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Daniel Philip Shepardson

Geoenvironmental & Science Education
Departments of Curriculum and Instruction and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science


My primary area of scholarship focuses upon children's understandings and ways of reasoning about earth and environmental science phenomena, while my secondary area emphasizes instruction that challenges children's understandings.  This research looks at children's conceptual frameworks/mental models and how their frameworks are challenged and restructured by encounters with data derived from science investigations, and from social interactions with peers and teacher.  For the last several years this research has emphasized students’ conceptions of the greenhouse effect, global warming, climate change, and climate system.

Curricular and Professional Development Materials:

Activities for Conceptualizing Climate and Climate Change,, consists of 18 different activities grouped into four modules that focus on climate and climate change concepts: ecological implications, greenhouse gases, extreme weather, and natural processes.  The activities are data-rich and visualization-based.

The Dynamics of Climate,, utilizes climate datasets and activities to develop participants understanding of climate.  The program was developed around four guiding questions: What is a climate system, what are the components that makeup this system?  What happens when we change the components of a climate system?  What are the climate and environmental impacts of a changing climate system?  And what can people do about a changing climate system?  


Ph.D. University of Iowa, 1990, Science Education, Environmental Studies
M.S.Ed.    Utah State University, 1984, Secondary Education, Biology
B.S. Utah State University, 1980, Wildlife Science

Selected Publications

  • Choi, S., Niyogi, D., Shepardson, D.P., & Charusombat, U. (2010). Do Earth and environmental science textbooks promote middle and high school students’ conceptual development about climate change?: Textbooks’ consideration of students’ conceptions. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, July, 889-898.
  • Shepardson, D.P., Niyogi, D.*, Choi, S., & Charusombat, U. (2011). Student conceptions about the greenhouse effect, global warming, and climate change. Climatic Change, 104(3/4), 481-507.
  • Shepardson, D.P., Choi, S., Niyogi, D., & Charusombat, U. (2011). Seventh grade students’ mental models of the greenhouse effect. Environmental Education Research, 17(1), 1-17. Article cited in the National Research Council (2012) Climate Change Education in Formal Settings, K-14: A Workshop Summary.
  • Shepardson, D.P., Niyogi, D., Roychoudhury, A., Hirsch, A. (2012). Conceptualizing Climate Change in the Context of a Climate System: Implications for Climate and Environmental Education. Environmental Education Research, 18(3), 323-352.
  • Shepardson, D.P., Roychoudhury, A., Hirsch, A., Niyogi, D., and Top, S.M. (2014). When the atmosphere warms it rains and ice melts: Seventh grade students’ conceptions of a climate system. Environmental Education Research, 20(3), 333-353.


  • Shepardson, D.P., Roychoudhury, A., and Hirsch, A. S., (2017). Teaching and Learning about Climate Change: A Framework for Educators (Eds). Routledge.
  • Shepardson, D.P. (2016). A Place Called Turkey Run: A Celebration of Indiana’s Second State Park in Photographs and Words. Purdue University Press. Officially Endorsed Indiana Legacy Project.
  • Shepardson, D.P. (2016). Photographing Turkey Run: A Guide to Nature Photography. Purdue University Press
  • Shepardson, D.P. (2001). Assessment in science: A guide to professional development and classroom practice (Ed.). Dordrecht, Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Shepardson, D.P., Harbor, J., Bell, C., Wee, B., Klagges, H., Meyer, J., Priddy, M., Melton, W., Schellenberger, L., Leuenberger, T., Koschmann, M., Fast, J., & Burgess, W. (2005). ENVISION: An Environmental Science Institute for Teachers. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University.
  • Shepardson, D.P. (2012). Visualizing Nature: A Journey Through the Midwest in Photographs and Words. Nature First Publishing,


2002-Present            Professor of Geoenvironmental and Science Education
College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
2003-Present Joint Appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
1999-2003 Courtesy Appointment in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Science
Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
1995-2002 Associate Professor of Science Education
College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
1990-1995 Assistant Professor of Science Education
College of Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
1987-1990 Graduate Research Assistant, Science Education
The University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Director of Curriculum
The National Energy Foundation, Salt Lake City, UT


Adjunct Instructor, Elementary Science Methods
Utah State University, Logan, UT  84322


Middle School Science Teacher
Grand County School District, Moab, UT  85432    


Wildlife Technician
Utah State University-U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service-Utah Division of Natural Resources
Intermountain Mountain Lion Study
Utah State University, Logan, UT 84322


EDCI 50600      Environmental Education
EDCI 51600 Seminar in Environmental Education
EDCI 51700 Survey of Science Education
EDCI 61900 Science Learners
EAS 31200 Capstone Environmental Science for Elementary Education