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Dr. Alan R. Berkowitz

Head of Education, Plant Ecologist | PhD, Cornell University


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Alan Berkowitz is a leader in advancing ecosystem literacy. His efforts include developing teaching materials, facilitating undergraduate research opportunities, and training educators. His projects aim to enhance public understanding of the complex interactions that govern the natural world and the ways that people influence ecosystems.

Berkowitz directs Cary Institute’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program. Over 30 years running, the program allows students to conduct hands-on ecological research under the advisement of a scientist mentor. The program, which is committed to supporting diversity, has launched nearly 75% of its alums into careers in the sciences. Berkowitz also directs the Urban Water Innovation Network (UWIN) Undergraduate Research Program.

Schools across the nation have the opportunity to partner with Cary Institute to implement freely available curriculum materials and participate in cutting-edge teacher training workshops. These collaborations bring together teachers, education researchers, and scientists – all working to improve ecological science literacy.

Berkowitz is the Education Team Leader for the Baltimore Ecosystem Study (BES), a Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site directed by Cary Institute. In this role, Berkowitz works with teachers in Baltimore City Public Schools to bring BES research into the classroom.

Hess, RA, OA Erickson, RB Cole, JM Isaacs, S Alvarez-Clare, J Arnold, A Augustus-Wallace, et al. (JUN 1) 2023. “Virtually The Same? Evaluating The Effectiveness Of Remote Undergraduate Research Experiences”. Cbe-Life Sciences Education 22 (2). doi:10.1187/cbe.22-01-0001.
Harris, CB, AW Oliveira, BLM Levy, Alan R. Berkowitz, and C Bowser. (2023 JUN 14AD) 2023. “The Eel Connection: Developing Urban Adolescents' Sense Of Place Through Outdoor Interactions With A Local Organism”. Journal Of Environmental Education. doi:10.1080/00958964.2023.2216160.
Covitt, Beth A., Kristin L. Gunckel, Alan R. Berkowitz, William W. Woessner, and John Moore. 2023. “Employing A Groundwater Contamination Learning Experience To Build Proficiency In Computational Modeling For Socioscientific Literacy”. Journal Of Science Education And Technology. Springer Science and Business Media LLC. doi:10.1007/s10956-023-10062-z.
Gunckel, KL, BA Covitt, Alan R. Berkowitz, Bess Caplan, and JC Moore. 2022. “Computational Thinking For Using Models Of Water Flow In Environmental Systems: Intertwining Three Dimensions In A Learning Progression”. Journal Of Research In Science Teaching. doi:10.1002/tea.21755.
Erickson, Olivia A., Rebecca B. Cole, Jared M. Isaacs, Silvia Alvarez-Clare, Jonathan Arnold, Allison Augustus-Wallace, Joseph C. Ayoob, et al. (2022/03/01AD) 2022. ““How Do We Do This At A Distance?!” A Descriptive Study Of Remote Undergraduate Research Programs During Covid-19”. Lse 21 (1). American Society for Cell Biology (lse): ar1+. doi:10.1187/cbe.21-05-0125.
Meixner, Thomas, Alan R. Berkowitz, Alisen E. Downey, Jose Pillich, Reese LeVea, Brianne K. Smith, Mark Chandler, et al. 2021. “Rapid Assessment And Long-Term Monitoring Of Green Stormwater Infrastructure With Citizen Scientists”. Sustainability 13 (22). MDPI AG: 12520. doi:10.3390/su132212520.
O'Connell, Kari, Kelly L Hoke, Michael Giamellaro, Alan R. Berkowitz, and Janet Branchaw. 2021. “A Tool For Designing And Studying Student-Centered Undergraduate Field Experiences: The Ufern Model”. Bioscience 72 (2). Oxford University Press (OUP): 189-200. doi:10.1093/biosci/biab112.
