Kimberly Tanner

Kimberly Tanner

( She/Her/Hers )
Professor; Director of SEPAL
Rice University (BA, Biochemistry); University of California, San Francisco (PhD, Neuroscience)
Phone: (415) 405-3438
Location: Office Hensill Hall 216; SEPAL Laboratory, HH 236 & 243

Field: Biology Education

At SF State Since: 2004

Office Hours: By Appointment

Specialties: Biology education research, equity and diversity in science, science education research, science teaching methods for scientists, partnerships with K-12 schools, development of novel assessment tools, community college biology teaching, cognitive psychology research 

External Personal Website: Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory (SEPAL)

I am a first-generation college-going, a neurobiologist by training, accustomed to she and her, and incredibly proud of our amazing SF state students and alumni. Let me support you in figuring out your personal and professional path during and after college!

My research group, SEPAL: The Science Education Partnership and Assessment Laboratory, is interested in how people learn science, especially biology, and how teachers and scientists can collaborate to make science teaching and learning in classrooms – Kindergarten through college – more like how scientists work. Just like other science research groups, we ask questions about what we’re interested in, design ways to collect evidence to address our questions and analyze and share the data that we collect with other researchers in our field. SEPAL researchers are studying a variety of issues in biology education and science education, with a special emphasis on developing novel assessment tools to better understand how people from children to practicing scientists conceptualize the biological and physical world.  Similar to studies in the field of physics education, this research in biology education holds the promise of revealing insights into preconceptions and misconceptions in biology that can guide strategies for curriculum improvement and teaching reform.

Please see our website for a list of recent SEPAL publications and biographies of SEPAL research students. We look forward to working with you to find a way to integrate SEPAL experiences into your time at SF State.