Meena Balgopal

College of Natural Sciences
Department of Biology
Appointed: 2022
Office: Biology Building 436
Email: [email protected]

  • B.S., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 1991
  • M.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1994
  • Ph.D. North Dakota State University, 2007

Meena Balgopal is an entomologist turned science education researcher. She writes on her website (, "I used to study parasitoids (parasitic wasps) and their interactions with their respective hosts (while I was University of Wisconsin-Madison). I moved on to studying aphids and the plant viruses they hosted (while I was at the University of California-Davis). After a few years working in schools and with teachers, I studied how undergraduate biology majors (some who intended to become science teachers) overcame misconceptions about evolution through writing activities (while I was at North Dakota State University).

"When teaching secondary and undergraduate biology I realized that reflective writing helped many students put concepts together and promoted learning. I have been studying writing to learn (WTL) for more than 15 years and enjoy collaborating with colleagues. I have also collaborated with colleagues to study other ways to improve K-12 and undergraduate science education, including problem-based learning and interdisciplinary curricular approaches."

Dr. Balgopal is a strong proponent of faculty members broadening their definition of what it means to be engaged in their communities. You can follow her on Twitter at @MBalgopal.

Selected Teaching Awards and Recognitions

  • Jack E. Cermak Advising Award, Colorado State University, 2019
  • J. William Fulbright-Nehru Foreign Scholarship Award (Dakshin Foundation, Bangalore, India – “Environmental Education on the Andaman & Nicobar Islands”), 2019
  • Invited member, Senator (R.I.) Sheldon Whitehouse’s Advisory Committee on Climate Change Communication, 2017-present
  • School of Education Distinguished Scholar Award, Colorado State University, 2014
  • Tenure-Track Faculty Teaching Excellence Award, College of Applied Human Sciences, Colorado State University, 2011

Selected Positions, Grants, and Other Activities.

  • Adjunct Affiliate Professor, Dakshin Foundation (NGO), Bangalore, India, 2018-present
  • Affiliate Faculty, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, 2013-present
  • NSF Grant, Robert Noyce Program (DUE). Balgopal, M.M. (PI), Sample McMeeking, L.B., Nerger, J., Oien, J., & Sebald, A. “Supporting Teacher Scholars through Place-Based Education Professional Development,” ($1,198,461), 2020-2025
  • NSF COVID Supplemental (DUE). Balgopal, M.M. (PI), Sample McMeeking, L.B., & Weinberg, A.E. “Studying Novice STEM Teachers’ Adaptive Capacities using the Panarchy Model.” ($149,155), 2020-2021
  • Interviewed by Brookings Institute (Center for Universal Education) for Report on UNESCO’s Education of Sustainable Development and K-12 Climate Change Education, 7/5/2019
  • Co-presenter, Workshop on Science Pedagogy for Monastic Science Instructors, Emory-Tibet Science Initiative (11/4/2020)