Daniel K. Capps


My academic background is in geology, but I became interested in teaching and learning science as a graduate teaching assistant of introductory geology laboratories at Indiana University (IU). Based on this experience I enrolled in a teacher certification program at IU and spent ten years teaching science in a variety of settings and levels, including public and private schools, spanning kindergarten to adult education. I taught middle school science in rural New York and elementary, middle, and high school science as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. I also taught in informal science settings at the K-12 level in Washington DC and in southern California. When I returned to graduate student in Ithaca, NY I did so to better understand how to design teaching and learning experiences that would support teachers and students in better understanding what science is and the different ways it is practiced. I began my academic career at the University of Maine and have migrated south to UGA. Though I am not a southerner, in one sense this migration a homecoming of sorts as I once made the reverse trip (GA to ME) on foot. When not working, I enjoy being outdoors (hiking, running, biking, etc.) and traveling (especially in Latin America).


  • science teacher professional development
  • science teacher education
  • instructional design to support learning in scientific practices


  •  PhD in Learning, Teaching, & Social Policy, 2011
    Cornell University
  •  MS in Education, 2008
    Indiana University
  •  MS in Geology, 2002
    Indiana University
  •  BS in Geology, 1998
    Hope College



 706-542-9274 (office)

Research Summary

My research focuses on supporting teachers (and ultimately their students) in understanding more about what science is and the many ways it is practiced. Much of my research has centered on teacher learning and teacher change connected with reform-based education. Specifically, I have worked on supporting teachers in learning science content knowledge (e.g. geologic concepts, evolution, and nature of science) through inquiry and in enacting inquiry-based instruction in their classrooms. I have also recently become interested in designing instructional experiences to support students in learning about modeling and argumentation. I am currently recruiting graduate students. Please contact me if you are interested in learning more.



Inquiry Teacher Professional Development


Awards and Accolades

Ocie T. Dekle Excellence in Teaching Award

Mary Frances Early College of Education, University of Georgia, 2020

Hope College Young Alumni Award

Hope College, 2012