Heather Petcovic

Photo of Heather Petcovic
Heather Petcovic
Associate Dean
(269) 387-4321
2316 Friedmann Hall, Mail Stop 5380
Mailing address: 
College of Arts and Sciences
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5308 USA
Office hours: 

By appointment only

  • Ph.D., Oregon State University, 2004
  • M.S., Oregon State University, 2000
  • B.A., Smith College, 1995
Research interests: 
  • Teaching and learning geosciences in the field
  • Novice to expert cognition in geologic problem solving
  • Professional development of K-12 earth science teachers

Dr. Heather Petcovic is an associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, and holds a joint appointment as an associate professor in geosciences and the Mallinson Institute for Science Education.

Petcovic's role as interim associate dean includes responsibility for research, graduate student success, and diversity and inclusion initiatives. A WMU faculty member since 2004, she previously served at Oregon State University, where she was coordinator for a program called Science Connections. Also at Oregon State, she had been a geosciences instructor and a National Science Foundation Teaching Fellow in the Portland school system.

She earned a bachelor's degree at Smith College and her master's and doctoral degrees from Oregon State. Active in professional organizations, she has been the editor for the past two years of the Journal of Geoscience Education and is a past chair of the Geological Society of America Geosciences Education Division. Petcovic also is the chair of the Education Section of the Geological Society of America. She is widely published in peer-reviewed journals on such topics as cartography, geochemistry and environmental education. In addition, her research has been strongly supported with external funding, resulting in her position as principal investigator or co-principal investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation totaling more than $1 million.

Petcovic's department page