Arlington, Va., June 11, 2012—On June 1, Dr. Karen L. Ostlund, a member of the Advisory Council for the Texas Natural Science Center at The University of Texas at Austin and adjunct professional developer at the Lawrence Hall of Science at the University of California at Berkeley, began her one-year term as president of the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all.
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 a professor of science education at Texas State University. Before joining the College of Natural Sciences as the director of the UTeach/Dell Center for New Teacher Success 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.
“We are excited to have Karen on board as president,” said Gerry Wheeler, NSTA Interim Executive Director. “Dr. Ostlund is a well-respected leader in the science education arena and we are fortunate to have her leadership and expertise at NSTA.”
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 2000–2002 and authored many 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 1995 and 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.
The Arlington, VA-based National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), www.nsta.org, is the largest professional organization in the world promoting excellence and innovation in science teaching and learning for all. NSTA’s current membership includes approximately 60,000 science teachers, science supervisors, administrators, scientists, business and industry representatives, and others involved in science education.
Kate Falk, NSTA