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O'Keefe, Dr. Jen, Assistant Professor of Science
Program/Dept: Science Education / Department of Earth and Space Science
Degrees, Licensures and Certifications: PhD., Geology, University of Kentucky; M.S., Geology, Texas A&M; B.A., Geology, Cornell College
Research Interests: Coal geology
• “Multifaceted undergraduate research experiences in the broadly-defined field of coal geology prepare our students for both successes in the regional geosciences workforce and also for strong performances in graduate school. Bringing these experiences to our teaching candidates each year drives their perception of the Earth as an active and dynamic place.”
Dr. Jen O’Keefe, Assistant Professor at Morehead State University, received her B.A. in Geology from Cornell College, M.S. in Geology from Texas A&M, and Ph.D. in Geology from The University of Kentucky. She is an accredited coal petrographer (SCAP A&B) through the International Commission for Coal and Organic Petrography (ICCP). She brings her expertise in earth systems science to science education through both her teaching and research. Dr. Jen teaches inquiry-based face-to-face and online, asynchronous courses in earth systems science for teachers both at the graduate and undergraduate levels and coal geology. Dr. Jen is an active scholar, and her research ranges from curriculum and instruction to both academic and applied aspects of coal systems science. Current research projects include improving middle grades education in eastern Kentucky, writing on-line earth systems science analysis modules, study of fungi as agents of coal formation, improving processing techniques for palynology, fungal palynology, the petrography and chemistry of coal combustion by-products, and coal mine and seam fires. She was recently (July/August 2010) among scientists featured in the Discover magazine article, “Earth on Fire.” She is an active member of several professional societies, and serves on the board of directors of AASP – the Palynology Society. Dr. Jen is a member of the editorial board for the International Journal of Coal Geology.