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Skaza-Acosta, Heather (PhD)

Assistant Professor
Department of Ecology & Environmental Studies
Office: SH 0212
Phone: 239-590-7379

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PhD: Science Education , University of Nevada, Las Vegas
MS: Environmental Science and Policy, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
BS: Environmental Biology, The Ohio State University

Research and Teaching Interests

Dr. Skaza Acosta's research is in the use of models and modeling in science education to support learners' understanding of complex environmental issues. She is also interested in formal and non-formal environmental education partnerships building communities of practice around environmental issues.

Dr. Skaza Acosta is the Edith G. and Edward J. Andrew Professor at FGCU, which is a joint appointment between the university and the Conservancy of Southwest Florida. In this partnering role, Dr. Skaza Acosta supports the growth and enrichment of environmental education in the area as a leader of the Environmental Education Alliance of Southwest Florida, guides the FGCU student internship program at the Conservancy, and promotes environmental education research efforts within the Southwest Florida community.

Courses Offered

Interpreting the Environment
Teaching and Learning in the Outdoors
Regional Environments
Scientific Process / Environmental Research Design
Introduction to Environmental Science
Environmental Biology of Southwest Florida
Senior Research
Current Topics in Environmental Studies


Representative Publications
  • Aubrecht, K., Dori, Y., Holme, T., Levi, R., Matlin, S., Orgill, M., Skaza Acosta, H. (2019). Graphical Tools for Conceptualizing Systems Thinking in Chemistry Education. Journal of Chemical Education, 96(12), 2888–2900.
  • Ghandi, E., Skaza, H., Marti, E., Schrader, P.G., & Orgill, M. (2017). Faculty Perceptions of Student Recruitment and Retention in STEM Fields. European Journal of STEM Education, 2(1), Article 2.
  • Ghandi, E., Skaza, H., Marti, E., Schrader, P.G., & Orgill, M. (2015). Faculty perceptions of the factors influencing success in STEM fields. Journal of Research in STEM Education, 1(1), 30-44.
  • Kern, C.L., Crippen, K. J., & Skaza, H. (2014). The fidelity and usability of 5-DIE: A design study of enacted cyberlearning. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 33(1), 49-72.
  • Skaza, H., Crippen, K.J., & Carroll K. (2013). Teachers' Barriers to Introducing System Dynamics in K-12 STEM Curriculum. System Dynamics Review, 29(3), 157-69.