Bussey, Thomas
Chemical Education: Visual Literacy in Science, Biochemistry Education, Nano Science Education, K-20 Professional Development, and STEM Career Development

Contact Information
Associate Teaching Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
Vice Chair of Undergraduate Education

Office: Urey Hall 2258
Phone: 858-822-6665
Email: tbussey@ucsd.edu
Group: View group members
2013 Ph.D., Chemistry (Chemical Education), University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2008 M.Ed., Curriculum and Instruction (Secondary Science with an Emphasis in Technology), University of Nevada, Las Vegas
2004 B.S., Music and Biochemistry (Honors), University of Wisconsin, Madison
2020-present Associate Teaching Professor, University of California, San Diego
2014-2020 Assistant Teaching Professor, University of California San Diego
2013-2014 Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Awards and Academic Honors
Lattimer Research Fellowship
Distinguished Teaching Award
Outstanding Graduate Student Teaching Award
Outstanding Chemistry Graduate Student Award
UNLV Graduate and Professional Student Association Merit Award
K. Patricia Cross Future Leaders Award (Finalist)
Distinguished Educator Award
Research Interests
Visual Literacy in Science: Students cannot directly observe molecules interacting with one another or their environment. Instead, students are often presented with representations that model particular structures and/or interactions. Therefore, students’ ability to decode these representations is a fundamental process in learning of chemistry, and more broadly in the teaching and learning of science.

Biochemistry Education: My science background has focused on biochemistry. As such, my interests in chemical education research has also focused on biochemistry. Upper-level sciences, such as biochemistry, are underrepresented in the chemical education research literature. My research has focused on qualitative analysis of biochemistry students’ perceptions of biochemical processes such as protein translation.

Nano Science Education: Nano science research is a relatively new field of research (within the last 50 years or so). Nano Science education research is even more recent. We are exploring how researchers think about this emergent field and how best to integrate this topic into the classroom.

K-20 Professional Development: Projects such as MIST (Mathematics Integrated with Science through Technology) and ACELL (Advancing Chemistry by Enhancing Learning in the Laboratory) target middle and high school teachers as well as college chemistry faculty to develop their understanding of science and math content or research-based laboratory pedagogies.

STEM Career Development: Project STEER (Scholarships to Enhance Excellence in the Chemical and Biological Research-based Workforce) aims to track and improve the STEM pipeline from undergraduate STEM majors into the bioscience industry.
Primary Research Area
Chemical Education
Interdisciplinary interests
Cellular Biochemistry

Selected Publications   See https://pubs.acs.org/doi/book/10.1021/bk-2019-1337