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Name: Stofer, Kathryn "Katie"
Title: Research Assistant Professor, STEM Education and Outreach
Organization: Agricultural Education and Communications
Education: Ph.D., Science Education, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 2013
Office Address: Rolfs 307B, PO BOX 110540 GAINESVILLE FL 326110540
Email: stofer@ufl.edu
Telephone: (352) 273-3690


Katie Stofer focuses on researching Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Education, especially in free-choice or informal education and outreach settings, with an emphasis on making STEM evident in agricultural education. Her primary interests center on how the public gathers, makes meaning from, and uses current scientific research findings, and how that use relates to their science identities. In particular, she examines science communication using visualizations of data and models across a variety of scientific disciplines. She collaborates with scientists doing basic research to help them design innovative outreach projects around their work. Finally, she is interested in turning her research into practice by helping scientists and formal and informal educators improve their outreach. Dr. Stofer's Extension program includes working with a variety of stakeholders in many disciplines to broadly disseminate their work. She is working or affiliated with a variety of UF water-related groups including the Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, the Ag-STEM Education Research Lab, the Florida Institute for Sustainable Energy, the Florida Climate Institute, Florida 4-H, and Extension programs on marine debris and water quality monitoring. Nationally, she is an advisor to the National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics. A lifelong love of learning, especially in museums and out-of-school activities has ultimately shaped her career. After growing up in Texas, Katie has enjoyed moving around the country as part of her studies and work. Her original interests in neuroscience led her from her undergraduate degree in California to researching brain activity using fMRI in San Antonio. She moved to Boston to pursue science journalism and began working in outreach at the Museum of Science there. She spent two years as a video news release producer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center outside of Washington, DC, and then moved to full-time education and outreach at the Maryland Science Center, managing an exhibit on Earth Science news. It was there that she began educational research and evaluation in the museum setting. Her Ph.D. work ultimately brought her interests in research, education, and communication together and set up her long-term research agenda at the University of Florida.

Keywords: free-choice learning; STEM education; science communication; broader impacts; public engagement with science; science literacy; agricultural literacy; agricultural education; Ag-STEM education; agriscience education