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Katie Stofer

Katie Stofer is Research Assistant Professor of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Education and Outreach in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication at the University of Florida. She studies public engagement with science, particularly what makes public engagement effective for both scientists and various publics, and designs new models of public engagement.



Resources for Public Engagement and Outreach (4/7/2021) by Katie Stofer - Here’s another oldie-but-goodie pulled from pages as IFAS migrates blogs. These are some of the public engagement with science (aka science outreach or informal science education or science communication) resources I have found in my... Read More
Looking for a career in public engagement with science or STEM? (4/1/2021) by Katie Stofer - If you’re working on a career in public engagement with science … As my IFAS blog migrates internally, several individual pages I have will be going away, so I am re-publishing them as blog posts.... Read More
Young girl examines blueberries on a bush at an agritourism u-pick operation Agritourism Resources for Florida Extension and beyond (3/31/2021) by Katie Stofer - So my IFAS blog is moving … sort of. I have several pages I’ve created over the last few years that I’m re-posting now as actual blog posts. This post covers agritourism-related resources for Extension... Read More
Do you know a farmer … a scientist … a military member? Maybe not. But it matters, especially for inspiring youth to pursue STEM careers. (8/16/2019) by Katie Stofer - My work aims to improve public engagement with science. To me, that means I am trying to bring scientists together with stakeholders so that together, they can combine their expertises and concerns to address problems... Read More
Looking for a career in public engagement with science in or out of academia? (2/22/2019) by Katie Stofer - If you’re working on a career in public engagement with science … I’m compiling a set of resources for people looking to get jobs in public engagement with science. (or STEM) or outreach or informal... Read More
The joy and pain of online survey #research with Amazon Mechanical Turk … (9/14/2018) by Katie Stofer - So I just ran my second paid online survey through Amazon Mechanical Turk. Despite my internet searches of how to do this right and treat participants fairly (there is discussion about whether these are “workers”... Read More
Back in the swing for fall (9/11/2018) by Katie Stofer - Over the summer, there were several changes to our TIDESS project team. We said goodbye to Carrie, who won a prestigious award to help her finish her dissertation (defense scheduled for October 25!), and Peter,... Read More
15,000 bees on a box $58 million … is it a lot or not? (8/14/2018) by Katie Stofer - Well, it depends. $58 million is what NASA estimates a trip around the moon as a SpaceX tourist would cost. For most people, it’s out of reach compared to our  median U.S. incomes of $59... Read More
Artist and students build a sculpture on the UF campus What is creativity and innovation, and who is creative or innovative in their work? (hint: it’s more than just artists, and creativity isn’t just about the final product) (6/6/2018) by Katie Stofer - A colleague of mine from the UF Innovation Academy paid me a high compliment, noting me as an innovative and interdisciplinary thinker (full disclosure: my immediate reaction was, who, moi?). She asked me to share... Read More
talk science with me – orientation videos for public engagement with science (11/21/2017) by Katie Stofer - For those of you researchers interested in participating in the NSF and UF/IFAS engagement program talk science with me, I’ve created a couple of orientation videos: talk science with me – What is It? (5:14)... Read More
Male scientist with tarantula (left) and scorpion (right) on their faces Why I work to get more everyday people and scientists engaged with each other: Inspiration from Seth Godin for #sciengage (11/5/2017) by Katie Stofer - My sister brought Seth Godin’s blog to my attention a few months ago. He writes about, among other things, “changing everything.” Though at first glance it is not related to my work as it is... Read More
Researcher Chelsea Smartt investigating mosquitos in the lab @AAAS says likely industry won’t fill funding gaps if federal funding for R&D is cut (11/1/2017) by Katie Stofer - “The evidence suggests limits to industry’s willingness to fund R&D vacated by the federal government, should Congress go along with the White House’s budget plans.” For academic and basic research, which underlies much of... Read More
Welcome back reminder: #AgSTEM #STEMed frameworks document (8/29/2017) by Katie Stofer - can be found on @UFAEC ‘s web site, linking Ag Ed and STEM Ed guidelines for teachers. We produced this document through USDA’s Multistate S1057 project:   More about the project here and here. We are... Read More
#Citizenscience redux and video (8/7/2017) by Katie Stofer - I took on an #extension fellowship in 2015 on citizen science, to promote its use throughout #coopext. This continues to pay dividends, as I am now in the process of taking on my first PhD... Read More
Learning styles may be debunked, but teaching/facilitating/engagement styles live on #sciengage #scioutreach (6/27/2017) by Katie Stofer - As people develop their public engagement (aka outreach or communication or informal/free-choice education) practices, they may begin to think about the style they use when engaging. One tool that agricultural educators often draw on is... Read More
