Professional headshot of Dr. Renee Clary. She has dark shoulder length hair and is wearing a black professional top.
Professor, Geology, & Director, Dunn-Seiler Museum

Renee M. Clary

Renee 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 and has served as Director of the 15 Degree Laboratory since 2014. Her primary focus is the integration of geological and biological knowledge during science instruction, in formal, online, and informal settings. Renee’s 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 85 journal articles, 35 book chapters, and 400 peer-reviewed research presentations, Renee’s research has been disseminated on 5 continents, within numerous professional scientific and educational forums. She served as Editor for the 2024 Geological Society of London Special Publication 543, Geology’s Significant Sites and their Contributions to Geoheritage and the 2022 Geological Society of America Memoir 218, The Evolution of Paleontological Art. Renee is President of the Society for College Science Teaching, and she served as the 2021-2022 President 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
  • GG 4113/6113 Micropaleontology
  • GG 4133/6133 Principles of Paleoecology
  •  GG 4201/6201 Practicum in Paleontology
  • GG 4203/6203 Principles of Paleobiology
  • GG 8103 Geology and Geoheritage of the National Parks
  • GG 8213 Geology II: Earth and Time
  • GG 8313 History of Life
  • GG 8343 Paleontology of Dinosaurs
  • GG 8423 Earthquakes and Volcanoes
  • GG 8733 Geology of North America
  • GR 8913 Philosophy and Ethics in Geosciences

Honors/Professional Activities

  • 2022 Fellow, Mississippi Academy of Sciences
  • 2021 Transformation Award, National Association of Geosciences Teachers (NAGT) Geoscience Education Research Division2020 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award
  • 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
  • Karly Lyons

