Meet the Team

The Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading Development Team

Jacqueline Barber is the co-director for Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, Associate Director of the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS), and founded several LHS curriculum programs including Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS), AfterSchool KidzScience, and Scientific Explorer Home Kits. She has worked in K–12 science education for over 30 years, in curriculum and professional development, and has led numerous projects. She received a degree in physiology from Hampshire College and started her career in science research as a Fulbright scholar at the University of Strasbourg, France. more

Dr. P. David Pearson is the co-director for Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, served as dean of the Graduate School of Education at UC Berkeley, and is a faculty member in the Language and Literacy Program. His research focuses on reading instruction and assessment. Before joining UCB in 2001, Dean Pearson was the John A. Hannah distinguished professor of education at Michigan State and co-director of the Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). He has written and co-edited numerous books and articles, including the Handbook of Reading Research. more

Dr. Gina Cervetti was a founding developer of Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, and led the literacy development and research components of the program for grades 2-5. Her research concerns the role of text in learning science and the potential of science–literacy integration to support students’ academic literacy. Her work appears in numerous book chapters and journals. Dr. Cervetti received her PhD in Educational Psychology from Michigan State University. She is currently on the faculty of the School of Education at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Marco Antonio Bravo led the English language development aspect of the program and served as one of its founding literacy developers. His research includes a focus on science as a context for the development of English proficiency. He is an assistant professor at Santa Clara University. Dr. Bravo received his bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University, his master’s degree from Harvard, and his doctorate from the UC Berkeley in Language, Literacy, and Culture.

Dr. Suzanna Loper is a curriculum developer and researcher and serves as lead science developer. She is a former 6th grade science teacher and earned her B.S. in Physics from Yale University and her Ph.D. in Education in Math, Science and Technology from the University of California, Berkeley. She has worked on many Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units, including Models of Matter, Chemical Changes and Weather & Water. She is currently co-leading the extension of our model of science-literacy integration to middle school.

Jennifer Tilson is a curriculum and professional developer and serves as lead literacy developer. Jen taught first and second grade in San Francisco, and has experience as a reading, writing, and English language tutor for students in grades K-8. She holds an M.A. in literacy education from UC Berkeley and an undergraduate degree in English from Wellesley College. She is an author of many of the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading teachers’ guides (including Light Energy, Weather and Water, and Planets and Moons) as well as several strategy guides and student books.

Seth Corrigan is a research and assessment specialist. He leads the development of many of the project’s curriculum assessments and research measures. He has taught elementary, middle school and high school science and mathematics and has worked as a teacher and researcher on numerous projects sponsored by the National Science Foundation and the US Department of Energy. His graduate training was in program design and evaluation at the UCLA.

Ashley Chase is editor of the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading student books. She leads their development, from conception to editing to art specs, and has authored several of the books. She has almost two decades of experience in writing and editing a diverse range of materials, from children’s fiction to museum exhibit text to grammar textbooks. She was formerly the lead editor of California Chronicles, a history magazine for 4th–8th graders published by Cobblestone. She is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University.

Kevin Beals is a science curriculum developer. He is author of a number of Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading student books, GEMS guides and sequences, afterschool units, and science toy kits. He has taught science since 1981 in Environmental Education camps, classrooms and LHS programs. He has led teacher’s workshops since 1990, and is the primary designer and teacher of the UC Berkeley course, “Communicating Science. He has also written and recorded two albums of science education songs with the band The Bungee Jumpin’ Cows.

Lincoln Bergman is editor for the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading unit development team and has also authored several student books. He has worked on more than 80 curriculum units and pedagogical handbooks over the past 25 years. In addition to his publication experience, his background includes radio journalism and other media narration and production. He has written and published many poems for young people on science and mathematics topics.

Dr. Alison Billman is a literacy research specialist. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology at Michigan State University where she worked with Nell Duke. Her research interests are rooted in 14 years of first grade teaching experience and focus on language and literacy development across the curriculum, particularly in the primary grades. She also has expertise in instruction and assessment of primary grade children's informational text comprehension. Alison is providing leadership for the planned Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading curriculum for kindergarten and first grade.

Lauren Brodsky is a science assessment specialist for the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading program. She has a bachelor’s degree in Planetary Geophysics from Brown University and a master’s degree in Educational Research Methodology from Oxford, where her research focused on science and mathematics education. Among other research, she conducted a study on the implementation of new high school qualifications for the government of the United Kingdom.

Dr. Jill Castek is a trained reading specialist with a decade of experience working with students in grades K–12. She earned a Ph.D. in 2008 from the University of Connecticut in the area of Cognition and Instruction where she studied the new literacies of online reading comprehension. Jill supports Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading research efforts in literacy and works on the development of the integrated science-literacy guides as well as the strategy guides. She regularly presents at national and international literacy conferences and publishes in both reading and library media journals.

Jonathan Curley is a curriculum developer with the science team, assists with the English Language Learner components of the program, and has authored numerous Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading student books and articles. He also leads the development of GEMS Science Sequences. He is a former bilingual teacher who taught 6th, 3rd, and 2nd grades, and is a graduate of Oberlin College and a former Thomas J. Watson Fellow.

