Doctoral Student Spotlights

Christine Coughlin

Teaching and Learning

  • Christine Coughlin
I chose this Doctoral Program Because:
Originally, I chose NYU for my Master's degree in Environmental Conservation Education, the oldest program of it's kind in the country. Nearing the end of my MA program, I began researching Ph.D. programs, and found that NYU would continue to provide me with both the flexibility and rigor I desired in my next academic step. The faculty in the Science Education program were very supportive and exited about my interests in environmental education. Additionally, I had the opportunity to continue to work with my mentor, Dr. Mary Leou, and explore new avenues for research with Dr. Susan Kirch and the deeply missed Dr. Jhumki Basu. NYU's Teaching and Learning program with a Focus on Science Education offered me both access to the expertise of leaders in the field of environmental education, and those in the field of science education research.
In 5 or 10 years I hope to:
Be teaching environmental education at a college or university, and working on my own research.
One of the things I enjoy doing in New York City when I'm not being a doctoral student:
I love live music, and the city has some incredible spots to check out new music.
A hobby I have is:
I love to read, run, and knit.
My favorite place to get coffee or eat around NYU:
Cafetasia is my favorite thai place in the city (8th between University Pl. and Greene St)
Focus of my research of scholarship:
Transforming environmental attitudes and behaviors through education
I'm interested in this topic because:
Education has the capacity to transform how humans interact with the planet; a transformation that is sorely needed in light of our current environmental issues.
Academic or other experience that most influenced my choice of doctoral study:
I was powerfully affected by my undergraduate mentor, who helped me understand both the interconnectedness of all things on the planet, and the transformational power of an inspired educator.
Research or scholar I most admire:
Dr. Anna Stetsenko
Professor who has influenced me the most:
Dr. Chris Uhl of Penn State University and Dr. Mary Leou and Dr. Susan Kirch of NYU
Research project I've most enjoyed working on:
Dr. Kirch's Scientific Thinker Project exploring how young students understand the nature of scientific evidence.
Scholarly presentation of my work I'm most proud of:
First authorship on a paper published in Cultural Studies of Science Education this year.
Favorite course as a doctoral student:
History of Education with Dr. James Fraser
What I like most about being part of a community of doctoral students:
There are no other people who truly understand what it is to devote yourself to a doctoral program. They are an incredible source of support.

Background Information

Where you grew up:
Charlton, MA
Career Goals:
Environmental education professor at a college or university, continue writing and researching in the field of environmental education
Honors, Awards, and Achievements:
Steinhardt Fellow (2008-2011), 2010 Recipient of the North American Association for Environmental Education Scholarship for Academic Study.
Other professional or service activities:
Member of the New York State Environmental Literacy Committee, Education Subcommittee.