Meet the NSTA Leadership
Dr. Karen L. Ostlund, President, 2012–2013
Dr. Karen Ostlund is president of NSTA. She began serving her one-year term on June 1, 2012. Ostlund is retired from the College of Natural Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin, where she was the director of Uteach/Dell Center for New Teacher Success. Currently, she serves on the advisory council for the Natural Sciences Center at the University of Texas at Austin and is an adjunct professional developer at the Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California at Berkeley.
A dedicated and passionate member of the science education community, Ostlund brings more than 35 years of leadership and teaching experience to NSTA. She began her professional career as a classroom teacher in Minnesota before moving to Texas to become a professor of science education at the University of Texas at Tyler. In 1985, Ostlund left the University of Texas at Tyler to accept a position as professor of science education at Texas State University. Before joining the faculty at the University of Texas at Austin in 2002, Ostlund was the director of the Science Education Center at the University of Texas at Arlington.
An NSTA life member and recipient of the NSTA Distinguished Teaching Award, Ostlund has contributed extensively to the association. Ostlund has served on the advisory board for NSTA's Science and Children journal, worked on the program committee for the 1998 NSTA Area Conference in Albuquerque, and was the local arrangements chair for the 1995 NSTA Area Conference in San Antonio. Additionally, she was a contributor to the 1997 resource book, NSTA Pathways to the Science Standards; has presented annually at NSTA conferences since 1984; and was a member of the Children's Book Council.
Ostlund's devotion to science education is also evident by her involvement in numerous other professional organizations and contributions to the field. Before becoming president of the Council for Elementary Science International (CESI) in 1997, Ostlund served on the organization's board of directors. She has also served on the board of directors for the Informal Science Education Association of Texas from 2000 to 2002 and authored several books, chapters, textbooks and journal articles on a variety of topics in science education.
Ostlund was the recipient of the 2006 Skoog Cup and the 2004 Texas Council of Elementary Science Rebecca Sparks Elementary Science Award. Her other awards and accomplishments include receiving the You Make a Difference Award from Eanes Independent School District in 1998; the 1994 Distinguished Alumni Award from the Kenosha Bradford High School Alumni Association; the 1989 TEA Award for Promoting Educational Innovation; being honored as "favorite professor" by the Alfred Nolle Chapter of Alpha Chi; and being named a finalist for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Scholarly/Creative Activity.
Ostlund earned her Bachelor of Science degree in elementary education, M.A. in elementary education and Ph.D. in education from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Bill Badders, President-Elect, 2012–2013
Bill Badders is president-elect of the National Science Teachers Association. He began serving his one-year term on June 1, 2012 and will assume the office of president on June 1, 2013. Badders is retired from the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) in Cleveland, Ohio, where he was the director of the Cleveland Math and Science Partnership.
For more than four decades, Badders has been a devoted teacher and dedicated leader in science education. In 1971, he began his teaching career as an elementary science resource teacher in Cleveland. He has also held several other positions in CMSD, including most recently serving as the director and principal investigator for the Cleveland Math and Science Partnership program.
A passionate member of NSTA, Badders has contributed extensively to the association. He has served as a division director on NSTA's board of directors, worked on several committees, panels and tasks forces dating back to the early 1990s, served as a judge for the Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision program and NSTA New Science Teacher Academy, and presented numerous sessions at NSTA national and area conferences.
Badders devotion to science education is also evidenced by his involvement in numerous other professional organizations. He has served as president and treasurer of the Cleveland Regional Council of Science Teachers (CRCST) and the Society of Elementary Presidential Awardees (SEPA). Badders also served on the board of directors, as an elected district representative, of the Science Education Council of Ohio (SECO).
Throughout his career, Badders has been honored for his contributions to science education. He received a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (1992) and is a Fulbright Memorial Teacher Fund recipient (2000). He has served on many national and regional advisory panels for the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), the National Research Council (NRC) and the National Science Foundation (NSF).
Badders earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Grove City College in Grove City, Pennsylvania, in 1971 and earned a master's of education degree from Cleveland State University in 1974.
