Martin Storksdieck

  • What I do, where I work

  • I am the Director of the Board on Science Education (BOSE) at the National Research Council. BOSE is the unit of the NRC that produced Learning Science in Informal Environments: Peoples, Places and Pursuits (2009) and Surrounded by Science: Learning Science in Informal Environments (2010). I am also a fellow at the Institute for Learning Innovation, which is located close to the Chesapeake Bay in Edgewater, Maryland where I previously served as Director of Project Development and senior researcher. My work as educational researcher and evaluator in free-choice or informal settings is quite diverse, and ranges from environment, nature and conservation to astronomy and current science. My areas of interest include factors that influence what and how we learn when we do so voluntarily in our spare time, including aspects of identity and belief; the role of volunteerism, serious leisure, and citizen science in a lifelong learning society; and how schools and out-of-school learning can be mutually enhancing. I was conducting evaluation and research studies in collaboration with organizations such as the US Botanic Garden; the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Francisco; the New York Hall of Science; or the Chabot Space & Science Center in Oakland, CA. I started my career in the informal/free-choice science education arena as an educator at a planetarium in Germany, where I wrote, directed, produced and presented shows on global warming and solar power in the mid-1990s.

  • Current position

  • Director, Board on Science Education at National Research Council

Earlier positions

  • Director of Project Development at Institute for Learning Innovation

  • Senior Research Associate at Institute for Learning Innovation

  • Producer & Educator at Planetarium Freiburg (Germany)

  • Research Associate at International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives


  • More about me

  • Much of my museum-related work is focused on science museums and science centers, but in my spare time I prefer to visit contemporary and modern art museums.

Recent publications & presentations

  • "Changing Minds? Factors that influence free-choice learning about environmental conservation."   Environmental Education Research

    March 2005

  • "Field trips in environmental education."   Berliner Wissenschafts-Verlag


  • "Using web survey in early front-end evaluations with open populations: A case study of amateur astronomers."   Visitor Studies

    October 2007

  • "Changing thinking about Learning for a Changing World."   Southern African Journal of Environmental Education


  • "Investigating public science interest and understanding: evidence for the importance of free-choice learning."   Public Understanding of Science

    April 2007

  • "School field trip visits: understanding the teacher’s world through the lens of three international studies."   Curator – The Museum Journal

    March 2006