Paula Messina is a Professor at San Jose State University in the Geology Department and science education program. Prior to her career at San Jose State University, Dr. Messina was a high school earth science teacher in New York City for twenty years. Her professional areas of interest include desert processes, quaternary geology, online learning strategies, and pre-college science education.
Her geoscience-related research has been featured in National Geographic and Smithsonian magazines; her inquiry-based science education strategies have been published in peer-reviewed journals, and featured at national science teacher conferences. She serves on the College Board's Science Academic Advisory Committee and was part of the curriculum development team for the AP Environmental Science Redesign Project from 2006 to 2008. Dr. Messina also participates in several educational outreach endeavors, through consulting work with various geoscience-related educational television networks, textbook companies, and as a member of the Board of Directors for California Earth Science Teachers Association (CalESTA).
During her K–12 teaching career, she was the recipient of several regional and national awards, including the National Association of Geoscience Teachers' Outstanding Earth Science Teacher for New York State, and a Tandy Technology Scholarship.