Carol Brewer Ph.D. - Lab Website
Plant Functional Morphology and Ecology Education
No Child Left Indoors

Dr. Carol Brewer

Brewer Lab Home

Carol Brewer Ph.D.
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
Professor, Division of Biological Sciences

B.A. California State University, Fullerton, 1981 B.S. University of Wyoming, 1985
M.S. University of Wyoming, 1986
Ph.D. University of Wyoming, 1993

Current Position:
Associate Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

My lab group is actively involved in basic research in plant biology and science education, and I mentor graduate students in both areas. The core philosophy of my research program is that acquisition of knowledge alone will not be sufficient for improving scientific literacy unless such knowledge is disseminated and applied effectively.  This is an important part of the researcher’s role in promoting scientific literacy – communicating about science in a way that captures the imagination and understanding of the communities in which we live. All of my graduate students write a chapter of their thesis or dissertation for a nonscientific audience. Modeling and practicing these skills with my students is one step towards communicating the science we do beyond our scientist peers.  Recent areas of research in the lab have included topics such as the physiological ecology of dioecy in southern hemisphere conifers, exploring how film influences science literacy, developing computer games as a tool for ecological learning, and training teachers to use their schoolyards for leading ecological investigations to ensure no child is left indoors.

In the Spotlight

Interview and Podcast on Earth and Sky Radio.

Carol Brewer talks about ecological literacy and tracking Earth's changes through Project Budburst.

May 2008 E-newsletter

Carol Brewer addresses scientific literacy in the classroom.

Read the interview on about the biology curriculum and ways to improve student understanding of science concepts and issues. is an education resource of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), Washington, DC

Brewer Receives 2007 Odum Award from the Ecological Society of America

The Ecological Society of America has announced that Carol Brewer has received the Eugene P. Odum Award for 2007.  The award was presented in August at the annual meeting in San Jose CA.  To learn more about the award link to

Brewer Receives 2007 AIBS Education Award

Carol Brewer has been named as the recipient of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS) Education Award for 2007.  The award was presented at the annual meeting of AIBS in Washington DC in May.  For more information about the AIBS Education Award, link to  For more information at the AIBS Annual Meeting for 2007, link to

Interview and Podcast by Earth and Sky Radio with Carol Brewer

While spring is in the air, a citizen science project across North America needs your help. Project Budburst is about phenology, that is, the timing of when plants put out leaves and flowers. We like to say that phenology is Nature’s clock. Watch it and use it. Check out the interview and podcast on the Earth and Sky Website. You’ll find all the information you need to participate in Project BudBurst at

Flock of Dodos

Flock of Dodos is the first feature documentary (85 mins.) to present both sides of the evolution vs. intelligent design controversy that recently appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek .

Northern Rockies Natural History Guide

An online guide to the plants and animals of the Northern Rockies of western Montana with a particular focus on schoolyards and surrounding local natural areas in Ravalli and Missoula Counties.

An interview of Carol Brewer by Earth and Sky on the importance of education for sustainability.

Research on why conifer trees are pyramid-shaped featured on Earth and Sky.