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Ruth Krumhansl is an expert in curriculum development, education research, science teaching, and applied science with a focus on using Internet-based tools to bring authentic scientific data into the K–16 classroom.
Krumhansl is the Director of the Oceans of Data Institute, an initiative dedicated to transforming K–16 science education to support student entry into a world of Big Data. Currently, she is leading the Oceans of Data Institute team in conducting research to deepen understanding of how students learn to work with data, developing new materials and teaching approaches, and convening experts and stakeholders to forge new pathways to achieve data literacy for all. Krumhansl is also working with SRI International and NASA to create websites that will allow teachers to access NASA’s remotely sensed Earth observation mission data. (Read a blog post by Krumhansl about the Oceans of Data Institute and the importance of teaching data literacy to high school students.)
In collaboration with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Krumhansl led a multidisciplinary review of studies and expert opinion and developed guidelines for the development of educational electronic interfaces to large scientific data infrastructures. The guidelines, described in the report Visualizing Oceans of Data, are being instantiated in the Ocean Tracks project, which is developing an interactive website to provide student access to near real-time and archival data from electronically tagged marine animals, drifting buoys, and Earth-orbiting satellites, along with web-based data visualization and analysis tools.
Krumhansl is lead author of Foundation Science: Earth Science, a full-year Earth science course for high school stressing rigorous, inquiry-oriented learning, which will be published by LAB-AIDS in 2014.
Before joining EDC, Krumhansl was a high school science teacher and department coordinator, a chief scientist and senior project manager in environmental consulting on Superfund sites, and a petroleum exploration geologist. Her career in applied science immersed her in the search for patterns in complex geospatial data, providing a foundation for her current interest and work in preparing students to live in a data-intensive world.