CATALySES teacher #professionaldevelopment kicks off @ufcpet @nih #scienceeducation (6/19/2017) by Katie Stofer - It’s day 1 of our new NIH funded teacher workshop on emerging pathogens: CATALySES. We have 15 high school teachers ready to go for a two-week experience combining content, lab practices, facilities tours, and planning for... Read More
@AgTechLaura has a great new step-by-step article to improve your #dataviz : (4/27/2017) by Katie Stofer - Laura Thompson from Nebraska Cooperative Extension is a data visualization fellow for eXtension. Her latest article shows a great makeover of her own data visualization of change (or in her case, a lack thereof) over... Read More
eXtension Fellowship in #CitizenScience article published in JOE! (4/24/2017) by Katie Stofer - #CoopExt @extensionLearns I spent a year in July 2015-16 helping eXtension determine the potential for, and current state of, citizen science in Cooperative Extension programs. In short, there are a lot of people participating in... Read More
On "wishing" students "good luck" on their exams and instead encouraging to empower themselves (4/21/2017) by Katie Stofer - Since I have worked (particularly with undergraduates) these last few years as a beginning research professor, I have caught myself automatically wishing them “good luck” when they tell me they have an exam/final/big project due.... Read More
GEO students present research at local undergraduate conferences #nsf #ugresearch #geoscience (4/18/2017) by Katie Stofer - Two of our Santa Fe College undergraduates from the 2016 Geoscience Engagement and Outreach program (joint SF/UF/Orlando Science Center, NSF awards 1540724 and 1540729) just presented their research at local conferences: Diego Sanchez, my mentee, presented... Read More
New TIDESS project website! (4/12/2017) by Katie Stofer - We are rocking and rolling now on my NSF AISL project, now called Touch Interaction for Data Engagement on Spherical Screens (formerly Think Globally, Interact Locally). So we have our own website for it, with... Read More
A grad student collaborator's conference update – from last summer (oops) #proflife (4/11/2017) by Katie Stofer - As I get started in my career as a professor (ok, it’s been almost 4 years but it’s a little different as a research prof than someone on the tenure track), I have been starting... Read More
New page: resources on public engagement and science communication #sciengage #scicomm (4/7/2017) by Katie Stofer - Resources – Public Engagement and Outreach I’ve started a new page on this site to collect and share the resources I come across related to public engagement and communication, specifically around science or STEM and often... Read More
The joy of results (and thank you conference deadlines for making us analyze data) #research #science #littlethings #ftw (2/23/2017) by Katie Stofer - Today was a joyous day … after a painful realization that failing to unhide rows in Excel and failing to uncheck the box in SPSS to ignore hidden cells meant I had run data on... Read More
Free-choice learning/informal education journals #sciengage #infscience #scicom #scicomm (2/22/2017) by Katie Stofer - Here’s a sometimes-updated list of journals I use for Free-choice learning and informal (science) education. AKA nonformal education (See my article Stofer, 2015 for more info on these terms) in the Cooperative Extension world. Please share... Read More
GEO students visit UF labs (2/15/2017) by Katie Stofer - Over the past few weeks, the Geoscience Engagement and Outreach (GEO) students from Santa Fe College have been visiting the labs of the UF mentors in preparation for selecting which mentors they want to work with.... Read More
On Vera Rubin and the idea of needing permission to do science (12/27/2016) by Katie Stofer - A friend just forwarded me the link to the obituary for Vera Rubin by NPR. She faced gender discrimination in her career as an astronomer but also became a trailblazer for women, eventually making a... Read More
This reporter gets it! (11/29/2016) by Katie Stofer - This article in the Gainesville Sun today really captures the essence of the public engagement I’m trying to do. It was really exciting to have the reporter spend so much time covering this. Thanks again... Read More
#Hurricanematthew recovery resources f @UF_IFAS @ablindsey @EDENTweets (10/11/2016) by Katie Stofer - UF/IFAS Extension and other coastal partners and the Extension Disaster Education Network compiled a list of resources to help hurricane recovery efforts:
My conversation with @ndbob about #citizenscience in #cooperativeextension (10/7/2016) by Katie Stofer - Bob Bertsch just had me on his program Working Differently in Extension this past Monday. I talked about what I found out through my time as a Citizen Science fellow for Check out the... Read More
Visualization research gets good press in Science Daily (9/15/2016) by Katie Stofer - My recent publication, When a Picture Isn’t Worth 1000 Words: Learners Struggle to Find Meaning in Data Visualizations, got a great press release from UF/IFAS, which was picked up by Science Daily. I got a wonderful email... Read More
Wrap-up from a year as eXtension's Citizen Science Fellow (9/7/2016) by Katie Stofer - I just wrapped up a year working with as a Citizen Science Fellow, trying to understand and support citizen science efforts throughout Cooperative Extension. Read all about my findings here. You can also go... Read More
