Michael J. Passow

Michael was a classroom Earth Scence Educator in middle school, high school, and college for 44  years. He continues to provide instruction in the graduate ES teachers program at the American Museum of Natural History in a career that now spans more than 50 years.

In 1998, he offered the first scientist-teacher Saturday workshops at Lamont  that developed into the Earth2Class program. E2C is a unique science/math/technology resource for K-12 teachers, students, the general public, and geoscientists. It is a collaboration among researchers and an Earth Science educator at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University; technology integration specialists from Brasil; and classroom teachers from New York, New Jersey, and elsewhere.

Pre-pandemic,E2C centered around “Saturday Workshops for Educators” held at Columbia's Lamont Campus in Palisades N.Y.Now, programs are provided via zoom, so they are available to teachers and students anywhere.

Michael Has been a leader in Earth Science Education at the local, regional, national, and international level. He has served as President of the Science Teachers Association of New York State, Eastern Section of the National Aassociation of Geoscience Teachers (three times), and National Earth Science Teachers Aassociation (twice). Currently, he is the Newsletter Editor of the International Geoscience Education Organization (IGEO).

Fields of Interest

Earth science education, art in science teaching


  • BA, Geology, Columbia College, Columbia University, 1970
  • MAT, Science Ed, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1971
  • Ed.D., Science Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1974
  • Ed.M., Curriculum & Teaching, Teachers College, Columbia University, 1987 

Honors & Awards

  • Nationa Earth Science Teachers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, 2017
  • NESTA Distinguished Educator Award, 2014
  • American Meteorological Society Board on Outreach and Pre-College Education, Distinguished Educator Recognition Award, 2011
  • National Earth Science Teachers Association Fellows Award, 2010
  • Science Teachers Association of New York State Fellows Award, 2009
  • American Chemistry Council National “Catalyst Teacher” Award for Pre-High School Teaching, 2001
  • Chemical Manufacturers Association “Catalyst Teacher” Award for Outstanding Middle School Teaching (Eastern Section), 1992
  • STANYS/Westchester Section "Science Educators Award," 1998
  • SCONYC/National Space Society Education Chapter Award, 1998
  • National Association of Geology Teachers/Eastern Section
  • "Outstanding Earth Science Teacher Award, New York State," 1990 and 1993

Passow, Michael J. (2021) Understanding the Age of the Ocean Floor. IODP School of Rock 2020. SERC Teaching Activities.

Passow, Michael J. (2020) “Fostering International and National Support for Geoscience Education.” The Earth Scientist, v. 36, no. 4 pp. 25-28.

Passow, Michael J.(2020) “Teaching Earth Science with American Museum of Natural History Dioramas.” The Earth Scientist v35, np. 3, pp. 12-16.

Passow, Michael. (2019) “Teaching Earth Science with Dioramas at the American Museum of Natural History.” Geophysical Research Abstracts. 2019, Vol. 21, p1-1. 1p.

Passow, M.J.(2018) “Art in the Service of Earth Science.” The Science Teacher Bulletin, v. 82, no. 1, pp. 1–23 (Fall 2018).

D. Sathler, C. Marinho, M. Passow (2018) Geografia em Comunidade: empreendedorismo, social, extensao universitaria e practicas pedagogicas inovadoras em Diamantina, Minas Gerais. GEOgrafias, v. 14, no. 1, pp. 57–81.

Passow, Michael J (2017) “What’s Wrong and What’s Right with Geography Education in the USA?” Revista Espinhaco, 6(1), pp. 41–49.

Kastens, K.A., L. Pistolesi, and M.J. Passow (2014)  Analysis of Spatial Concepts, Spatial Skills and Spatial Representations in New York State Regents Earth Science Examinations. Jour. Geosci.Educ., v.62, no. 2, pp. 278-289.

Passow, M.J. (2014) “Tales of the Resolution Reading Activities” http://joidesresolution.org/node/3521

Adamec, B.H., M. Passow, P Asher (2012) AGU's response to the Next Generation Science Standards. Eos, Transactions American Geophysical Union, v. 93, Issue 25 p.238, 19 June 2012