Research in the GRL focuses on on designing high quality research experiments to evaluate geocognition as it relates to: understanding, attitudes, interaction with media, performance, and learning in and outside of classrooms. We also work on studies related to disability and diversity in the sciences. Much of our work centers on developing high quality mechanisms for measuring cognition, affect, or behavior.

Research in the GRL lies along a continuum from traditional research through community-based participatory research.

TRADITIONAL RESEARCH. Traditional research sits outside of communities and focuses on model-driven research design, quantitative survey design, qualitative data (including interviews, written text, and drawings), psychometrics, and eye-tracking.

COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH. Community-based research is situated within communities; however, research questions are defined by the researcher. This work occurs in a wide range of communities, from geosciences to biosciences to engineering. The GRL has developed innovative labs and online experiences, has participated in studies of entrepreneurship in engineering, and has evaluated the importance of spatial thinking for students and experts in geoscience.

COMMUNITY-ENGAGED RESEARCH. Community-engaged research focuses on research questions that are important to the communities being studied. The GRL has participated or led community-engaged research looking into mentoring, social capital, graduate student well-being, place-based education, urban agriculture, and academic sexual misconduct. The GRL also assists other researchers through external evaluation.

COMMUNITY-BASED PARTICIPATORY RESEARCH. Community-based participatory research is a collaboration between the researcher and members of the community under study. Participatory research in the GRL has included collaborations with the Blackfeet and Dine Tribes to generate culturally valid assessment; with the College of Menominee Nation to investigate Tribe-climate scientist collaborations; and with researchers and advocates in academia working to combat sexual harassment and misconduct.

Funding. The GRL has been the thankful recipient of funding from the multiple sources, including NSF, NASA, and MSU. A list of NSF funding is available here.

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