Geoscience Education Research (GER) involves how people think and learn about Earth at many different scales and in many different environments.

Dr. McNeal is a discipline-based education researcher and studies how people think and learn about Earth systems and global change phenomena.

Research Interests

  1. Student's conceptual model development of complex earth systems
  2. Assessing people's knowledge and perceptions of climate change
  3. Using technology and active learning practices in formal and informal learning environments to engage students and the public in the geosciences 
  4. Interaction of affect and cognition on student engagement and learning 
  5. Development and testing of programs that assist scientists and engineers in communicating science
  6. Recruitment and engagement of under-represented groups in geosciences.

Research Areas:

  • Geoscience Education, Geocognition, Global Change Education, Discipline Based Education Research, Climate Communication, Active Learning

Subject Areas

  • Environmental Geosciences
  • Geoscience Education Research
Past Affiliations

Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences, College of Sciences and Mathematics, Auburn University
2016 - 2020

Associate Professor, Department of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, College of Sciences, North Carolina State University (past)
2013 - 2016

Geology, Geography
PhD, Texas A&M University, Geology, 2007
MS, Texas A&M University, Oceanography, 2003
BS, Eckerd College, Marine Science, 2000
discipline based education cognitive science educational psychology higher education minority education climate change earth science geoscience global change