design team

Teri Balser

Teri Balser is currently a professor of Soil and Water Science and Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Florida, Gainesville. Until recently, she was an associate professor of soil and ecosystem science, and Director of the Institute for Biology Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She received a dual A.B. in Biology and Earth Sciences from Dartmouth College, and a Ph.D. in Soil Science from the University of California-Berkeley. She was recently named the 2010 Doctoral U.S. Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Institute for the Advancement of Teaching, and was also the American Association of Public and Land Grant Institutions 2009 National Excellence in College and University Teaching award winner. She is a co-founder of the newly formed Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research (SABER). Teri’s research interests range from the impact of human disturbance on soil carbon sequestration and nutrient cycles, to the development of interdisciplinary and pro-environmental identities, to the impact of various educational practices (games, groups, non-traditional pedagogies) on student attitude and motivation to learn science. She is also particularly interested in the effect of classroom psychological climate on student learning. She was a 2008 American Society for Microbiology Biology Scholar, a 2007 University of Wisconsin System Teaching Fellow, and a 2006 U.S. National Science Foundation Early Career award winner.


Jan Cheetham

Jan is a project manager and IT consultant at the Division of Information Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has been involved in the development of several games for learning about the life sciences, including Fitness Fever, JD Consult, and the N Game. She dreams of game mechanics that mimic the underlying workings of the physical world.



David Gagnon

David Gagnon is an instructional designer with the ENGAGE program at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he consults with faculty about innovative teaching practices that leverage emerging media and an active member of the Games, Learning and Society Research community where he directs the mobile learning team and ARIS Project. David has an B.S in computer science an M.S in curriculum and instruction and has managed numerous educational media projects over the last 6 years, specializing in computer simulation, gaming and mobile media. He was co author on two papers last year and gave over 25 talks on the topics of game design, mobile learning and educational social media, becoming increasingly interested in exploring the edges of design in these areas through community building, experimentation and rapid prototyping.

Luiz Lopes

Luiz is a doctoral candidate in Educational Communications and Technology program at UW-Madison and a Project Assistant at DoIT Academic Technology. He is interested in educational simulation design, social media in education, and in using technologies for teaching and learning. Luiz taught ESL for over 11 years in Brazil and was a Teaching and Project Assistant while pursuing his Master’s in Instructional Technology; he also holds a BS in Computer Science. Luiz has done consulting work on teaching and learning with technology and his skills include teaching, designing and developing instructional materials, Web design and development, database design, image, audio and video editing.

Sean McMullin

Sean McMullin is an artist and programmer with Academic Technology at The University of Wisconsin – Madison. Sean works with University faculty and departments to create games, simulations, and web applications that help engage students in courses and research. He is also very active on several internet fora as a board/card game illustrator and designer, and participates in a number of contract projects in these areas. Sean has a B.A. in Classics and an M.S. in computer science. He also has a wonderful wife, and four children who keep him fairly busy.