Megan F. Plenge
Teaching Associate Professor
UNC-BEST Coordinator for Earth Science Education
105 Mitchell Hall, CB#3315
Google Scholar Profile
PhD. Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, 2012
M.A.T. Secondary Science Education, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2005
B.S. Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 2005
My current research explores the relationship between instructional practices and students’ learning gains, interest in geoscience, and self-efficacy. Instructional practices I’m particularly interested in include structuring content around skills-based learning objectives, and incorporating high-inquiry activities into lecture and labs. I am interested in assessing the effect that explicit nature of science instruction has on student interest and perceived value of geoscience, particularly focusing on the role models play in scientific discovery. I am also interested in how student conceptions around the nature of science change based on teaching methodology. I am not taking on graduate students, though I would love to work with an undergraduate interested in geoscience education research. I am happy to consult with graduate or undergraduate students on relevant projects.
Research and Activities
- Investigating how the content, inquiry level, and delivery method of introductory geoscience labs impacts student learning gains and interest
- Investigating how authentic inquiry labs impact student self-efficacy and nature of science understanding in an introductory geoscience lab.
Plenge, M.F., Hutson, B.L. & Graniero, L.E., 2021. The BeAMS project: Using inquiry and Modeling to introduce students to the research process in an introductory geology laboratory. The Journal of Geoscience Education, DOI: 10.1080/10899995.2021.1951080 Engelke, A., B. L. Hutson, K.A. Hogan, J.M. Williams, D. Mizzy, M. Plenge, J. Coble, J. Corbat, and M. McCombs. 2020. Faculty Collaborations to put Maker Competencies into Course Assignments. In K.M. Peery (Ed.) Maker Literacies for Academic Libraries: Integration into Curriculum. ALA Editions. Plenge, M.F., Engel, A.S., Omelon, C.R. & Bennett, P.C. 2017. Thermophilic Archaeal Diversity and Methanogenesis from El Tatio Geyser Field, Chile. Geomicrobiology Journal 34: 220-230. DOI: 10.1080/01490451.2016.1168496