Headshot of John   Ruppert

John Ruppert,

Assistant Professor and Academic EHS Officer

Contact Info


About Dr. Ruppert

Dr. John Ruppert is an assistant professor in the Biology Department at Saint Peter’s University. He graduated from Rutgers University with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution, a Masters in Science Education, and a Bachelors in Agricultural Biotechnology. Dr. Ruppert is passionate about promoting constructive civic discourse and engagement with science. His research focuses on characterizing cognitive and epistemic features of constructive civic science engagement in everyday life and using this understanding to improve pedagogical and curriculum models for science education. He welcomes ambitious and dedicated members of the Saint Peter’s community to participate in this research.

In addition to these core research aims, Dr. Ruppert is a co-PI to the TREX internship program, where he is responsible for academic support and research into academic apprenticeship. He is also a member of the NOYCE program team, helping to train the next generation of science teachers.

Dr. Ruppert has also served several administrative roles at the University as the Laboratory Manager for Biology and Academic Environmental Health and Safety Officer, where he has helped the Saint Peter’s community develop programs to expand to University functioning in their science laboratory offering.

Dr. Ruppert is co-advisor to the Students Against Violating the Earth (SAVE) club, a member of the Saint Peter’s University Sustainability Council, National Association for Research in Science Teaching, and Ecological Society of America. He serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and the National Association for Research in Science Teaching conference.

“When developing my courses, I integrate these components of modern teaching. I first help learners explore modern problems in health, environment, and economics. I push them to explore different perspectives on solving those problems from different disciplines, focusing on the consilience of knowledge. I teach learners how to use models to guide inquiry and identify specific relationships to investigate themselves. I believe in diversity and empowering learners to have a voice, rather than seeking a standardized answer to problems, try to tailor scaffolding to support each student’s inquiry and help them understand the uncertainty of their findings.”

Research Interests

  • Science and Environmental Education.
  • Learning Sciences, Conceptual Change, Epistemology.
  • Cognition.
  • Ontology.
  • Interaction between qualities and types of knowledge.
  • Apprenticeship and Communities of Practice.

Career & Accomplishments


  • Rutgers University, Graduate School of New Brunswick, Ph.D.

  • Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education, Ed.M.

  • Cook College, Rutgers University, B.S.

Awards and Honors in University

  • $997 grant for improving undergraduate research from the TriBeta Honor’s Society (2009).

  • Finalist for KNOWLES teaching fellowship (2007); first person considered for Biological Sciences.

  • Ecology and Evolution Graduate Student Association Vice President (2006-2007).

  • George H. Cook Scholar (2005).

  • Gates Fellowship Nominee (2005).

  • Sargent at Arms for Alpha Zeta Honors and Agricultural Fraternity (2005).

  • Awarded a $1,600 grant for excellence in undergraduate research from Rutgers University (2004).

  • Awarded the Bausch and Lomb Award for Excellence in Chemistry (2001).

  • Edward Bloustein Public Policy Scholar (2001-2005).

Ted Talk

  • Love: A Natural Sciences Framework with Social Implications (2013)


  • Co-PI of the NSF-supported TREX internship program at Saint Peter's University (2018)


Disentangling the role of domain-specific knowledge in student modeling
J Ruppert, RG Duncan, CA Chinn – Research in Science Education, 2019

Defining and characterizing ecosystem services for education: A Delphi study
J Ruppert, RG Duncan – Journal of Research in Science Research in Science Teaching, 2017


Using socially acute questions focused on ‘care’ to enhance epistemic thinking about ecosystem services and sustainability.
J. Ruppert, P. Bartlett, The Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America, New Orleans, LA, August 7, 2018.

Characterizing the epistemic role of aims in science engagement for socio-scientific sustainability.
J. Ruppert, P. Bartlett, M. Hankins, R. Pereira, M. Infante, The Annual International Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Atlanta, GA, 2018

Performance expectations for engaging with ecosystem services science when making everyday decisions: a Delphi Study linking ecosystem services to all citizens.
J. Ruppert, R.G. Duncan, The Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Pittsburgh, PA, 2014.

Exploring the usefulness of science in daily life.
J. Ruppert, M. Holzer, N. Shea, P. Cannon, The Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, 2013.

Analyzing the relationship between general modeling practices and content learning in science.
J. Ruppert, A. Bausch, H. Freidenreich, R.G. Duncan, The Annual Meeting of the American Educational Research Association, New York, NY, 2008.

Promoting middle school students’ understandings of molecular genetics
R.G. Duncan, J. Ruppert, A. Bausch, H. Freidenreich, The Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching, Baltimore, MD, 2008.