How are people connected to nature in the 21st century? How do we bestconnect publics to scientists, collections, and experiences in informal learning institutions such as natural history museums, zoos, gardens, and aquaria? How can informal learning experiences go beyond learning to prepare citizens to respond to 21st challenges such as climate change?


Hecht, M. & Crowley, K. (2020). Unpacking the learning ecosystem framework: Lessons from the adaptive management of biological systems. Journal of the Learning Sciences, 2(29), 264-284.

Hecht, M., Knutson, K., Crowley, K., Lyon, M., McShea, P., and Giarrantani, L. (2020). “How could dinosaurs be so close to the future?”: How natural history museum educators tackle deep time. Curator. 63 (1). 39-54.

Knutson, K and Crowley, C. (2020). Engaging older adults in climate science education: Making the case for relevant, neighborhood-focused interventions. In P. Hetland, P. Pierroux, and L. Esborg (Eds), A History of Participation in Museums and Archives. Traversing Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities. Routledge.

Steiner, M.A.*, Lyon, M., & Crowley, K. (2020). Museums that connect science and citizen: Using boundary objects and networks to encourage dialogue and collective response to wicked, socio-scientific problems. In P. Hetland, P. Pierroux, and L. Esborg (Eds), A History of Participation in Museums and Archives. Traversing Citizen Science and Citizen Humanities. Routledge.

Hecht, M., Knutson, K. & Crowley, K. (2019) Becoming a naturalist: Interest development across the learning ecology. Science Education, 103(3), 691-713.

Knutson, K. (2018). Science and natural history museums and the challenges of communicating climate change. In Schroeder, K., Drotner, K., Perry, D. (Eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Museum Media and Communication.

Eberbach, C. & Crowley, K. (2017) From Seeing to Observing: How Parents and Children Learn to See Science in a Botanical Garden, Journal of the Learning Sciences, 26:4, 608-642.

Allen, L. B. & Crowley, K. (2017). Moving beyond scientific knowledge: Leveraging participation, relevance, and interconnectedness for climate education. International Journal of Global Warming. 12 (3 & 4), 299-312.

Allen, L.B. & Crowley, K. (2017). From acquisition to inquiry: Supporting informal educators through iterative implementation of practice. In P. Patrick (Ed), Preparing Informal Educators: Perspectives from Science Communication and Education. New York: Springer.

Knutson, K, Lyon, M., Crowley, K., & Giarratani, L. (2016). Flexible interventions to increase family engagement at Natural History museum dioramas. Curator: The Museum Journal. 59 (4), 339-352.

Dillon, J., DeWitt, J., Pegram, E., Irwin, B., Crowley, K., Hayden, R., King, H., Knutson, K., Veall, D., and Zanthoudaki, M. (2016). A learning research agenda for natural history institutions. London: Natural History Museum.

Tison Povis, K. & Crowley, K. (2015). Family learning in object-based museums: The role of joint attention.Visitor Studies, 18 (2), 168-182.         

Snyder, S., Hoffstadt, R. M., Allen, L., Crowley, K., Bader, D., & Horton, R. (2014). City-wide collaborations for urban climate education. In Hamilton, P. (Ed.), Future Earth:  Advancing Civic Understanding of the Anthropocene, Geophysical Monograph Series, Vol. 197, American Geophysical Union, Washington, DC.

Allen, L. B. & Crowley, K. (2014). How museum educators change: Changing notions of learning through changing practice. Science Education, 98 (1), 84-105.

Steiner, M.A. & Crowley, K. (2013). The natural history museum: Taking on a learning research agenda. Curator: The Museum Journal, 56(2): 267-272.

Louw, M. & Crowley, K. (2013). New ways of looking and learning in natural history museums: The use of gigapixel imagingto bring science and publics together. Curator: The Museum Journal, 52(1): 87-104.

Eberbach, C.E. & Crowley, K. (2009). From Everyday to Scientific Observation: How Children Learn to Observe the Biologist's World. Review of Educational Research, 79 (1), 39-69.

Palmquist, S.D. & Crowley, K. (2007). From teachers to testers: Parents' role in child expertise development in informal settings. Science Education, 91(5), 712-732.

Palmquist, S. D. & Crowley, K. (2007). Studying dinosaur learning on an island of expertise. In R. Goldman, R. Pea, B. Barron, & S. Derry (Eds.), Video Research in the Learning Sciences (pp. 271-286). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

Crowley, K. & Jacobs, M. (2002). Islands of expertise and the development of family scientific literacy. In G. Leinhardt, K. Crowley, & K. Knutson (Eds.) Learning conversations in museums. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Funding provided by: National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, Carnegie Museum of Natural History, Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Grable Foundation, Heinz Endowments, et al.