Dr. Patricia Simmons, Retiring President, 2012–2013
Dr. Patricia Simmons, professor and head of the Department of Math, Science, and Technology Education at North Carolina State University (NC State), is retiring president of NSTA. She began her one-year term on June 1, 2012.
A life member of NSTA, Simmons has a long and distinguished history in science education. Before joining NC State University in 2008, Simmons was the Orthwein Professor of Life-long Learning in the Sciences at the University of Missouri/St. Louis Science Center, Professor of Science Education at the University of Georgia, and a public school science teacher in Missouri.
Simmons served on the NSTA board as research division director from 2002 to 2005, served as chair of both the NSTA Development Advisory Board and the NSTA Foundation Task Force, and was a member of the NSTA Awards Recognition Task Force. She was the lead organizer for the NSF/NSTA Research Agenda in Science Education project; editor of NSTA's Assessment in Science book; and was a member of the Author/Editorial Board for the Journal of College Science Teaching, Science Scope, and Science Teacher journals. Simmons helped form a guiding strategy document as a member of the NSTA Strategy 2005 team and received two Ohaus Awards for Innovations in College Science Teaching. Simmons is also a regular presenter at NSTA and National Association of Research in Science Teaching (NARST) conferences.
Along with her commitment to NSTA and science education, Simmons has also served in many distinguished positions with other leading science education organizations. She is a past president of the Association for Science Teacher Education (ASTE), former secretary for the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, and a former National Association for Research in Science Teaching (NARST) board member. She has participated in a number of panels and plenary sessions, and served as the principal investigator on multimillion-dollar grant projects awarded by NSF and the U.S. Department of Education.
Simmons holds a Ph.D. in science education from the University of Iowa, an M.A. in biological sciences from the University of Missouri, and a B.S. from Southeast Missouri State University.
Dr. David L. Evans, Executive Director
Dr. David L. Evans is the executive director of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the world's largest professional organization representing science educators of all grade levels.
Before joining the association staff in February 2013, Dr. Evans served as the Director of the Center for Sustainability: Earth, Energy, and Climate at Noblis, Inc., a Virginia-based not-for-profit provider of science-related, strategic, and technology consulting services to government and commercial entities. During his time there he worked to build companywide science-based initiatives focused on emerging opportunities to aid federal, state, and local governments in development of strategies for adapting to climate change.
Prior to joining Noblis in 2007, Dr. Evans served as the Under Secretary for Science at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., where he directed research and education activities and oversaw strategic planning, outreach, fundraising, and hiring for the national museum and several research institutions, including the National Science Resources Center, the Natural History Museum, the Air and Space Museum, the National Zoo, and the Environmental Research Center.
While at the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) from 1993 to 2002, Dr. Evans served the organization in several different capacities. As the Assistant Administrator for Oceanic & Atmospheric Research (OAR), Dr. Evans directed OAR's scientific research and development programs in coastal, ocean, marine, atmospheric, climate and space and geophysical sciences, through research laboratories and a network of university-based programs across the country. In 2001, Dr. Evans led the White House Global Climate Change Initiative, coordinating related activities of some 12 federal agencies. In previous positions at NOAA, Dr. Evans was Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Marine Fisheries Service (1997–98) and was the Senior Scientist and Deputy Assistant Administrator for the National Ocean Services (1993–1997).
Before coming to Washington, D.C., in the mid-1980s, Dr. Evans was a tenured professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island and was a classroom teacher in Media, Pennsylvania.
Dr. Evans's devotion to the science and education community is also evidenced by his involvement in numerous other professional organizations. He is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Meteorological Society, and is the former treasurer of The Oceanography Society. He is a former member of the Governing Board of the Indo-U.S. Science & Technology Forum and Chairman of the Board for the Research Channel. He has also participated in a number of panels for the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and NOAA.
Dr. Evans has also published extensively for the science and mathematics communities. He has authored numerous scientific publications, contributed to dozens of scholarly journals, and is a reviewer for Science magazine.
Dr. Evans holds a Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Rhode Island and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Pennsylvania. He studied for his teaching certification at Villanova University.