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T. F. Slater - Biography

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Timothy Slater s a research assistant professor of physics at Montana State University. He serves as the Project Science Director for the MSU NASA Center for Educational Resources CERES Project. His primary research interests revolve around effective science teacher enhancement programs, astronomy teaching, and authentic assessment strategies. He has published a number of articles on using portfolio assessment strategies and performance assessment strategies in astronomy at all K-16 levels. He is currently involved with several NASA education projects based on the Internet. He is also an introductory astronomy textbook author.

Originally from Kansas, Tim received a Bachelor of Science in physics and a Bachelor of Science in science education from Kansas State University in 1989. He received his Masters degree in astronomy from Clemson University in 1991 while operating the university planetarium. At Clemson, he was awarded the Outstanding Astronomy Teaching Award. He was earned his Ph.D. in geophysics from the University of South Carolina in 1993. While in South Carolina, he provided public observatory lectures and viewing at Roper Mountain, using the 24" Alvin-Clark refractor, and at USC using the 16" at Melton Observatory. He joined the physics department faculty at Montana State University in 1996. At MSU, his work with science teachers in funded by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Dwight D. Eisenhower Mathematics and Science Grants Program (DDEMSEA) and that National Science Foundation (NSF).

His current activities include Internet-based curriculum development for K-16 levels and conducting cognitive research in astronomy conceptual understanding. He teaches both undergraduate and graduate courses for teachers in astronomy and physics and serves on a several national task forces addressing teacher preparation and enhancement initiatives. He is active in a number of professional organizations including the American Association of Physics Teachers, the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, and the International Planetarium Society. He serves as the astronomy education committee chairman for the American Association of Physics Teachers as well as the state president in Montana.

Tim is an avid amateur astronomer in addition to his formal training in astronomy and frequently addresses public groups concerning current events in astronomy. In addition to his frequent use of the telescope, his hobbies include tennis, golf, and Star Trek.


Visits since 10/99. Last Updated on December 15, 2001
Karen. Meech, Institute for Astronomy, UH
meech@ifa.hawaii.edu