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Monica Elser

Monica Elser
Senior Sustainability Fellow, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
Education Liaison, Flathead Lake Biological Station, University of Montana

monica.elser@flbs.umt.edu

Flathead Lake Biological Station
University of Montana
32125 Bio Station Lane
Polson, MT 59860

Monica spent many years engaged in limnological research and published her work in a wide range of scientific journals. She moved out of science research and into working to enhance science and sustainability science education within the K-12 community.  She has since published her work with students and teachers in a variety of education journals.

She continues to engage students of all ages with inquiry-based science curriculum that link communities with their local research university. She led the education team at the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability which developed the successful Ecology Explorers, Service at Salado, and Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools program. Ecology Explorers received the 2004 ASU Award for Innovation, Service at Salado received the 2006 ASU Award for Social Embeddedness, and the Sustainability Science for Sustainable Schools received the 2013 ASU President’s Award for Sustainability. She is currently the Head of Sustainability Education with the Broader Impacts Group at the University of Montana and the Education Liaison at the Flathead Lake Biological Research Station

MEd, Curriculum and Instruction, Arizona State University, 1998

MS, Ecology, University of Tennessee, 1983

BS, Biology, University of Notre Dame, 1980

Journal Articles

2015

Bestelmeyer, S. V., M. M. Elser, K. V. Spellman, E. B. Sparrow, S. S. Haan-Amato and A. Keener. 2015. Collaboraton, interdisciplinary thinking, and communication: New approaches to K-12 ecology education. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 13(1):37-43. DOI: 10.1890/140130. (link )

Warner, B. and M. Elser. 2015. How do sustainable schools integrate sustainability education? An assessment of certified sustainable K-12 schools in the United States. Journal of Environmental Education 46(1):1-22. DOI: 10.1080/00958964.2014.953020. (link )

2011

Elser, M. M., L. Pollari, E. Frisk and M. W. Wood. 2011. Linking curriculum and learning to facilities: Arizona State University's GK-12 Sustainable Schools Program. Educational Facility Planner 45(3):7-10. (link )

2009

Dresner, M. and M. M. Elser. 2009. Enhancing science teachers' understanding of ecosystem interactions with qualitative conceptual models. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology 6(Research 1):. (link )

2008

Cutts, B. B., C. Saltz and M. M. Elser. 2008. Insights into the interactions between educational messages: Looking across multiple organizations addressing water issues in Maricopa County, Arizona. Applied Environmental Education and Communication 7(1):40-50.

2005

Banks, D. L., M. M. Elser and C. Saltz. 2005. Analysis of the K-12 component of the Central Arizona--Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) project 1998 to 2002. Environmental Education Research 11(5):649-663. DOI: 10.1080/13504620500314272. (link )

2003

Elser, M. M., B. Musheno and C. Saltz. 2003. Backyard ecology: High school students participate in urban ecological research. The Science Teacher 70(5):44-45.

Posters

2016

Elser, M. M., M. L. Nation and S. R. Earl. 2016. Engaging non-scientists in urban ecology: Lessons learned from designing, implementing, and sustaining three place-based citizen science projects. Poster presented at the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Eighteenth Annual All Scientists Meeting and Poster Symposium, 15 January 2016, Skysong, Scottsdale, AZ.

2015

Elser, M. M. and M. L. Nation. 2015. Engaging non-scientists in urban ecology: Lessons learned from designing, implementing, and sustaining three place-based citizen science projects. Poster presented at the Citizen Science 2015 Conference, 11-12 February 2015, San Jose, CA. (link )

Gutierrez, V., A. Bhat, M. M. Elser and D. D. White. 2015. Citizen science through participation: Engaging students in cutting edge water conservation. Poster presented at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, April 27, 2015, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Gutierrez, V., D. M. Wald and M. Elser. 2015. Citizen science through participation: Engaging teachers and students in cutting-edge water conservation. Poster presented at the Citizen Science 2015 Conference, February 11-12, 2015, San Jose, CA.

2014

Daley, K., S. Waters and M. Elser. 2014. How volunteers in the Master Watershed Steward program impact their community. Poster presented at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, April 28, 2014, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

2013

Montes de Oca, M., S. Waters and M. M. Elser. 2013. Effective engagements at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. Poster presented on May 1, 2013 at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

Wittig, A., J. Adamson, M. M. Elser and L. Guevara. 2013. Effectiveness of the modified field trip curriculum: Teaching the importance of good conservation habits. Poster presented at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, May 1, 2013, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

2012

Elser, M. M. 2012. How do we link science and decision making for sustainability and urban climate adaptation?. Poster presented on April 19, 2012 at the NASA-NOAA-NSF Climate Change Education Principal Investigators Meeting, April 17-20, Arlington, VA.

