Assistant Professor of Practice Profile Image
Assistant Professor of Practice Earth and Atmospheric Sciences 402-472-2638 220C Bessey Hall
    Meteorology Undergraduate Advisor

      I joined the Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department in the Fall of 2017. My research is motivated by my desire to better understand how students learn atmospheric science concepts most effectively.  The goal of this work is to identify particular atmospheric science concepts that are challenging to teach and to learn, and to develop and test new teaching methods and activities that promote learning.  I am working with a group of atmospheric science educators and education researchers to create an atmospheric science community that will be used to promote the study of questions relating to atmospheric science education as well as the application of peer-reviewed teaching practices within the atmospheric science community.  I also have research experience in climate model analysis and climate change.  Specifically, I am interested in identifying paths to climate model improvement and have investigated this through the use of global climate models in order to improve our understanding of the physical mechanisms driving abrupt climate change, particularly in the Arctic region. 

      Selected Publications

      Kopacz, D.M. (2017). "Exploring Refraction: Creating a Superior Mirage". In the Trenches, 7(1), 9.
      Kopacz, D.M. (2017, January 22). "Follow That Puppy." The Climate Consensus [educational Website]. 


      Ph.D., 2015, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

      Expertise Areas

      Discipline-based education research, Abrupt climate change, Climate model analysis, Climate dynamics and predictability