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Portrait of Mary Atwater

Contact Information

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Office Location

110 Carlton Street
Athens, Georgia 30602


Degree Concentration Institution Year
Ph.D. Science Education (minor chemistry) North Carolina State University 1980
M.A. Physical organic chemistry University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 1972
B.S. Chemistry Methodist College (currently Methodist University) 1969

Areas of Expertise

  • multicultural science education
  • science teacher education
  • chemical education
  • college science teaching and learning

Research Interests

  • socio-cultural-political factors that influence science learning and teaching
  • college science teaching and learning
  • chemical education


Mary M. Atwater is an inaugural Fellow of the America Educational Research Association, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a past president of NARST: A Worldwide Organization for Improving Science Teaching and Learning through Research. In April 2017, she was recently elected again to a three-year term as Chair of the CADASE RIG where she led the effort to establish CADASE, NARST's first research interest group (RIG) and served as its elected Chair until she was elected President-elect of NARST. In 2015, Atwater began serving a three-year term as a member of the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering, a congressionally mandated committee that advises the National Science Foundation on ways to broaden participation, particularly of women, underrepresented persons and persons with disabilities, in scientific, engineering and related fields. She is presently the 2016-2017 Sachs Distinguished Lecturer in residence at Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator of several federally funded and privately funded grants totally over $3.9 million. Her publications include articles, book chapters, edited books, and a co-authored K-8 science program. She recently co-edited "Multicultural science education: Preparing teachers for equity and social justice."