Jennifer Adams

Associate Professor; SSHRC CRC II in Creativity in STEM Education

Department of Chemistry

PhD - Urban Education

The Graduate Center, City University of New York

MSc - Nutrition

Brooklyn College, City University of New York

MSc - Secondary Science Education

New York University

Contact information


Office : EDT816

Research and teaching

Research interests

Dr. Adams’ research has focused on two areas: 1) urban place-based and environmental education and 2) informal science learning a) teacher learning, identity and agency and b) youth agency and identity. Underlying her work are critical and decolonizing stances towards science and science teaching and learning. Her research will now extend into examining the intersection of creativity and STEM in postsecondary science teaching and learning contexts.  Dr. Adams will emphasize design towards increasing the creative capacities of STEM learners and theorizing a critical stance towards creativity and STEM.


Dr. Jennifer D. Adams was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.  After college she worked in physical therapy for two years before entering the field of education. Dr. Adams taught high school Biology in the New York City Public Schools and concurrently worked as a field instructor for New York City Outward Bound.  Dr. Adams then moved on to the American Museum of Natural History where she worked as a manager of teacher education.  Dr. Adams completed a MS in nutrition at Brooklyn College, CUNY and an MA in education at New York University followed by a PhD in urban education with a Science, Math and Technology specialization at The Graduate Center, CUNY. Prior to joining the University of Calgary in 2017, Dr. Adams was an associate professor of science education at Brooklyn College, CUNY. Dr. Adams enjoys running and dance.

Professional and community affiliations

Dr. Adams serves as a lead editor for the Cultural Studies of Science Education journal.  She also serves on the membership committee for the International Society of the Learning Sciences.  Dr. Adams has served as a research and evaluation consultant for several informal science organizations including the American Museum of Natural History, the National Parks Service at Gateway National Recreational Area, the New York Hall of Science and the Queens Botanical Garden. Dr. Adams has served on numerous panels for the National Science Foundation and was invited to help articulate the agenda for NSF INCLUDES (Inclusion Across the Nation of Communities of Learners that have been Underrepresented for Diversity in Engineering and Science) meeting as a “thought leader” to generate innovative ideas and strategies to “enable scaling of social change in STEM education.” Dr. Adams is affiliated with the Barbuda Research Complex, Barbuda, WI. Where she works with an international collaborative of scientists around human ecodynamics and climate resilience from a place-based education approach.

  • National Association of Research in Science Teaching
  • International Society of the Learning Sciences
  • International Society of Culturalhistorical Activity Research


  • Adams, J., Greenwood, D., Thomashow, M., and Russ, A.  (2017). Sense of Place. In: Russ, A. and Krasny, M. (Eds.), Urban environmental Education Review. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press.
  • Strong, L., Adams, J. D., Bellino, M. E., Pieroni, P., Stoops, J., & Das, A. (2016). Against Neoliberal Enclosure: Using a Critical Transdisciplinary Approach in Science Teaching and Learning. Mind, Culture, and Activity, 23 (3), 225-236. *Underlined are mentees
  • Adams, J. D. & Gupta, P. (2015). Informal Science Institutions And Learning To Teach: An Examination Of Identity, Agency And Affordances. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, DOI: 10.1002/tea.21270
  • Adams, J. D. & Branco, B. (2016). Extending parks into the classroom through Informal Learning and Place-based education. In P. Patrick (Ed.), Preparing informal science educators. Springer: The Netherlands, Finland.
  • Bellino, M. and Adams, J.D. (2017, in press). A political ecology approach to a critical urban environmental education curriculum. The Journal of Environmental Education, Special Issue: Political Ecology of Education.