Missy Holzer earned her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Planning and Design from Cook College, Rutgers University. She earned is Masters of Arts in Teaching Science from The College of New Jersey, and a Masters of Science in Geography from Rutgers University. She earned a PhD in Science Education from Rutgers Graduate School of Education. Missy is a veteran high school teacher of Earth & Space Science, Physical Geography, and AP Environmental Science in Chatham, NJ. Missy started her teaching career in the mid-80's teaching a hodgepodge of freshmen science classes. Soon after the 9th grade curriculum changed to Earth & Space Science which not only changed her teaching load, but started her on a journey to explore the Earth to connect her students to the Earth. To prepare for this transition she applied for and received a summer sabbatical which took her to the Southwest United States and Yellowstone National Park. She was like a "kid in a candy shop" during these field courses, and was overtaken by the grandeur of all of the sights and the mechanisms by which they were created. This was the perfect professional development experience she needed to prepare for her new curriculum. She was hooked, and her search for "geologic eye-candy" continues to this day, with volcanoes being highest on her list. Missy's summer vacations after her sabbatical mostly consisted of field research, and it was these experiences that enlightened her to the goal of science, which is to seek an understanding of our natural world. Besides learning cutting-edge science, she was enthralled by the creative field methods employed by Earth scientists. An archeological dig in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica turned her onto the connections between the geosciences and history. The numerous research cruises she's been on enlightened her to the work of marine scientists and how they do their science in a place that's big, dark, and salty. She learned that collecting volcanic rock samples requires quite a bit of forethought and agility in order to get to the locations harboring ideal samples. These and her other field assignments taught her how the design of good research questions and the selection of appropriate field methods are necessary before heading into the field, and that "Plan B's" are also necessary should initial research plans fall short given the challenges of field constraints. All of her professional development experiences (NOAO RBSE, NOAA Teacher at Sea, Earthwatch Expeditions, PolarTREC, numerous professional development workshops across the country, etc.) taught her how to craft meaningful lessons and field experiences for her students, and now when her students go into the field, they are not only getting outside, but they are "doing science" and loving it. As a life-long learner who wants nothing but the best for her students, Missy knew she needed more experiences, but this time it was back to school for her, and not in the field. She decided having a Masters in Arts in Teaching was fine to get me into the classroom, but it was not enough to teach her how to do research. She enrolled in the Rutgers University Geography Department with two goals: 1) to learn about the connections between humans and their world, and 2) to take on a research project from start to finish. Her physical geography focus was predominantly in climatology, and her research project explored the diurnal changes in our regional heat island. She learned how to craft a good research question and design methods to answer her questions, just like all those with whom she worked in her field experiences. After completing this program, Missy knew there was one more degree she needed to pursue. This time the focus was on how students learn science, and she subsequently enrolled in a science education PhD program. Her dissertation project focused on how students develop complex systems thinking skills, an important skill needed to fully understand how our natural world works. More than having experienced wonderful professional development experiences and acquired degrees, it is the way her thinking has been shaped by all of these experiences for which she is grateful. Her students are poked and prodded to think, to make connections, and to ask good questions. They know that when they write a research question, every word has meaning, and that their question must be testable. They know to be creative in designing their methods, and how to access data and data tools to help them to answer their questions. She is thankful to all of the mentors who assisted in creating the educator she is today. As a way to give back to all who have mentored and inspired me, she has been involved in offering professional development to educators in local, state, national, and international venues for quite some time. Like in her classroom, she uses her professional development offerings as a chance to inspire educators and encourage them to branch out to find new ways of engaging their students in order to prepare them to be effective citizens who make informed decisions, and to explore their natural world.