Laura Guertin

Distinguished Professor, Earth Sciences
Tomezsko, 102
25 Yearsley Mill Road
Media, PA 19063

Laura Guertin received her B.A. in Geology from Bucknell University and her Ph.D. in Marine Geology and Geophysics from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science. Dr. Guertin’s primary research focus is the effective integration of innovative technologies to improve student learning in introductory-level geoscience courses, particularly to improve student scientific literacy, information literacy, and geospatial skills. Research projects have included student-generated audio narratives, ePortolios with Google Earth and ArcGIS Story Maps, and other technological tools for geoscience research and outreach. Her courses cover Earth science topics such as oceanography, climate change, energy, water, and sustainability. Penn State University has honored Guertin with university-wide awards, including the George W. Atherton Award for Excellence in Teaching (2006), Teaching and Learning with Technology Impact Award (2019), and The President’s Award for Excellence in Academic Integration (2020).

In 2009, she was recognized at the national level with the Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award from the Geological Society of America (GSA). In 2015, Dr. Guertin was elected as a GSA Fellow and was named one of 100 women nationwide as an INSIGHT Into Diversity Inspiring Women in STEM. In 2020, the Journal of Geoscience Education recognized her with the journal’s Outstanding Reviewer Award. She has been honored with a U.S. Congressional Citation for civic and community engagement efforts, and a United States Senate Certificate of Special Recognition for her work at sea with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

She is the campus coordinator for the environmental inquiry minor and Earth sustainability certificate. She has received funding from the National Science Foundation, EPA, and the Society of Women Environmental Professionals. She is the past chair of the Geoscience Division of the Council on Undergraduate Research and a former councilor-at-large with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. She blogs for the American Geophysical Union (AGU) on geoscience education and educational technology at GeoEd Trek: and in 2015 was named to EdTech’s Dean’s List for Must-Read Higher Education I.T. Blogs. She enjoys traveling to National Parks and attending Philadelphia sporting events.

Media inquiries on pedagogical integration of technological tools and ocean literacy are welcome.

Grants Awarded

Select funded grants

National Science Foundation: “Collaborative Research: Student Produced Audio Narratives (SPAN).” Principal Investigator. DUE-IUSE. 2017-2021. Award #1708646. Amount: $66,860.

National Science Foundation: “Targeted Math Science Partnership: Middle Grades Earth and Space Science Education.” Co-Principal Investigator. MSP Targeted Awards & Geoscience Education. 2010-2017. Award #096792. Amount: $7,310,927.

National Science Foundation: “Faculty Development Workshops to Support Engagement in Undergraduate Research.” Co-Principal Investigator. NSF CCLI-Phase I (Exploratory). 2008-2014. Award #0841267. Amount: $49,000.

National Science Foundation: “Collaborative Proposal: Building and Maintaining a Pipeline for Diversity: A Track2 Proposal.” Co-Principal Investigator. NSF GEO – Opportunity for Enhancing Diversity & Education and Human Resources. 2005-2012. Award #0503521. Amount: $900,872.

National Science Foundation: “Building a Pipeline for Diversity.”  Co-Principal Investigator.  NSF GEO – Catalyzing New International Collaborations, Geoinformatics, Environmental Social & Behavior Science, Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity, Engineering Education. 2003-2005. Amount: $92,726  

Select Publications

Fortner, S., Manduca, C., Guertin, L., Szymanski, D., Villalobos, J. (2019). Teaching for Earth resilience: A strategy for increased diversity and equity. GSA Today, 29: 2 pages.

Guertin, L.A., Clements, N. (2018). Starting the research process with information literacy in introductory-level Earth science courses. In: N. Hensel (Ed.), Course-Based Undergraduate Research – Educational Equity and High-Impact Practice. Virginia: Stylus Publishing, 25-34.

Committee for Convocation on Integrating Discovery-Based Research into the Undergraduate Curriculum (Guertin and 11 others), Division on Earth and Life Studies, Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2015). Integrating Discovery-Based Research into the Undergraduate Curriculum: Report of a Convocation. Washington DC: National Academies Press.

Guertin, L.A. (2014). Introducing university students to authentic, hands-on undergraduate geoscience research in entry-level coursework. In: V. Tong (Ed.), Geoscience Research and Education: Teaching at Universities. Netherlands: Springer, 215-221.

Guertin, L. (2013). Community-based research with podcasting in introductory geoscience courses. CUR Quarterly, 34(2): 13. (CUR = Council on Undergraduate Research)

Lee, T.-K., Guertin, L.A. (2012). Building an educational game with the Google Earth Application Program Interface to enhance geographic literacy. In: S. Whitmeyer, J. Bailey, D. De Paor, T. Ornduff (Eds.), Geological Society of America Special Paper 492: Google Earth, Virtual Globes, and Virtual Visualizations: Modern Approaches to Geoscience Inquiry and Research. Colorado: Geological Society of America, 395-402.

Guertin, L.A., Stubbs, C., Millet, C., Lee, T.K., Bodek, M.J. (2012). Enhancing geographic and digital literacy with a student-generated course portfolio in Google Earth. Journal of College Science Teaching, 42(2): 32-37.

Guertin, L.A., Zappe, S.E., Kim, H. (2007). Just-in-Time Teaching (JiTT) exercises to engage students in an introductory-level dinosaur course. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 16: 507-514. Graduate student co-author.

Guertin, L.A. (2006). Integrating handheld technology with field investigations in introductory-level geoscience courses. Journal of Geoscience Education 54: 143-146.

Guertin, L.A., Rufo, J.L. (2004). A positive science and technology experience for Junior Girl Scouts through a college service learning project. Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering, 10(1):79-88.  Undergraduate student co-author.