Jennifer Whitacre has a background in science research and field work, as well as in K-12 science education. Prior to entering the field of education – Jennifer worked at the Rocky Mountain Biological Lab (Gothic, CO) as a research assistant, for the US Forest Service as a biological science technician, and for the University of Puerto Rico at the Luquillo National Forest as a seedling census volunteer. After five years of working in the field, Jennifer decided to enter education and became a secondary science educator. She taught high school biology, anatomy, environmental science, and global science perspectives courses in Indiana. She earned her M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from Indiana University. Locally, in the Gunnison Valley she has worked with several non-profits on elementary science curriculum. For the past five years, Jennifer has found new passions while working in Western’s Education department as a Clinical Coach and Lecturer. She loves working with pre-service teachers K-12. Teaching is such an incredible career, and Jennifer loves the opportunities she has to inspire educators entering this amazing field. In addition, she serves as the director for Western’s Teacher Institute, a program that serves K-12 teachers in earning graduate level coursework and professional development. Her current interests include science education and the transition to NGSS, 21st century teaching and learning, inquiry, student-centered instruction and technology in education.