An example of science communication in uncertainty – from a physician (8/9/2016) by Katie Stofer - In science communication/outreach/engagement, I continue to push myself and others to remember we have to value the knowledge in our audiences – they are not blank slates or empty pails waiting for us to fill... Read More
LITW students present at NMEA 2016 (6/29/2016) by Katie Stofer - Two of my undergraduate research students, Esther and Meghana, presented a poster of our preliminary research plan for “talk science with me” at the National Marine Educators Association 2016 Conference this week in Orlando. They... Read More
More updates – from an undergraduate collaborator! (4/8/2016) by Katie Stofer - Check out all the progress on a museum data visualization prototype exhibit I am working on with two colleagues in UF’s Computer and Information Sciences department. These posts are by Annie Luc, our undergraduate collaborator,... Read More
Education Research/Outreach/Communication Interns wanted! (4/6/2016) by Katie Stofer - I’m always on the lookout for a few good interns – undergraduate level, generally, but motivated high school students are welcome to contact me as well, or graduate students looking to broaden their experiences. Here... Read More
The best laid plans for data collection went awry in almost every way imaginable! (4/5/2016) by Katie Stofer - For a recent round of data collection with a new prototype exhibit at the Florida Museum of Natural History, Lisa Anthony, Annie Luc, and I made our plans. We decided we needed a phillips-head screwdriver to... Read More
Another grant I'm working on – #USDAHEC (3/21/2016) by Katie Stofer - In 2015, Dr. Brantlee Spakes-Richter and I, with members of the American Phytopathological Society, received a USDA Higher Ed Challenge award to study introductory plant pathology (plant disease) curricula across the U.S. We want to... Read More
See me talk about careers in translational STEM communication (2/8/2016) by Katie Stofer - A belated link to a panel I was part of for the UF STEM Translational Communication Research program last summer on career opportunities in science/technology/engineering/math communication for broad audiences. I was also a “Member of... Read More
New paper on citizen science in college classes published in JCOM! (1/21/2016) by Katie Stofer - See For part 1 of a special issue on Citizen Science in the Journal of Science Communication, collaborators in Entomology at UF and beyond had their undergrads participate in citizen science as part of a general... Read More
Part 2: Dr. Stofer Goes to Washington (new expanded edition!) (10/23/2015) by Katie Stofer - The longer story of my visit to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s recent forum  as well as the afternoon planning workshop on citizen science and crowdsourcing is now posted on the... Read More
Dr. Stofer goes to Washington (10/20/2015) by Katie Stofer - I was recently privileged to attend the White House’s forum on citizen science (aka public participation in scientific research). I blogged about the new toolkit released to promote and support citizen science and the potential... Read More
STEM … plus plus plus = ??? (9/24/2015) by Katie Stofer - So STEM. I talked about what it means to me in an earlier brief post. I most often hear it as an acronym for “science, technology, engineering, and math,” as in “STEM Education” (in fact,... Read More
No data is too obvious to publish (8/17/2015) by Katie Stofer - One of the main goals of the UF Ag-STEM lab is to help re-connect what have become separate, siloed disciplines: science and agriculture. I have a research publication out about the potential to do that in... Read More
Off to NARST and AERA (4/9/2015) by Katie Stofer - I’m headed to NARST and AERA in Chicago next week. I’ll be presenting at NARST in two sessions: The Basu Scholars Symposium and a Strand 2 Session Tuesday morning.
Down the rabbit hole: How long should you spend tracking down that one article? (1/9/2015) by Katie Stofer - In reading an article on public perceptions of agriculture, I decided I wanted to track down a citation contained in it. The following is a brief description of the saga to find the source, and what... Read More
The pace of publication – does qualitative take longer? (12/8/2014) by Katie Stofer - I just had my first paper from my dissertation published: Comparing Experts and Novices on Scaffolded Data Visualizations using Eye-tracking. It was on the (mostly) quantitative results of my mixed-methods study, completed in early 2013.... Read More
What does STEM mean to me? (10/22/2014) by Katie Stofer - I got a chance to look back at my former lab at Oregon State today:, and I saw Susan’s post asking what I think of as STEM? As those who know my career path might... Read More
Teaching with Visualizations of Data (5/1/2014) by Katie Stofer - Teaching with Visualizations of Data Suggestions for teachers (aimed currently at high school level, but adaptable) to help students learn with visualizations of data
Creating Visualizations that are understandable to broad audiences (4/30/2014) by Katie Stofer - Kelly at VizCandy tells us we must know our audience when building a data visualization, giving steps to think about when planning what charts and visualizations to build, and how much data to display. I... Read More
Joining the digital age … at least professionally (4/29/2014) by Katie Stofer - So, I’ve got a professional blog now! That is, a blog about my professional work, not necessarily reflective of the money I make off of this (I don’t). I do have an Extension appointment as... Read More