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Neil A Knobloch

Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication 

  • Professor of Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication
  • Professor – Extension Education
Lilly Room 3-232
915 W State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2054

Faculty Profile
Dr. Knobloch is Chair of the Purdue Agriculture PK-12 Engagement and Outreach Initiative, and Co-Director of the Mentoring @ Purdue Program. He is a Fellow of the American Association for Agricultural Education. Dr. Knobloch provides leadership to enhance K-12, undergraduate and graduate education and advance the STEM career pipeline through innovative and integrated STEM learning experiences at Purdue, nationally and internationally. He has been recognized nationally for his research, teaching and engagement to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion. Dr. Knobloch is passionate about engaging all students to solve complex real-world problems using inclusive learner-centered teaching approaches. His research improves science literacy and career motivation through informal, nonformal, and formal STEM education in the agricultural STEM sciences (animal, plant, food, environmental, and nutritional sciences). Dr. Knobloch collaborates with K-12 teachers, youth educators, outreach coordinators, and professors to implement learner-centered teaching strategies, and study the effectiveness of experiential learning and interdisciplinary education programs across the PK-20 pipeline. 

PhD, Human & Community Resource Development, Ohio State University, 2002
MS, Agricultural Education, Iowa State University, 1997
BS, Agricultural & Extension Education, Iowa State University, 1992

Department Responsibilities
Departmental Representative, College of Agriculture Area Promotions Committee
Member, Department Leadership Council
Coordinator, STEM Learning Systems Signature Area
Co-Director, Mentoring @ Purdue and Summer Scholars Program

Courses Taught
ASEC 545 Teaching STEM through Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources
ASEC 591 Community-Based Food Security Education
ASEC 681 Research Design for Social Scientists

Professional Service
President, North Central Region American Association of Agricultural Education, 2020-22
Chair, Editing-Managing Board of the Journal of Agricultural Education, 2018
Chair, PK-12 Council, College of Agriculture, Purdue University, 2011-present

Research Interests
Motivation; self-efficacy; experiential learning; learner-centered teaching; science literacy

Grants & Projects
Co-Project Director, Computational Skills Development for Next Generation Agriscience Professionals for Sustaining Data Driven Agriculture. NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant. 2020-23

Co-Project Director, Industry-Driven Integrated STEM and Systems Approach to Innovative incubation (IN-VISION). NIFA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Professional Development for Agricultural Literacy (PDAL). 2020-23

Co-Project Director, Developing Faculty Leadership Teams to Implement Inclusive and Intentional Mentoring Programs at 1862 and 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. NIFA Higher Education Challenge Grant. 2019-2022.

Co-Project Director, Building Empowered Leader-Scholars through Intentional mEntoring for InclusiVe Excellence in Food, Agriculture and Natural Resources (B.E.L.I.E.V.E). NIFA National Needs Graduate and Postgraduate Fellowship (NNF) Grants Program. 2018-23.

Project Director, Engaging P-20 Students and the Public through STEM Education and Science Communication. NIFA Hatch Project. 2018-23.

Co-Project Director, Building Future Faculty and Leaders through Culturally Responsive Learner-Centered Teaching Partnerships. 1890 Institution Teaching, NIFA Research and Extension Capacity Building Grant. 2016-21.

Project Director, Land-grant Outreach for Community-based Agricultural Learning for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education (LOCAL STEM). USDA AFRI Education and Literacy Initiative. 2017-21

Co-Project Director, Recruiting Underrepresented Minority Graduate Students in the Agricultural Sciences through Partnerships with 1890 Land-Grant Institutions. NIFA Women and Minorities in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Fields Program (WAMS). 2016-19.

Co-Project Director, Enhancing Minority Middle School Student Knowledge, Literacy and Motivation in STEM Using Contextualized Life Science Learning Experiences. National Science Foundation Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) Grant. 2017-2020.

For publications, please visit my Google Scholar page.

Awards & Honors

(2019) Diversity Champion Award (Award presented to the Mentoring@Purdue Team). National Land-Grant Diversity Conference.

(2018) Violet Haas Advancement of Women Award. The Susan Bulkeley Butler Center for Leadership Excellence, Purdue University.

(2018) Diversity and Inclusion Award (Award presented to the Mentoring@Purdue Team). Association of Public and Land-grant Universities National Experiment Station Section.

(2017) Engagement Award for the Mentoring@Purdue (M@P). Purdue University Black Graduate Student Association (BGSA).

(2019) Outstanding Article Award of Journal of Agricultural Education. American Association for Agricultural Education.

(2017) Fellow. American Association for Agricultural Education.

(2018) Diversity and Inclusion Award for Mentoring@Purdue Team. APLU National Experiment Station Section.

(2017) Outstanding Article Award. AAAE Journal of Agricultural Education.

(2019) Advisor of Outstanding Thesis Award. American Association for Agricultural Education.

Selected Publications

Mueller, A. L., Knobloch, N. A., & Orvis, K. S. (2010). High School Teachers’ Perceptions of a Student-Centered Biotechnology and Genomics Unit. Proceedings of 2010 American Education Research Association (AERA) Conference.

Becoming a scholar as a teacher educator. (2010). In Preparing and Advancing Teachers of Agriculture (1, 42-85). Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State University Curriculum Materials Service.

Are They Digging It? An Analysis of a Horticulture Career Development Event General Knowledge Exam. (2010). Association of Career and Technical Education Research, 1. Retrieved from

Esters, L. (2010). Attracting Underrepresented Minorities through Contextual Learning STEM Experiences. North American Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Conference, 1.

Shields, N. (2010). Developing a Zoo-Based Assessment to Measure Science Interest and Knowledge. Association of Career and Technical Education Research, 1. Retrieved from

McGowan, O., Stewart, A., McGowan, B., & Esters, L. (2010). Developing Human Capacity though Learner-Centered Teaching Approaches at Historically Black Colleges and Universities. OUCEC Conference 2010: University-Assisted Community Schools, "Where Theory and Practice Intersect: Pointing the Way to P-20 Success, 1.

Editor of Proceedings. (2010). Proceedings of the 2010 American Association of Agricultural Educatorsäó» Research Conference,. Retrieved from

Jones, A. (2010). Learner-Centered Teaching Modules Overview. National Conference of Learner-Centered Teaching, 1.

Esters, L. (2010). Life Science Education Signature Area (LSESA): An Interdisciplinary Approach to the Contextual Application of STEM Learning. Gender and Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Research Symposium hosted by ADVANCE-Purdue and the Center for Faculty Success, 1.

Voigt, M., Shields, N., & Brady, C. (2010). Motivation of Youth Participating in 2010 State Hippology Contest. American Association of Agricultural Educators, 2. Retrieved from

Agricultural Sciences Education and Communication, 915 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907 USA, (765) 494-8423

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