John Falk

Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning
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Office: 541-737-1826

Joyce Collin Furman Hall

Joyce Collin Furman Hall 201L

200 SW 15th Street

200 SW 15th Street
Corvallis, OR 97331
PhD, Biology and Education, University of California, Berkeley
MA, Zoology, University of California, Berkeley
BA, Zoology, University of California, Berkeley
Curriculum Vitae: 

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Affiliated with: 
College of Education
OSU Main Campus
Research/Career Interests: 

Current Grants
The Lemelson Foundation Advancing SCILS (STEM, Creativity & Innovation Learning through Synergies). 2013-2014. Project Director

Australian Research Council #LP120100120. Translating zoo visitors’ behavioural intentions into conservation actions using evidence-based post-visit experiences. 2012-2015. Co-Principal Investigator

NSF #DRL-1114255 Collaborative Research: Zoo and Aquarium Action Research Collaborative (ZAARC). 2011-2014. Project Director

The Noyce Foundation SYNERGIES: Understanding and Connecting STEM Learning in the Community. 2011-2015. Project Director

NSF #DRL-0638981 Informal Science Education Resource Center. 2007-2015. Co-Principal Investigator.

NSF #DRL-1010577 Pushing the Limits: Building Capacity to Enhance the Understanding of Science and Math through Rural Libraries, 2010-2014. Co-Principal Investigator

Selected Recent Publications  

Liu, C-C & Falk, J.H. (in press). Serious fun: Viewing hobbyist activities through a learning lens. International Journal of Science Education, Part II.

Falk, J. H., & Needham, M. D. (2013). Factors contributing to adult knowledge of science and technology. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 50(4), 431-452.

Falk, J.H., & Dierking, L.D. (2013). The museum experience revisited. Walnut Creek, CA: Left Coast Press.

Falk, J.H., Randol, S. & Dierking, L.D. (2012). Understanding the informal science education landscape: An exploratory study. Public Understanding of Science, 21(7), 865 – 874.

Falk, J.H., Ballantyne, R., Packer, J. & Benckendorff, P. (2012). Travel and learning: A neglected tourism research area. Annals of Tourism Research, 39(2), 908-927.

Falk, J.H. (2012). The Learning Tourist: The role of identity-related visit motivations. Tourism in Marine Environments, 7(3/4), 223-232.

Falk, J.H. & Needham, M. (2011). Measuring the impact of a science center on its community. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(1), 1-12.

Falk, J.H. (2011). Contextualizing Falk’s visitor identity-related motivation model. Visitor Studies, 14(2), 141-157.

Falk, J.H. & Dierking, L.D. (2010). The 95% Solution: School is not where most Americans learn most of their science. American Scientist, 98, 486-493.

Falk, J.H. & Storksdieck, M. (2010).Science learning in a leisure setting. Journal of Research inScience Teaching, 47(2), 194-212.

Falk, J.H. & Balling, J.D. (2010) Evolutionary influence on human visual preference. Environment and Behavior, 42, 479-493.

Falk, J.H. (2009). Identity and the Museum Visitor Experience. Walnut Creek, CA: LeftCoast Press.


Dr. John H. Falk is Director of the Institute for Learning Innovation and Sea Grant Professor of Free-Choice Learning at Oregon State University. He is a leading expert on free-choice learning; the learning that occurs when people have significant choice and control over the what, where and when of their learning.  His current research focuses on studying the community impacts of museums, libraries, zoos and aquariums; understanding the self-related reasons people utilize free-choice learning settings during their leisure time and helping cultural institutions re-think their educational positioning in the 21st century.