Dr. J. William Hug : CAL U

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A view of the beautifully landscaped Cal U campus.A view of the beautifully landscaped Cal U campus.

Dr. J. William Hug


  • M.S.: Curriculum and Instruction, emphasis on Science and Environmental Education, Penn State
  • Ph.D.: Curriculum and Instruction, emphasis in Science and Environmental Education, Penn State


Dr. Hug's academic work focuses on elementary science teacher education, environmental education and place-based education. He teaches undergraduate and graduate teacher education courses such as Elementary Science Teaching Methods, Place-Based Environmental Education and Educational Research Methods.

Dr. Hug's research focuses on pre-service elementary teachers' understanding of science, environment, ecology and natural history content; place-based curriculum design, implementation and evaluation; and citizen decision-making in the service of sustainability goals.


  • Science Teaching Methods for Early Childhood, Elementary and Adolescent Learners
  • Environment, Ecology and Nature-Study Education
  • Instructional Strategies in Early Childhood and Elementary Education
  • Research Methods in Education
  • Action Research Methods in Education

Research Interests

  • Instructional strategies for elementary science teacher education
  • Science, environment and ecology conceptual understanding
  • School curriculum that supports local communities

Research Projects

  • PNC Bank Foundation Grow Up Great With Science grant to Cal U will enhance teachers' abilities to use outdoor experiences to teach children about plants, animals and communities.
  • U.S. Department of Education grant to develop the capacity at Cal U to implement innovations in elementary science teacher education.

Service Learning Projects

  • Ohiopyle Borough/Ohiopyle State Park Joint Master Plan and Implementation Strategy Advisory Committee
  • Participation in Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources/Bureau of State Parks Regional Laurel Ridge Interpretive Planning Committee and Urban Planning Committee
  • Consulting and professional services to elementary schools in science, environment, ecology and place-based education

About The Center for Excellence in Elementary Science and Math Education

The Center for Excellence in Elementary Science and Math Education is an initiative of President Angelo Armenti, Jr., whose visionary support of elementary science and math teacher education makes the the Center at Cal U possible.
In addition to Cal U education faculty members J. William Hug, Deborah Farrer, John Shimkanin, Jane Bonari and Nacy Steeley, The Grow Up Great With Science project team consists of Sandra Hall and Tonya Groves-Pierce of the Private Industry Council of Westmoreland/Fayette County; Michelle Figlar, executive director of the Pittsburgh Association for the Education of Young Children; and park manager John Hallas, assistant manager Stacey Faust, and environmental education specialist Barb Wallace at Ohiopyle State Park.

Academic Department(s)

  • Department of Childhood Education

Academic Program(s)

  • M.E. Elementary Education: STEM Education Track
  • M.E. Elementary Education (with certification)
  • B.S. Education in Pre-K - 4 Education
  • B.S. Education in Middle Level (Grades 4-8) Education
  • A.S. Early Childhood Education
  • B.S. Education in Early Childhood/Middle Level Education Services

Contact Information



Keystone Hall 306


"The best part of my job as a professor is interacting with students to help them establish their path in life and succeed at the beginning of their journey."

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