About the Society Awards Past Award Winners 2004 (Gregory Award) Judith Scotchmoor
Judy Scotchmoor received her BS in Biological Sciences from UC Berkeley in 1966 and her Secondary Teaching Credential from Hayward State University the following year. After 25 years of teaching math and science, Judy returned to her alma mater and is now Director of Education and Public Programs at the UC Museum of Paleontology. With her experience in the classroom, it is not unusual that among her many roles at the museum, her primary interest is in the use of paleontology and technology as vehicles for improving science education in the classroom. She is currently the Project Coordinator of two NSF-funded programs - Understanding Evolution and The Paleontology Portal , serves as the Educational Advisor to the GK12 project of the Berkeley Natural History Museums, and initiated and implemented three earth science courses for San Francisco science teachers in collaboration with the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco State University, and the Bay Area Earth Science Institute. She is the current Treasurer of the California Science Teachers Association, and is editor and co-author of three resource books for teachers, Learning from the Fossil Record , Evolution: Investigating the Evidence, and Dinosaurs: the Science Behind the Stories.
Judy became a member of SVP once she began working at UCMP. It did not take long before she was asked to serve on the SVP Education Committee, as well as the Education Committee of the Paleontological Society. Seeing the opportunity to leverage the joint interest and energies, she encouraged collaboration between the two committees, which has resulted in the publication of three books (see above) and six joint teacher workshops. In 1998, Judy was appointed as Co-Chair of SVP's Education Committee and has served in that capacity ever since. It was in that year, that she initiated the first teacher workshop associated with the annual meeting of SVP in Snowbird, Utah.
Judy has also encouraged a more proactive stand by the SVP on supporting the teaching of evolution. She not only represented SVP at the National Conference on the Teaching of Evolution, she also helped to organize the first Town Hall Meeting on Evolution held at the 2003 annual meeting and another that will take place this year. Under her leadership, the Education and Public Outreach section of the SVP website has grown to include Paleo Profiles and other useful resources. Perhaps her most important contribution to SVP is currently underway as the Project Coordinator of the Paleontology Portal (www.paleoportal.org) which is a collaborative project of the SVP, the PS, the USGS, and UCMP, and funded by the National Science Foundation. This web portal provides an opportunity for the paleontological community to share its resources with a broader community.
In reflecting on her years as Co-Chair, Judy noted: "There is no way that any of these projects would have succeeded without a great team -- from my fellow Chairs to every member of the Committee, those who volunteered to author and review chapters for the dino book, and supportive Executive Committees and Business Office staff. It's been good fun."
Photo courtesy of Judith G. Scotchmoor.