Meet a Board Member: Wendy Van Norden

Wendy Van Norden teaches regular and honors geology at Harvard-Westlake School in North Hollywood, CA. She earned a B.A. and a M.A.T. from Colgate University. Wendy is the High School workshop instructor at the Mineral Education Conferences sponsored by the California Mineral Education Foundation, and a frequent presenter at Geologic Society of America conferences. Wendy received the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award from National Association of Geoscience Teachers and the Geologic Society of America Award for Excellence in Earth Science Teaching. She leads backpacking trips in Alaska for the Sierra Club and gives lectures on cruise ships.

Wendy spearheaded the Advanced Placement Geology Initiative, a grassroots national initiative to convince the College Board to create an AP Geology course. When that initiative went down in flames, she proceeded to create an honors course for which her students receive college credit at UCLA. She is now in the process of offering teacher presentations and workshops in California and around the country in order to help other teachers create a rigorous college-level Earth Science course. She is dedicated to the idea that we do not teach enough Earth Science in our high schools, and when we do teach it, we usually teach only the students least likely to study Earth Science in college. She is on a crusade to change that and welcomes input from NESTA members with ideas and questions about how we can improve Earth Science education. Contact Wendy at

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Meet Wendy Van Norden
Wendy Van Norden

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