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Cailin Huyck Orr

Cailin Huyck Orr ’96

About Me

As the Associate Director at the Science Education Resource Center here at Carleton, I work with the SERC team on co-ordinating national and campus-based efforts to improve STEM education for undergraduate students. This includes professional development for implementing evidence-based teaching practice, supporting institutional change, promoting broadening access in STEM fields and building national-scale networks to support STEM education. Much more information about our work can be found on the SERC website where we have a portals for Higher Education broadly, for Geoscience Education and people interested in K-12 teaching and learning.

Education & Professional History

Carleton College, Biology, BA

University of Wisconsin - Madison, Center for Limnology, MS, PhD


Highlights & Selected Accomplishments

As part of a portfolio of projects related to broadening participation in STEM fields by students from backgrounds historically underrepresented in STEM, I've been working with two Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) programs. The North Star Alliance in Minnesota includes Carleton College. SERC has been working with North Star institutions since 2017, forming a community of practice for improving the transfer experience for LSAMP eligible students across the Alliance. The IINSPIRE Alliance includes institutions across a region centered in Iowa and including parts of Nebraska and Illinois. SERC has been working with IINSPIRE on professional development workshops for faculty since 2013. In 2018 I was awarded the Stokes award for outstanding service to the IINSPIRE Alliance for SERC's work building community and resources with Alliance faculty members.

Carleton alumna Catherine O'Reilly at Illinois State University and I are co-leading a project titled EDDIE Earth and Ecosystems. This project continues the work done in earlier Environmental Data-Driven Inquiry and Exploration projects working with undergraduate faculty to create teaching modules that expand the range of environmental data and approaches to working with data that students use in environmental science, limnology, ecology, hydrology and geology courses. The project is developing and validating a much larger suite of curricular modules to 1) improve student quantitative reasoning, 2) develop a community of practice to engage faculty members and foster a pedagogical orientation that favors open inquiry with large datasets and, 3) determine what mechanisms contribute to shifts in an instructor's pedagogical orientation.

One of the projects I helped lead is the Implementation Program for the NSF STEM Talent Expansion Center InTeGrate based at SERC. We had 16 teams of faculty members from across a range of college and universities working on making changes at scales 'larger than a course' to increase Earth literacy, broaden access to curriculum about sustainability, geoscience and societal issues, and help make students ready for careers on a changing planet. These programs serve as examples of programmatic change for other instututions.

I am currently working with the American Public Land Grant Universities (APLU) and a group from UC-C Boulder to build and support a national network of STEM Centers. Our current work follows a series of workshops SERC helped plan in 2013-15 to help center directors connect with each other and support stronger programming at their campuses. We recently published a toolkit to help center directors share best practices across the network. 

Professional Organizations & Affiliations

American Geophysical Union

Ecological Society of America

Geological Society of America

National Association of Geoscience Teachers

Profile updated February 5, 2019

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