Elizabeth Hufnagel

Associate Professor of Science Education
Faculty Member of the RiSE Center

5766 Shibles Hall
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469-5749

Email Elizabeth Hufnagel

Recent Publications (also see below)


Professor Hufnagel’s research centers on the intersection between emotional expressions and teaching and learning about science topics in classrooms and other science settings. Since emotions are evaluative, they provide a lens to understanding which scientific ideas resonate most with learners and teachers. Professor Hufnagel also examines the framing of climate change and other environmental topics in learning settings and political documents. Her work is grounded in discourse analysis methodologies and also draws from ethnography. In addition, Professor Hufnagel works to support pre- and in-service teachers in attending to emotions during science learning.

Before joining the faculty at UMaine, Professor Hufnagel was a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh, where she taught science education methods and qualitative research courses. She earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Science Education) from The Pennsylvania State University. Before her career in academia, she was a public high school teacher in both Boston and Brookline, Massachusetts teaching a variety of environmental science, biology, and physics classes. While in Massachusetts, she also led professional development for middle and high school teachers in the Boston area at the Urban Ecology Institute (UEI), which at the time was housed at Boston College. Her work with UEI focused on preparing science teachers to implement urban field studies using geospatial technologies. In addition to her experiences as an educator, Professor Hufnagel has also worked as a forest ecologist and environmental health analyst.


Ph.D., 2014, The Pennsylvania State University

Courses Taught at UMaine

  • ESC 316: Teaching Science in Elementary School
  • ESC 542: Advanced Studies in Science Education

Sample Publications

  • Hufnagel, E. (in press). Attending to emotional expressions about climate change: A framework for teaching and learning. In D.P. Shepardson, A. Roychoudhury, and A.S. Hirsch (Eds.), Teaching and learning about climate change: A framework for educators. Routledge.
  • Hufnagel, E. & Kelly, G.J. (under review). Examining emotional expressions in discourse: Methodological considerations. Cultural Studies of Science Education.
  • Hufnagel, E. (2015). Preservice elementary teachers’ emotional connections and disconnections to climate change in a science course. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 52, 1296–1324. DOI: 10.1002/tea.21245

College of Education Faculty Profile