Dr. Rena Dorph is the director of the Center for Research, Evaluation, and Assessment at the Lawrence Hall of Science. She has supervised several research projects on the efficacy of Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading. Rena has worked in the field of educational research and evaluation for 15 years. Rena received her doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley in Educational Policy, Organization, Measurement, and Evaluation and her master’s degree in the sociology of education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

John Erickson has developed lessons and has worked with students and teachers at LHS for over 20 years. He has helped write and develop books and activities for Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, mainly in physical science and astronomy. He has also co-authored and contributed to several GEMS guides, material in the Global System Science curriculum, and the Planetarium Activities for Student Success series.

Andrew Falk is a science curriculum developer with the team working to expand Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading to middle school. He started in science education teaching Biology and Physical Science at Oakland High School. Recognizing there was a lot he didn't know, he returned to school, receiving a PhD in science education from UC Berkeley, then working as a science curriculum developer and teacher educator at the University of Michigan. Andrew has cheerfully given up on ever knowing enough, but is excited to contribute his expertise while continuing to learn with the team.

Dr. Megan Goss is a curriculum developer and researcher with the literacy team at the LHS. She is a former elementary teacher and earned a doctorate in Education in Language, Literacy and Culture from UC Berkeley. Megan was a lead author for the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units Gravity and Magnetism, Variation and Adaptation, Digestion and Body Systems, Weather and Water, Models of Matter, Chemical Changes, and Aquatic Ecosystems and has also authored several student books.

Catherine Halversen is the primary author for the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading units Shoreline Science and Aquatic Ecosystems. She serves as Co-Director of the Marine Activities, Resources & Education (MARE) program, a whole-school K–8 marine science immersion program from LHS. She is also the primary course instructor and leader for the NSF-funded California Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence college course, Communicating Ocean Sciences. She is a former high school science teacher, and holds an MA in Science from the UC Berkeley.

Beth Kim is a curriculum developer for the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading literacy team. She has taught 5th and 6th grade humanities for many years in Berkeley, California. She is a graduate of the UC Berkeley and holds multiple and single subject CLAD credentials and an MA in Educational Technology from the University of San Francisco. She is currently working on expanding the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading curriculum to middle school.

Ari Krakowski is a science curriculum developer with the team working to expand Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading to middle school. She earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in Molecular Cell Biology, researching cell signaling, gene expression, and cancer biology. She is a former community college biology professor and environmental educator. She studied Natural Resources at Humboldt State University and earned a master’s degree from San Francisco State University.

Christina Morales is a literacy curriculum developer working to expand Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading to middle school. Christina earned an MA in English from California Polytechnic State University, and is a former college English instructor. She is pursuing a doctorate in educational leadership at Saint Mary’s College of California.

Phaela Peck is the field manager for Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, as well as other LHS programs. She has an MA in Environmental Studies and Education from Prescott College and a BA in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Reed College. She has worked as a science and environmental educator and a curriculum developer.

Carissa Romano is a science curriculum developer working on expanding the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading model to middle school. She is a graduate of Oberlin College where she studied Biology and Chemistry, and holds a MA in Education from UC Berkeley. Carissa spent eight years as a high school science teacher.

Trudihope Schlomowitz is the publications manager for Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading, responsible for overseeing the scheduling, editorial, and production work of the curriculum development and editorial/production teams to ensure the high quality of all print components and kit materials. She has over three decades of hands-on and managerial experience in both academic and trade publishing.

Elizabeth Shafer is a curriculum developer for the Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading literacy team. She has worked extensively on units for grades 3–5, and is now working to extend the model to middle school. She taught 2nd and 3rd grades for a number of years in Oakland, California. Ms. Shafer is a graduate of Yale University and holds an MA in Education from the UC Berkeley.

Carrie Strohl is a curriculum author on the literacy team. She leads development of the strategy guides. Carrie taught elementary school for many years in the Milwaukee public schools and taught teachers in the Cardinal Stritch University Graduate Program. Her degrees are from Marquette University with an MA from Cardinal Stritch University in Milwaukee. She is currently pursing a doctorate in education at the University of California, Davis.

Traci Wierman leads the Professional Development efforts that support effective Seeds of Science/Roots of Reading curriculum implementation. She is also the Director of the LHS GEMS Network, working with more than 70 sites and centers at leading educational institutions across the country and around the world. She holds a bachelor’s degree from CSU, Chico, with a Multiple Subjects Credential and a Gifted and Talented Certification. She is an inter-disciplinary thinker who has spent 17 years as a K-8 educator and 10 years as a museum professional.

Additional Members of the Science Team

  • Josey Baker
  • Lynn Barakos
  • Jennifer King Chen
  • Mary Connolly
  • Kimi Hosoume
  • Craig Strang
  • Carolyn Willard

Additional Members of the Student Book Development Team

  • Sara Granovetter
  • Sonya Grayson
  • Gary Griggs
  • Carolyn Jaynes
  • Roger Loper
  • Nicole Parizeau, former editor

Additional Members of the Research, Evaluation and Assessment Team

  • Patty Kreikemeier
  • Kristin Nagy Catz
  • Heidi Skolnik
  • Maia Werner-Avidon