2011

Elser, M. M., T. Ganesh, S. L. Harlan, G. M. Hupton, D. Medina and E. Ortiz. 2011. Creating a cross-disciplinary unit for middle school children on the urban heat island. Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at the 12-13 January 2011 CAP LTER 13th Annual Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University. (link )

Johnson, J. C., G. M. Hupton, D. Bonney and M. M. Elser. 2011. The web of inquiry: Urban black widow spider behavior as a tool to teach the scientific process. Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at the 12-13 January 2011 CAP LTER 13th Annual Poster Symposium and All Scientist Meeting, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University. (link )

2010

Boomgaard, D. and M. M. Elser. 2010. Ecology Explorers K-12 contributions to the CAP LTER project: Westwood High School. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at the January 14, 2010 12th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability.

Johnson, J. C., G. M. Hupton, D. Bonney and M. M. Elser. 2010. The web of inquiry: Urban black widow behavior as a tool to teach the scientific process. Poster presented at the 25-29 July 2010 47th Annual Meeting of the Animal Behavior Society, College of William and Mary, Williamsburg, VA.

Langstaff, L. and M. M. Elser. 2010. Ecology Explorers K-12 student contributions to the CAP LTER project: Hendrix High School. Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at the January 14, 2010 12th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability.

2009

Elser, M. M., S. R. Earl and M. McGraw. 2009. Weather, the built environment, and kids. Estes Park, CO. Poster presented at 14-16 September 2009 LTER All Scientist Meeting, Integrating Science and Society in a World of Constant Change.

Musheno, B. and M. M. Elser. 2009. Ecology Explorers: K-12 Student Contributions to the CAP LTER Project. Tempe, AZ. Poster presented at 11th Annual Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) Poster Symposium, January 15, 2009, Global Institute of Sustainability.

2008

Musheno, B. and M. M. Elser. 2008. Ecology Explorers: K-12 student contributions to the CAP LTER Project. Four posters by K-12 students presented at 10 January 2008 CAP LTER 10th Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.

2007

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2007. Teacher perceptions on the CAP LTER Ecology Explorers summer teacher internship program. Poster presented at the January 10, 2007 CAP LTER Ninth Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.. (link )

2006

Elser, M. M. 2006. Teacher perceptions of the CAP LTER Ecology Explorers summer teacher internship program. Poster presented at the September 20-23 LTER All Scientist Meeting, YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO.

Grimm, N. B., C. L. Redman, J. M. Briggs, C. Gries, M. M. Elser, B. Bolin, J. O. Allen, S. L. Harlan, S. H. Faeth, J. M. Anderies, J. C. Stutz, C. A. Martin, P. K. Westerhoff, R. Arrowsmith, J. A. Zehnder, J. Wu and A. P. Kinzig. 2006. Central Arizona -- Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER) Project. Poster presented at the September 20-23 LTER All Scientist Meeting, YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park, CO.

Saltz, C., N. Crocker, D. Taddy and M. M. Elser. 2006. Service at Salado, an urban environmental service-learning project. Poster presented at the 19 January 2006 CAP LTER 8th Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Saltz, C., M. M. Elser, K. Michel and B. B. Cutts. 2006. Water education provider survey results. Poster presented at the 19 January 2006 CAP LTER 8th Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Stinson-Keys, L., M. M. Elser and C. Saltz. 2006. Ecology Explorers: K-12 student contributions to the CAP LTER project. Poster presented at the 19 January 2006 CAP LTER 8th Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

2005

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2005. Graduate students and K-12 ecological outreach programs: Challenges and benefits. Poster presented at the 19 January 2005 CAP LTER Seventh Annual Poster Symposium, International Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Lemar, S., C. Saltz and M. M. Elser. 2005. Studying local landuse: Middle school students performing university level environmental work. Poster presented at the 19 January 2005 CAP LTER Seventh Annual Poster Symposium, International Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Saltz, C., N. Crocker, D. Taddy, D. L. Banks and M. M. Elser. 2005. Service at Salado, an urban environmental service-learning project. Poster presented at the 19 January 2005 CAP LTER Seventh Annual Poster Symposium, International Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

2004

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2004. Graduate students and K-12 ecological outreach programs: Challenges and benefits. Poster presented at July 30-August 7, 2004, 89th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Portland, OR.

