Dr. Edward E. Prather is an Associate Professor at Steward Observatory, and the Department of Astronomy, at the University of Arizona. He is Executive Director of the NASA (JPL Exoplanet Exploration Public Engagement Program) and NSF funded Center for Astronomy Education (CAE) at the University of Arizona. Ed has led several research programs to investigate students' conceptual and reasoning difficulties in the areas of Earth, astronomy, astrobiology, physics, and planetary science. The results from this research have been used to inform the development of innovative instructional strategies proven to intellectually engage learners and significantly improve their understanding of fundamental Earth and space science concepts. Additional research has been focused on development of assessment tools, educational technologies, and public outreach activities. Dissemination of this work is provided through CAE's participation-based, multi-day "Teaching Excellence Workshops," which have been attended by nearly 2000 science instructors around the nation. He has led the development of education materials in support of more than 10 NASA mission education and public outreach (EPO) programs. Ed is Research Director and Co-I of the NSF CCLI Phase III Centers grant that funds the Collaboration of Astronomy Teaching Scholars (CATS) Program. He recently served on the EPO advisory panel of the National Research Council's Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey (2009). Ed serves as the Education Officer of the American Astronomical Society (2012) and is an appointed member of the American Institute of Physics' National Committee on Physics Education. His teaching efforts were acknowledged when in 2007 he received the University of Arizona's Provost Education Prize, again in 2009 when he was awarded the UofA College of Sciences Innovations in Teaching award, and in 2011 when he received the AAPT David Halliday and Robert Resnick Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Physics Teaching.
In 1995 Ed earned a B.S. in Physics and Astronomy at the University of Washington and in 2000 earned his Ph.D in Physics from the University of Maine.
Professional Affiliations and Awards:
UA Provost's General Education Teaching Award, 2006
UA College of Science Innovation in Teaching Award, 2009