Professional photo of Renee M. Clary, wearing a maroon blouse and brown blazer against a blue background.
Professor, Geology, & Director, Dunn-Seiler Museum

Renee M. Clary

Professor, Geology, & Director, Dunn-Seiler Museum

101D Hilbun Hall
Mississippi State, MS 39762

Dr. Renee Clary is a Professor and Director of the Dunn-Seiler Museum in the Department of Geosciences at Mississippi State University (MSU). Her principal area of research is geoscience education.  She co-founded EarthScholars Research Group ( with the late Jim Wandersee (LSU) in 2002. EarthScholars’ primary focus is the integration of geological and biological knowledge during science instruction, in formal, online, and informal settings. EarthScholars’ research includes the incorporation of history of science to improve science understanding, the improvement of visual geology/biology learning through innovative visualization strategies, and the maximization of geology/biology learning experiences in informal educational settings and at field sites. With over 75 journal articles, 27 book chapters, and over 200 peer-reviewed research presentations, Renee’s research has been disseminated on 5 continents, within numerous professional scientific and educational forums. She now serves as Director of the 15 Degree Laboratory ( She was the 2013-2015 Chair of the Geological Society of America History and Philosophy of Geology Division ​and is the President Elect of the History of Earth Sciences Society. Renee stays close to her geological roots by maintaining research programs in environmental geochemistry and paleontology. In her spare time, she can be found in local Cretaceous outcrops, and is rumored to have a mosasaur in her garage.


  • Ph.D. Curriculum and Instruction, Geoscience Education; Louisiana State University 
  • Dissertation: Uncovering Strata: An Investigation into the Graphic Innovations of Geologist Henry T. De la Beche
  • M.Ed. Curriculum and Instruction, Science Education; University of Louisiana at Lafayette 
  • M.S. Geology; University of Louisiana at Lafayette
  • Thesis: A Stratigraphic Interpretation of an Arctic Core, Based on Benthonic Foraminiferal and Dropstone Analyses  
  • B.S. Chemistry; University of Louisiana at Lafayette 


  • Director and Co-Founder, EarthScholars Research Group
  • Director, 15 Degree Laboratory
  • Former Instructor, Northwestern State University, Department of Chemistry and Physics
  • Former Assistant Professor and Director, X-Ray Center; University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Department of Geology
  • Former Geology Instructor, South Louisiana Community College
  • Former Research Assistant, Magnetic Products International
  • Former Chemistry and Calculus Instructor, Episcopal School of Acadiana
  • Former Chemist, Dow Chemical USA
  • Former Chief Laboratory Assistant, Asbestos Research Program

Research Interests

  • Geoscience education, history and philosophy of geology, optimization of visualization techniques, Cretaceous paleobiology, environmental geochemistry.

Teaching Areas

  • GG 1113 Survey of Earth Science I
  • GG 1121 Earth Science II Lab
  • GG 1123 Survey of Earth Science II
  • GR 8913 Philosophy and Ethics in Geosciences
  • GG 4201 Practicum in Paleontology
  • GG 4203 Principles of Paleobiology
  • GG 6103 Geology I: Processes and Products
  • GG 8213 Geology II: Earth and Time
  • GG 8313 History of Life
  • GG 8343 Paleobiology of Dinosaurs
  • GG 8423 Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  • GG 8733 Geology of North America
  • GG 4990/6990 Environmental Geochemistry
  • GG 4990/6990 Dinosaurs
  • GG 8990 Optimizing Graphic Visualization of Scientific Information

Honors/Professional Activities

  • 2019 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 2019 Fellow, Geological Society of America
  • 2017 Geological Society of America History and Philosophy of Geology Division Gerald M. and Sue T. Friedman Distinguished Service Award
  • 2016 Mississippi Academy of Sciences Outstanding Contributions to Science Award; Science Teacher of the Year
  • 2014 Mississippi State University College of Arts & Sciences Dean’s Eminent Scholar
  • 2014 International Commission on the History of Geological Sciences (INHIGEO)
  • 2012 Gold Award (1st prize) Association Media & Publishing EXCEL Award, Magazines: Feature Article (20,001 to 50,000 readership) for The Science Teacher, “Krakatoa Erupts!” by Renee Clary & James Wandersee, National Science Teachers Association, 
  • 2011 Outstanding College Science Teacher, Mississippi Science Teachers Association
  • 2010 StatePride Faculty Award, Mississippi State University
  • 2009 Research Fellow, Geosystems Research Institute 
  • 2006 Fellow, Geological Society of London
  • 1997 Richard G. Neiheisel Phi Beta Kappa Endowed Award, Outstanding Graduate Student, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Graduate Students

  • Derek Anderson
  • Youngwoo Cho 
  • Julia Domenech
  • Karly Lyons
  • Mark Powers

Recent Publications

  • Clary, R.M., Elder, A., Dunne, J., Saebo, S., Beard, D., Wax, C. & Tucker, D. (2018). Beyond the professional development academy: Teachers’ retention of discipline-specific science content knowledge throughout a 3-year mathematics and science partnership. School Science and Mathematics, DOI: 10.1111/ssm.12267
  • Clary, R.M., & Sharpe, T. (2017). The farthest end of the Earth: The role of geological research in Antarctic exploration, 1895 – 1922. In W. Mayer, R. Clary, L. Azuela, T. Mota, & S. Wolkowicz (eds.) History of Geoscience: Celebrating 50 Years of INHIGEO. Geological Society of London, Special Publication 442, 387-399. London: Geological Society of London. SP442.36.
  • Clary, R.M., & Wandersee, J.H. (2015). The history of science in the science classroom: The past is the key to the future in science education. Earth Sciences History, 34(2), 310-332.
  • Clary, R.M. (2015). The human impact on earthquakes: Natural fracturing versus fracking. Science Scope, 38(5), 24-31.
  • Clary, R.M., and Wandersee, J.H. (2014). Lessons from US fossil parks for effective informal science education. Geoheritage, 6 (4), 241-256. DOI 10.10007/212371-014-01016-x
  • Clary, R.M., & Wandersee, J.H. (2014). Integrating interdisciplinary STEM approaches for meaningful student learning. In R.E. Yager and H. Brunkhorst. Exemplary STEM Programs: Designs for Success. Arlington, VA: NSTA Press, pp. 263-280.
  • Clary, R.M., Sumrall, J.L., Rodgers, J.C., & Wandersee, J.H. (2013). The effects of geographic affiliation on students’ perceptions, awareness, and responses to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Journal of Geoscience Education, 61(4), 453-460.

Renee M. Clary's C.V.

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