Dr. O’Connell joined the Oregon State University Center for Research in Lifelong STEM Learning in 2016 as a Senior Researcher. She also holds affiliate faculty appointments in the College of Forestry, the College of Education, and the Environmental Arts and Humanities Program at OSU. She has spent her career at OSU working closely with the Andrews LTER program in multiple capacities, first as a Postdoctoral Research Associate studying long-term forest carbon dynamics, next as Director of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest where she coordinated the research and education programs, and then with a faculty position in Forestry and Natural Resources Extension which focused on professional development for middle and high school teachers. She currently works on a wide range of projects for the STEM Center that reflect her broad background, including projects focused on improving STEM education systems in Oregon, investigation of the impact of a science/arts/humanities learning experience on development of empathy and curiosity at the Andrews LTER site, and most recently, she received funding from NSF to support the Undergraduate-Field Experiences Research Network to build a vibrant, supportive, and sustainable collaborative network that fostering effective undergraduate field experiences.