Meena Balgopal

Meena Balgopal

College of Natural Sciences
Department of Biology
Appointed: 2022
Office: Biology Building 436
Email: Meena.Balgopal@colostate.edu
Degrees:

  • B.S., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1991
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994
  • Ph.D. North Dakota State University, 2007

Meena Balgopal is an entomologist turned science education researcher. She writes on her website (https://writingtolearnscience-balgopal.weebly.com), "I used to study parasitoids (parasitic wasps) and their interactions with their respective hosts (while I was University of Wisconsin-Madison). I moved on to studying aphids and the plant viruses they hosted (while I was at the University of California-Davis). After a few years working in schools and with teachers, I studied how undergraduate biology majors (some who intended to become science teachers) overcame misconceptions about evolution through writing activities (while I was at North Dakota State University).

"When teaching secondary and undergraduate biology I realized that reflective writing helped many students put concepts together and promoted learning. I have been studying writing to learn (WTL) for more than 15 years and enjoy collaborating with colleagues. I have also collaborated with colleagues to study other ways to improve K-12 and undergraduate science education, including problem-based learning and interdisciplinary curricular approaches."

Dr. Balgopal is a strong proponent of faculty members broadening their definition of what it means to be engaged in their communities. You can follow her on Twitter at @MBalgopal.

Selected Teaching Awards and Recognitions

  • Jack E. Cermak Advising Award, Colorado State University, 2019
  • J. William Fulbright-Nehru Foreign Scholarship Award (Dakshin Foundation, Bangalore, India – “Environmental Education on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands”), 2019
  • Invited member, Senator (R.I.) Sheldon Whitehouse’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change Communication, 2017-present
  • School of Education Distinguished Scholar Award, Colorado State University, 2014
  • Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, College of Applied Human Sciences, Colorado State University, 2011

Selected Positions, Grants, and Other Activities.

  • Adjunct Affiliate Professor, Dakshin Foundation (NGO), Bangalore, India, 2018-present
  • Affiliate Faculty, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, 2013-present
  • NSF Grant, Robert Noyce Program (DUE). Balgopal, M.M. (PI), Sample McMeeking, L.B., Nerger, J., Oien, J., & Sebald, A. “Supporting Teacher Scholars through Place-Based Education Professional Development,” ($1,198,461), 2020-2025
  • NSF COVID Supplemental (DUE). Balgopal, M.M. (PI), Sample McMeeking, L.B., & Weinberg, A.E. “Studying Novice STEM Teachers’ Adaptive Capacities using the Panarchy Model.” ($149,155), 2020-2021
  • Interviewed by Brookings Institute (Center for Universal Education) for Report on UNESCO’s Education of Sustainable Development and K-12 Climate Change Education, 7/5/2019
  • Co-presenter, Workshop on Science Pedagogy for Monastic Science Instructors, Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (11/4/2020)

Teaching

  • BZ 220 Introduction to Evolution (enrollment around 250), Spring 2017, Spring 2021
  • BZ 296 Evolution Honors Recitation, Spring 2017, Spring 2021
  • BZ 670 Teaching and Communicating Science (enrollment around 15, Fall 2016-present
  • EDUC 460 Science Teaching Methods Fall 2008-2014, Spring 2009-2015
  • EDUC 526 Interdisciplinary Teaching Methods Fall 2010-2012