Dr. Paul Narguizian

Dr. Paul Narguizian in His Office
College of Natural & Social Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences
Office ASCB323C


I specialize in Biology Education, Big History, and Deep Biology research, alternating my time between the classroom and various natural history museums and science centers as a Professor of Biological Sciences and Science Education at California State University, Los Angeles. I work at the intersection of science and science communication to make science more meaningful and exciting for my students and the public. I develop pedagogical strategies and curricula for educators and for scientists, largely inspired by the work of Thomas Berry, Brian Swimme, Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grimm, David Christian, and Fred Spier.

Using examples from Big History and the Journey of the Universe projects, popular films, science fiction, documentaries, the nature and history of science, and data from scientific research, our lab develops curricula for non-science and science majors. Our research lab also explores the role of informal science education centers along with natural history collections in the telling of the universe story and our place within it.


Major areas of emphasis in my teaching include the importance of: science, sepcifically, biology literacy, numeracy (quantitative literacy), healthy skepticism, science & ethics-based practice, and science education advocacy issues. I like to teach about evolution, biocomplexity, historical ecology, the history and nature of science, and human vulnerability to deception and misinformation related to science. I've taught these undergraduate and graduate courses at Cal State L.A.:

My teaching interests include BIOL 1200: Diversity of Life; BIOL 1010: General Biology; BIOL 4200: Global Change; BIOL 4540: Science Literacy, Communication, and Education; BIOL 4540: Entomology; and BIOL 1030: Life Science.


My major interests are currently twofold: 1.) My scientific research addresses an interdisciplinary, biocompex study of physical, biological, and cultural phenomena, seeking to understand the origin and evolution of life and society, thus devising a unifying cosmic-evolutionary worldview of the Universe and our sense of place within it writ large. 2.) My educational work engages experienced teachers and museum curators to create better pedagogical and curricular materials, scientific storytelling tools and methods, and novel curricula to enthuse educators and instruct students, in all aspects of the natural sciences; with a specific focus on the biological sciences. I teach an annual course at Cal State L.A. on "the Journey of Life" that incorporates all these research and educational endeavors.

Key research questions our lab explores include: what is this work we call biology? What are the major milestones or thresholds in biological discovery that expanded our knowledge of life on Earth? What role, if any, should the grand narrative of the formation of the universe and complexity play in biology education? What does it mean to be human?

My research focuses on:

  • Key elements of scientific literacy (in particular, biology education).

  • Evidence-based instructional practices in postsecondary STEM education.

  • Professional development of faculty, graduate students and museum professionals.

  • Key elements in the history and nature of science.


Title Date

Narguizian, P. 2020. “Considering Grand Challenges in Undergraduate Biology Education: Big History, Interdisciplinarity, and Scientific Literacy.” Journal of Big History IV (2): 165-168.  https://doi.org/10.22339/jbh.v4i2.4280


Narguizian, P. 2019. "Seven Pillars of Biology Literacy: A Proposal for What Secondary School Teachers Might Teach & What College Instructors Should Reinforce," The American Biology Teacher 81(3), 145. https://doi.org/10.1525/abt.2019.81.3.145


Narguizian, P. and Desharnais, R. 2012. Virtual courseware: Web-based simulations for promoting inquiry-based teaching and learning. California Classroom Science, Jan, 24(5): http://www.classroomscience.org/virtual-courseware-web-based-simulations-for-promoting-inquiry-based-teaching-and-learning









Narguizian, P. 2008. Biology, chemistry, medicine, and nature study. In D. Crook and G. McCulloch (Editors), The Routledge International Encyclopedia of Education, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group Publishers, London, England. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-International-Encyclopedia-of-Education/McCulloch-Crook/p/book/9780415749237#











Ed.D. Science Education 2002

  • University of Southern California
    Los Angeles, CA

M.S. Entomology 2016

  • University of Nebraska, Lincoln,
    Lincoln, NE

M.S. Biology 1998

  • California State University, Northridge
    Northridge, CA

B.A. Biology 1994

  • California State University, Northridge
    Northridge, CA