Steph Courtney

Steph Courtney

Department: Geosciences
Office: BEMC 2080

Areas of Interest: Geocognition and Geoscience Education

Research Interests: Building Better Graphs for Climate Change Communication: Evidence from Eye-Tracking

Steph Courtney is a doctoral student in Geosciences under the advisement of Dr. McNeal, a Climate Resilience Trainee and NSF Graduate Research Fellow interested in informal STEM education and climate change communication. This research has included both general audiences (measuring attention to and perceptions of climate graphs) and natural/cultural resource managers (measuring use of global change research for management). She will also be studying visitor perceptions of historical and modern climate change and graphs at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. This project, like her other work on climate graph perception, will use eye-tracking technology to measure visitor attention to different features of the displays. Steph tries to supplement research by also creating climate education tools, such as her video game Climate Solutions Explorer. Since moving to Alabama from Wisconsin several years ago, she has continued dabbling in a variety of hobbies ranging from making paper to electric guitar to crochet (especially during online lectures).

"The climate resilience NRT program has already provided opportunities to learn and grow about global change in new ways and I know there will be many more. We know now that solving the climate crisis will require diverse solutions that account for all parts of Earth's complex system -- but it will also require collaboration and creativity, two skills I hope the NRT will help me hone."

Check out Steph's 3min Research Video

Trainee Spotlights:

Award to Conduct Research at the Smithsonian