Stroud Water Research Center Names New Education Director

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Science Education from the Scientist’s Perspective

Avondale, Pa. – Dr. Susan E. Gill has been named the Stroud Water Research Center’s new Director of Education. She says her mission is to expand the Center’s excellent educational programs and attract new audiences while “making science accessible in a way that maintains its integrity.”

With a Ph.D. in Geology and an M.A. in Environmental Education, Dr. Gill blends the scientist’s commitment to research with a strong teaching background. She notes the decline in the number of students in the U.S. pursuing higher degrees in the sciences with alarm, and aims to broaden the Stroud Water Research Center’s reach, both to middle- and high school aged students, and to adults who can influence the choices these students make.

Corporate executives comprise another new audience that Dr. Gill plans to address through programs focused on the Center’s work that are relevant to industry’s concerns about freshwater resources and the environmental impact their companies have on streams and rivers.

Dr. Gill comes to the Stroud Water Research Center after receiving her Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Pennsylvania and after serving as Director of Professional Education Programs in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science. At Penn, she developed the Master of Environmental Studies Program, which grew from 15 students in its first year in 1997 to nearly 100 students enrolled today. She also served as Executive Director of the Institute for Environmental Studies and has been working to launch an international environmental institute at Penn.

Dr. Gill first visited the Stroud Water Research Center when she was a graduate student at Beaver (now Arcadia) University. She remembers thinking that this would be “heaven on earth” as a place to work for a scientist or educator. Returning to the Center as a Ph.D. student at the University of Pennsylvania, she was attracted to the environment in which “good people were doing good science — and in a beautiful place.” Dr. Gill’s new office overlooks the Center’s pond and the White Clay Creek, where Stroud scientists have been conducting research for 40 years.