Grooms, Jonathon, Kevin Fleming, Alan R. Berkowitz, and Bess Caplan. 2021. “Exploring Modeling As A Context To Support Content Integration For Chemistry And Earth Science”. Journal Of Chemical Education 98 (7). American Chemical Society (ACS): 2167-2175. doi:10.1021/acs.jchemed.1c00319.
Carpenter, S. L., J. Kim, K. Nilsen, T. Irish, J. A. Bianchini, and Alan R. Berkowitz. (Oct) 2020. “Secondary Science Teachers' Use Of Discourse Moves To Work With Student Ideas In Classroom Discussions”. International Journal Of Science Education 42 (15): 2513-2533+.
Klemow, Kenneth, Alan R. Berkowitz, C. Cid, and G. Middendorf. 2019. “Improving Ecological Education Through A Four-Dimensional Framework”. Frontiers In Ecology And The Environment 17 (2): 71. doi:10.1002/fee.2013.
Esposito, Rhea M. M., Cornelia Harris, Alan R. Berkowitz, and Maribel Pregnall. 2019. “The Joys Of Teaching Ecology In K–12 And Informal Settings”. Frontiers In Ecology And The Environment 17 (9). Wiley: 538-539. doi:10.1002/fee.2122.
Berkowitz, Alan R., Tobias Irish, and Cornelia Harris. 2016. “Data Explorations In Ecology: Secondary Students’ Knowledge, Skills, And Attitudes Towards Data”. In National Association For Research In Science Teaching Annual Conference.
Jordan, Rebecca C., Wesley R. Brooks, Jacqueline R. DeLisi, Steven A. Gray, and Alan R. Berkowitz. 2015. “Ecology Nature Of Science: Shared Discussions And Practices Among Ecologists And High School Teachers”. Ecosphere 6 (11): art223. doi:10.1890/ES13-00386.1.
Berkowitz, Alan R., Tobias Irish, Cornelia Harris, Samantha Root, C.A. Brewer, Katherine Trudeau, and Angelita Alvarado-Santos. 2015. “Data Explorations In Ecology: Students’ Understanding Of Variability And Use Of Data In Environmental Citizenship”. In Association For Science Teacher Education Northeast Chapter Annual Meeting.
Berkowitz, Alan R., Tobias Irish, Cornelia Harris, Samantha Root, C.A. Brewer, Katherine Trudeau, and Angelita Alvarado-Santos. 2015. “Data Explorations In Ecology: Students' Understanding Of Variability And Use Of Data In Environmental Citizenship”. In National Association For Research In Science Teaching Annual Conference.
Harris, Cornelia, Alan R. Berkowitz, Bess Caplan, and Shelley Doster. 2015. “Hudson River Data Jam: Creatively Engaging Students With Large Data Sets”. In Ecological Society Of America Annual Conference.
Bianchini, Julie A., Nissa Yestness, Katherine J. Nilsen, Jiwon Kim, LaTisha M. Hammond, Stacy Carpenter, Tobias Irish, Sylvia D. Parker, and Alan R. Berkowitz. 2014. “Progression-Based Teaching Strategies In Environmental Science: Teachers’ Successes And Struggles In Implementation.”. National Association For Research In Science Teaching. Pittsburgh, PA: National Association for Research in Science Teaching.
Harris, Cornelia, Angelita Alvarado, Alan R. Berkowitz, and Celia Cuomo. 2013. “Data Explorations In Ecology: What Do Students Know, And Need To Know, In Order To Make Environmental Citizenship Decisions?”. In North American Association Of Environmental Education Research Symposium.
Poole, Alexandria K., Eugene C. Hargrove, Philip Day, William Forbes, Alan R. Berkowitz, Peter Feinsinger, and Ricardo Rozzi. 2013. “A Call For Ethics Literacy In Environmental Education”. In Linking Ecology And Ethics For A Changing World, 349 - 371. Dordrecht: Springer Netherlands. doi:10.1007/978-94-007-7470-410.1007/978-94-007-7470-4_28.
McBride, B. B., C.A. Brewer, Alan R. Berkowitz, and W. T. Borrie. 2013. “Environmental Literacy, Ecological Literacy, Ecoliteracy: What Do We Mean And How Did We Get Here?”. Ecosphere 4 (5): art67. doi:10.1890/ES13-00075.1.