July 9, 2003
Contact: Marcus E. Milling (703) 379-2480


Institute Appoints Director of Development and Outreach

ALEXANDRIA, VA - The American Geological Institute (AGI) is pleased to announce Dr. Ann E. Benbow has joined the Institute as Director of Development and Outreach. Dr. Benbow's responsibilities will be broad in scope and include working with the Institute's staff to identify opportunities for development of support for new programs and activities, expanding AGI's efforts in the informal science area, and developing partnerships with foundations that support Earth science programs and careers. Additionally, Dr. Benbow will work closely with Dr. Michael J. Smith, AGI Director of Education, in the implementation and evaluation of AGI's professional development program. AGI President, M. Ray Thomasson, commented that "Dr. Benbow will provide an important new facet to AGI's management and science skills, considering her experience in the world of biology and chemistry, and she especially brings significant strength and capabilities in the area of science outreach."

   Dr. Benbow is a researcher, curriculum developer, educator, and program-development expert. After teaching science (biology, chemistry, and Earth science) at the high-school, elementary-school, and community-college levels, she taught elementary and secondary science methods at the university level. She worked in research and development for the Education Division of the American Chemical Society for 12 years. During that time, she directed a number of national educational grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). These included the FACETS middle-school curriculum project, the Operation Chemistry teacher-enhancement project (Parts I and II), the Science in a Technical World high-school curriculum project, and the ScienceGate curriculum conference. Her work in the informal science arena included a stint as managing editor of WonderScience magazine for children and adults, and administrator for the Parents and Children for Terrific Science mini-grant program. Her inter-generational program with the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, Science with a Scientist, won the National University Continuing Education Association Creative Programming Award in 1992.

   Dr. Benbow has co-authored a college textbook on elementary-science methods and recently published a book on improving communication techniques with adult learners. In addition to NSF, she has also received grant funding from private foundations, the National Institutes of Health, the National Library of Medicine, and other Federal agencies. Dr. Benbow has a B.S. in Biology from St. Mary's College in Maryland, and a M.Ed. in Science Education and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Maryland, College Park. Dr. Benbow can be contacted at

    The American Geological Institute is a nonprofit federation of 41 scientific and professional associations that represent more than 100,000 geologists, geophysicists, and other earth scientists. Founded in 1948, AGI provides information services to geoscientists, serves as a voice of shared interests in our profession, plays a major role in strengthening geoscience education, and strives to increase public awareness of the vital role the geosciences play in society's use of resources and interaction with the environment. More information about AGI can be found at The Institute also provides a public-outreach web site,

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