Recent Publications

  • Kunath, M., Phillips, G.E., & Clary, R.M. (2020). Cretaceous cultch: Substrate availability for oyster Exogyra in the Maastricthian of the eastern Mississippi Embayment. Revista Mexicana de Ciencias Geológicas, 37(3), 197-211.
  • Clary, R.M. (2020). The Royal School of Mines: Henry De la Beche’s Convergence of professionalization and public advocacy. Earth Sciences History, 39(2), 291-304.
  • Cho, Y., & Clary, R.M. (2020). Challenges and opportunities for virtual learning in college geology education. (Chapter 44, p. 713-728). In J.J. Mintzes & E.M. Walter, Eds. Active learning in College Science: The Case for Evidence Based Practice. Berlin: Springer Nature.
  • Clary, R.M. (in press). A critical review of Texas, USA fossil park sites and implications for global geoheritage sites. International Journal of Geoheritage and Parks.
  • Clary, R.M., Rosenberg, G.D., & Evans, D.C. (in press). The evolution of paleontological art. GSA Special Memoir. Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America.
  • Clary, R.M. (2018). Geoheritage and public geoliteracy: Opportunities for effective geoscience education within US parks. In R. Dowling & D. Newsome (eds.) Handbook of Geotourism. (Chapter 18, p. 244-253). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Clary, R.M. (2019). Mary Anning: She sold (fossil) sea shells by the seashore. GSA Today, 29(5), 62-63.
  • 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. (2018). Can the history of geology inform geoscience education and public reception of climate change? Lessons from the history of glacial theory. Geosphere, 14(2), DOI: 10.1130GES01461.1
  • Journal Articles (2017 - 2015)
  • Clary, R.M., Dunne, J. Elder, A., Saebo, S., Beard, D., Wax, C., Winter, J., & Tucker, D. (2017). Optimizing online content instruction for effective hybrid teacher professional development programs. Journal of Science Teacher Education, 28(6), 507-521.
  • Sumrall, J.L., Clary, R.M., & Larson, E. (2017). Influence of geographic affiliation on student performance in online geology and meteorology courses. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65(3), 336-345.
  • Walker, R., Clary, R.M., & Wissehr, C. (2017). Embedding sustainability instruction across content areas: Best classroom practices from informal environmental education. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65, 185-193.
  • 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.
  • Sumrall, J.L., Clary, R.M., & Watson, J.C. (2015). Geographic affiliation and sense of place: Influences on incoming online students’ geological and meteorological content knowledge. Journal of College Science Teaching, 45(1), 36-43.
  • Clary, R.M., & Wandersee, J.L. (2015). The evolution of non-quantitative geological graphics in texts during the formative years of geology (1788-1840). Earth Sciences History, 54(1), 59-91.
  • Pedagogy Articles (2017 - 2015)
  • Sherman-Morris, K., Clary, R.M., McNeal, K., Diaz-Ramirez, J., & Brown, M. (2017). An earth hazards camp to encourage minority participation in the geosciences. Journal of Geoscience Education, 65(1), 12-22.
  • Clary, R.M. (2017). Defusing discomfort: Bridging philosophical and religious conflicts through reflective writing. The Science Teacher, 84(2), 26-30.
  • Clary, R.M. (2017). Beat the heat! An investigation into heat transfer, cooling capacities, and dilution. Science Scope, 40(8), 34-41.
  • Walker, R., Clary, R.M., Jones, J., & Carlton, C. (2016). Rocking out science! Using music videos to engage students and assess science learning. Science Scope, 40(3), 66-71.
  • Clary, R.M. (2016). Science and art in the National Parks: Celebrating the centennial of the US National Park Service. The Science Teacher, 83(7), 33-38.
  • Clary, R.M. (2016). Science storybooks: Using Giverny Award winners to engage elementary students in science concept identification and exploration. Science and Children, 54(1), 76-79.
  • Clary, R.M., & Wandersee, J.H. (2015). Tried and True: Volcano! Investigating plate tectonics, geologic time, and the rock cycle. Science Scope, 39(2), 10-15.
  • Clary, R.M. (2015). William Smith’s mapping milestone: an Interactive Historical Vignette celebrating the bicentennial of the first national geologic map. The Science Teacher, 82(7), 36-42.
  • Clary, R.M. (2015). The resource beneath our feet. Gaining a new awareness during the International Year of Soils. The Science Teacher, 82(6), 49- 56.
  • Clary, R.M., & Wandersee, J.H. (2015). Finding the CO2¬ culprit: Investigating whether man or mountain emits more atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Science Teacher, 82(3), 23-29.
  • Clary, R.M. (2015). The human impact on earthquakes: Natural fracturing versus fracking. Science Scope, 38(5), 24-31.
  • Refereed Books
  • Rosenberg, G.D., & Clary, R.M. (2018). Museums at the forefront of the history and philosophy of geology: History made, history in the making. GSA Special Paper 535. Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America. 348 pp.
  • Mayer, W., Clary, R., Azuela,L., Mota, T., Wolkowicz, S. (2017) History of Geoscience: Celebrating 50 Years of INHIGEO. Geological Society of London, Special Publication 442, London: Geological Society of London. SP442.36.
  • Refereed Book Chapters (2107 - 2015)
  • Sharpe, T., & Clary, R.M. (in press). Henry De la Beche’s pioneering illustration, Duria antiquior. In R.M. Clary, G.D. Rosenberg, and D.C. Evans (eds.), The evolution of paleontological art. Geological Society of America Memoir.
  • Rowan, R., Funderburk, T.B., & Clary, R.M. (in press). “But why paint a dinosaur blue?”: Envisioning the Cretaceous—a vitalizing, multidisciplinary project in a university museum. In R.M. Clary, G.D. Rosenberg, and D.C. Evans (eds.), The evolution of paleontological art. Geological Society of America Memoir.
  • Clary, R.M. (2021). Location, location, location: Challenges of effective geoscience education within geotourism opportunities at coastal US fossil park sites (Chapter 11, pp. 187-204). In R.B. Singh, D.Wei, and S. Anand, Eds., Global geographical heritage, geoparks, and geotourism. Berlin: Springer Nature.
  • Nagel, A.O., & Clary, R.M. (2020). Google Earth in online sciences classrooms (Chapter 42, pp. 697-711). In J.J. Mintzes & E.M. Walter, Eds. Active learning in College Science: The Case for Evidence Based Practice. Berlin: Springer Nature.
  • Clary, R.M., & Moe-Hoffman, A. (2018). The role of the Dunn-Seiler Museum, Mississippi State University, in promoting public geoliteracy. In G. Rosenberg & R. Clary (eds.) Museums at the Forefront of the History and Philosophy of Geology: History Made, History in the Making. (Chapter 15, p. 237-248). GSA Special Paper 535. Boulder, CO: Geological Society of America.
  • Clary, R.M. (2017). Controversies in the history of geology and their educational importance for facilitating understanding of the nature of science. 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, 189-198. London: Geological Society of London. SP442.36.
  • 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.
  • Walker, R., Clary, R.M., Carroll, K., & Anthony, K. (2015). Harnessing the power of immersive innovative environmental experiences. In. S. Latourelle (ed.) Innovations in College Science Teaching. Society for College Science Teachers (Chapter 1, pp. 5 – 20).
  • Clary, R.M., Remo, J.P., Walker, R., & Wandersee, J.H. (2015). Drawing scientists together: University faculty’s perceptions of art and perceived barriers to constructing and implementing visual data in science classrooms. In J.E. Pederson and K.D. Finson (eds.) Application of Visual Data in K-16 Science Classrooms. Information Age Publishing (Chapter 15, pp. 357-376).

Renee M. Clary's C.V.

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