Saltz, C., C. Hill and M. M. Elser. 2004. Ecology Explorers: Land-use prediction game. Poster presented at the 23 February 2004 Sixth Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University. Tempe, AZ.

Schoeninger, R., P. H. McCartney, C. Gries, C. Saltz, E. Ortiz-Barney, T. Craig, S. M. Scheiner and M. M. Elser. 2004. Ecology Explorers online data analysis. Poster presented at the 23 February 2004 Sixth Annual CAP LTER Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University. Tempe, AZ. (link )

2003

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2003. K-12 student contributions to the CAP LTER project (Ecology Explorers). Presented at February 19, 2003, CAP LTER Fifth Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

2002

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2002. Ecology Explorers: Program components. Poster presented at January 17, 2002, CAP LTER Fourth Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

2001

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2001. Ecology Explorers: K-12 student contributions to the CAP LTER project. Poster presented at the January 19, 2001, CAP LTER Third Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe AZ.

2000

Elser, M. M. and S. L. Williams. 2000. K-12 student contributions to the CAP LTER project. Poster presented at 19 January 2000, CAP LTER Second Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )

Elser, M. M. and S. L. Williams. 2000. Urban ecology and urban schools: A model for encouraging long-term research with school children and teachers. Poster presented at 6-10 August 2000, Ecological Society of America 85th Annual Meeting, Snowbird UT.

1999

Elser, J. J. 1999. CAP LTER K-12 education program. Poster presented at the 22 January 1999, CAP LTER First Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe.

Presentations

2009

Elser, M. M. 2009. Lessons learned: Urban ecology summer teacher internships. Presentation at the August 2-7, 2009 94th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Albuquerque, NM.

Nation, M. L., M. M. Elser and N. Oehm. 2009. Blogs, posts, and tweets: Potential uses of web-based and social networking media for communicating LTER science and conducting citizen science. Estes Park, CO. Working group organizers report presented at 14-16 September 2009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Integrating Science and Society in a World of Constant Change.

Simmons, B., C. Landis and M. M. Elser. 2009. The Schoolyard Children's Book Series. Estes Park, CO. Working group organizer report presented at 14-16 September 20009 LTER All Scientists Meeting, Integrating Science and Society in a World of Constant Change.

2007

Schwartz, K. and J. J. Elser. 2007. Using survey instruments to design more effective workshops. November 14, 2007 Research Symposium at the North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference, Virginia Beach, VA. (link )

2004

Elser, M. M. and C. Saltz. 2004. Graduate students and K-12 ecological outreach programs: Challenges and benefits. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, 2004.

2003

Saltz, C., D. L. Banks and M. M. Elser. 2003. Factors affecting implementation of Ecology Explorers, the K-12 education program of CAP LTER, in the classroom. Presented at October 2003, AZENet Conference, Casa Grande, AZ.

2002

Elser, J. J. and C. Saltz. 2002. Linking scientists, teachers and children in scientific research. Presented at March 2002, Microcomputers in Education Conference, Arizona State University, Tempe.

Elser, M. M. 2002. LTER education programs. Presented at 4-9 August 2002, 87th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Tucson, AZ.

Krasney, M. and M. M. Elser. 2002. Developing students' research and data manipulation skills. Presented at March 2002, National Science Teachers Association Conference, San Diego, CA.

2001

Saltz, C. and M. M. Elser. 2001. Scientists as partners. Presented at September 2001, Arizona Association for Environmental Education Conference, Phoenix, AZ.

Sprott, P., K. S. Baker, M. E. Krasny, M. M. Elser and R. E. Bohanan. 2001. Long term ecological research network K-12 education partnership: Students and teachers experiencing LTER. Presented at 6-10 August 2001, 86th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, Madison, WI.

2000

Elser, M. M., R. Boone and S. Bestelmeyer. 2000. Models for linking schoolyard ecology with LTER sites: What has worked and what hasn't. Workshop presented at 2-4 August 2000, Long-Term Ecological Research: Unifying Principles and Global Applications, LTER All Scientists Meeting, Snowbird, UT.

Elser, M. M., C. Saltz and D. Boomgaard. 2000. Linking scientists, teachers, and children in long-term scientific research. Presentation at National Science Teacher Association Regional Meeting, December 2000, Phoenix, AZ.

Redman, C. L. and M. M. Elser. 2000. Ecology Explorers and environmental education. Presented September 2000 to Valley Forward, Phoenix, AZ.