Lynds


Susan has been a program evaluator and associate scientist at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) at the University of Colorado at Boulder since 2004.  She has conducted internal and external evaluation studies for programs funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, NASA, the U.S. Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.   She holds an M.S. in science education from Oregon State University and has over 15 years of experience in qualitative and quantitative methods of evaluation.. She has evaluated for effectiveness dozens of teacher professional development programs, scientist and journalist workshops, curriculum development projects, informal science education programs, and online resources. In addition, she has provided external review for educational research instruments and protocols in STEM education projects.

Professional Preparation

  • University of Colorado, Boulder, CO; Journalism (Natural Science emphasis); B.S. 1979
  • Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR; Science Education (Oceanography emphasis); M.S. 1998


  • Professional Research Assistant/Associate Scientist II/III, 2004-present, CIRES Education and Outreach, Cooperative Institute for  Research  in  Environmental  Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • Program Associate, 1998-2000, Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University, Hatfield Marine Science Center, Newport, Oregon.
  • Graduate Research Assistant, 1997-1998, Visitor Analysis and Marketing Study, Hatfield Marine Science Center Museum, Newport, Oregon
  • Professional Research Assistant, 1992-1994, Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado
  • Computer Systems Analyst, 1990-1991, Environmental Research Laboratories (ERL), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado
  • Physical Scientist, 1982-1990, National Geophysical Data Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Boulder, Colorado

Synergistic Activities

Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences Outstanding Performance Award 2018

Science Prize for Online Resources in Education (SPORE)--AAAS Co-recipient, 2011.

Outstanding Paper Award, National Association of Geoscience Teachers Co-recipient, 2013.

Evaluation Consultant for the University of Colorado Office of Outreach and Engagement, providing evaluation training and individual consulting for recipients of the annual faculty Outreach Awards.

Volunteer in seabird husbandry and environmental interpretation at the Oregon Coast Aquarium 1994-1998.

Museum Evaluation Experience

A multifaceted assessment of adult informal learning at the Hatfield Marine Science CenterMaster’s Thesis, Oregon State University (1998) was a triangulated evaluation of three exhibits and their impact on a visitor’s experience and learning in the new visitor’s center in 1997. 
Susan has provided museum exhibit evaluation consulting to exhibit developers for the Children's Museum of Denver and the National Center for Atmospheric Research; in addition, she applied museum exhibit evaluation methodology to an analysis of exhibit hall booth designs for CIRES.

Publications and Presentations

Coffman, J. L., & Godeaux (nee Lynds), S. (1985). Catalog of strong-motion Accelerograph records (No. SE-38). World Data Center A for Solid Earth Geophysics, U.S. Department of Commerce. Retrieved from

Lynds, S., Auyong, J., Gilden, J., & Cone, J. (1999). Making a difference: the development of Oregon Sea Grant’s management information and accountability system. Corvallis, Or.: Oregon Sea Grant, Oregon State University.

Sweeny, J. K., & Lynds, S. (2001). Reform and Museums:  Enhancing Science Education in Formal and Informal Settings. Professional Development--Leadership and the Diverse Learner, Volume III, 125–132.

Ledley, T. S., Dahlman, L., McAuliffe, C., Haddad, N., Taber, M. R., Domenico, B., Lynds S., Grogan, M. (2011). Making Earth Science Data Accessible and Usable in Education. Science, 333(6051), 1838–1839.

Ledley, T. S., Taber, M. R., Lynds, S., Domenico, B., & Dahlman, L. (2012). A Model for Enabling an Effective Outcome-Oriented Communication Between the Scientific and Educational Communities. Journal of Geoscience Education, 60(3), 257–267.

Taber, M. R., Ledley, T. S., Lynds, S., Domenico, B., & Dahlman, L. (2012). Geoscience Data for Educational Use: Recommendations from Scientific/Technical and Educational Communities. Journal of Geoscience Education, 60(3), 249–256.

Gold, A. U., Ledley, T. S., Buhr, S. M., Fox, S., McCaffrey, M., Niepold, F., … Lynds, S. E. (2012). Peer-Review of Digital Educational Resources—A Rigorous Review Process Developed by the Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network (CLEAN). Journal of Geoscience Education, 60(4), 295–308.

Ellins, K. K., Ledley, T. S., Haddad, N., McNeal, K., Gold, A., Lynds, S., & Libarkin, J. (2014). EarthLabs : Supporting Teacher Professional Development to Facilitate Effective Teaching of Climate Science. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(3), 330–342.

Sullivan, S. M. B., Ledley, T. S., Lynds, S. E., & Gold, A. U. (2014). Navigating Climate Science in the Classroom: Teacher Preparation, Perceptions and Practices. Journal of Geoscience Education, 62(4), 550–559.

Liu, G., Heron, S. F., Eakin, C. M., Muller-Karger, F. E., Vega-Rodriguez, M., Guild, L. S., … Lynds, S. (2014). Reef-Scale Thermal Stress Monitoring of Coral Ecosystems: New 5-km Global Products from NOAA Coral Reef Watch. Remote Sensing, 6(11), 11579–11606.

Vega-Rodriguez, M., Müller-Karger, F. E., Hallock, P., Quiles-Perez, G. A., Eakin, C. M., Colella, M., … Ruzicka, R. (2015). Influence of water-temperature variability on stony coral diversity in Florida Keys patch reefs. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 528, 173–186.

Gold, A. U., Kirk, K., Morrison, D., Lynds, S., Sullivan, S. B., Grachev, A., & Persson, O. (2015). Arctic Climate Connections Curriculum: A Model for Bringing Authentic Data Into the Classroom. Journal of Geoscience Education, 63(3), 185–197.

Smith, L., Rooney-Varga, J. N., Morrison, D., Lynds, S., & Oonk, D. (2016). Media Literacy as a Pathway to Bridge the Digital Divide: Interest Driven Media Projects for Teachers in the Trenches. In M. Urban & D. Falvo (Eds.), Improving K-12 STEM Education Outcomes through Technological Integration (pp. 23–43). IGI Global.

Oonk, D., Leckey, E., Gold, A. U., Margo-Schneider, J., Littrell-Baez, M., Smith, L., & Lynds, S. E. (2017). Integrating Technology: Lens on Climate Change: Using Place-Based Learning to Explore Climate Change Effects. Science Scope, 41(2), 86–95.

Gold, A. U., Leckey, E., Littrell-Baez, M., Smith, L., & Lynds, S. (2018). Student-Produced Short Films About Impacts of Climate Change on Local Communities: An Effective Approach That Combines Art and Place-Based Learning. Opportunities and challenges of program implementation with secondary school students. Journal of Sustainability Education, 17.

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