Nancy Staus

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(541) 760-9968
Oregon State University
Senior Researcher


Dr. Staus joined the STEM Research Center as a senior researcher in February of 2018, also serving an appointment in OSU's College of Education. She received her Ph.D. in Science Education (2012) from Oregon State University and is currently leading the STEM Beyond Schools project. Previously, Dr. Staus earned her MS in Conservation Biology (1997) from the University of Minnesota and spent 15 years as a biologist at a small non-profit and instructor for introductory non-majors ecology courses at Linn-Benton Community College.  During this time, she noticed that many topics in biology and conservation in particular triggered strong emotions in learners, and her doctorate research investigated the effects of emotion on both short- and long-term science-learning outcomes.

Dr. Staus has a strong interest in how/why people learn science (especially biology) and in improving science education both in and out of school.  In particular, she is interested in pursuing research on 1) the role of emotion, interest, and attitudes in learning science at the post-secondary level and/or out-of-school settings (e.g. field schools, ecotourism experiences); 2) how out-of-school science experiences such as ecotourism support the development of ecologically responsible behaviors.

Curriculum Vitae



Media and Publications:


  • Falk, J. H., Dierking, L. D., Staus, N. L., Wyld, J. N., Bailey, D. L., & Penuel, W. R. (2016). The Synergies research-practice partnership project: a 2020 Vision case study. Cultural Studies of Science Education 11, 195-212. DOI
  • Falk, J. H., Staus, N. L., Dierking, L. D., Penuel, W., Wyld, J., Bailey, D. (2016). Understanding youth STEM interest pathways within a single community: the Synergies project. International Journal of Science Education, Part B, 11, 195-212. DOI
  • Staus, N. L., Falk, J. H., Price, A., Tai, R. H., & Dierking, L. D. (2021). Measuring the long-term effects of informal science education experiences: Challenges and potential solutions. Disciplinary and Interdisciplinary Science Education Research, 3(1), 3.
  • Falk, J. H., Staus, N., Dierking, L. D., Wyld, J., Bailey, D., & Penuel, W. R. (2015). The Synergies project: Preliminary results and insights from two years of longitudinal survey research. Museology Quarterly, 29(1), 15-21.
  • Shaby, N., Staus, N., Dierking, L. D., & Falk, J. H. (2021). Pathways of interest and participation: How STEM-interested youth navigate a learning ecosystem. Science Education.
  • Staus, N. L., Falk, J. H., Penuel, W., Dierking, L., Wyld, J., & Bailey, D. (2020). Interested, Disinterested, or Neutral: Exploring STEM Interest Profiles and Pathways in A Low-Income Urban Community. Eurasia Journal of Mathematics, Science and Technology Education, 16(6), em1853.
  • Staus, N.L., Lesseig, K., Lamb, R., Falk, J.H., & Dierking, L. (2019). Validation of a measure of STEM interest for adolescents. International Journal of Science and Mathematics Education. DOI
  • Staus, N. L., O’Connell, K., & Storksdieck, M. (2021). Addressing the Ceiling Effect when Assessing STEM Out-Of-School Time Experiences. Frontiers in Education, 6, 246.