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Mission Statement

SABER is a scientific community whose members develop theory and generate evidence with the goal of improving post-secondary biology education. SABER fosters Biology Education Research (BER) and its dissemination.

Mission Statement

SABER is a scientific community whose members develop theory and generate evidence with the goal of improving post-secondary biology education. SABER fosters Biology Education Research (BER) and its dissemination.


Promoting the generation of evidence-based knowledge to inform and advance post-secondary teaching and learning in biology; Facilitating the dissemination of BER findings to education researchers, classroom practitioners, and other stakeholders; Supporting faculty as they implement evidence-based methodology in their post-secondary teaching; Fostering the development of undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and emerging scholars as they pursue professional development and career opportunities in BER; Increasing BER efforts in currently understudied and underserved teaching and learning contexts; Striving for an inclusive BER community that reflects a diversity of post-secondary educators and emerging scholars; Establishing standards of BER practice and evidence; Fostering collaborations among BER investigators and other stakeholders; Valuing a diversity of knowledge-generation methodologies across a wide spectrum of BER research; Fostering a sense of collegiality and camaraderie among members

Diversity and Inclusion

SABER strives to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive biology education research community. We aim to create and sustain a community that reflects the diversity of stakeholders influenced by biology education research in higher education, in terms of who participates in SABER as an organization, the research context of studies presented at the meeting, and the diversity of the U.S. population. One of the society's core values is that excellence in teaching and research requires a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The society welcomes participation by all individuals including but not limited to age, gender, race/ethnicity, national origin, LGBTQ+ identity, religious identity, political affiliation, socioeconomic status, or disability status. SABER aims to promote diversity and inclusion in all areas of activity, including membership and recruitment, leadership, committees, annual meetings, and focus of research efforts.


SABER is governed by by-laws that were formally adopted in 2019 by the inaugural Steering Committee and last updated and approved in 2023.


The inaugural meeting of SABER was held in 2010 and included 29 invited participants who laid the groundwork for the Society we know today. This inaugural group was convened with support from a National Science Foundation (NSF) RCN-UBE Incubator grant (#0955572) written by Mary Pat Wenderoth, Clarissa Dirks, and Teri Balser. This meeting led to the formal creation of SABER, our original mission statement, and held the first annual conference in 2011. The attendees produced a meeting report that was published in CBE-Life Sciences Education in 2011. You can read the report by Offerdahl et al. (2011). Mary Pat and Clarissa were granted another award from the NSF (#1143545) which helped support the 2nd annual meeting in 2012. SABER meetings have been held in Bruininks Hall at the University of Minnesota since the inaugural meeting in 2010. This building was specifically designed to support evidence-based science instruction. SABER annual meetings and online presence have been led by Dr. Mary Pat Wenderoth since 2010. After the 2017 annual conference, Mary Pat convened a Steering Committee, comprised of 8 SABER members, to develop formal bylaws and policies, to organize and run an election for a leadership team, and to lay the groundwork for committees and other structures to support the mission of SABER.

The first formal officers took office prior to the 2019 annual meeting, with Mary Pat serving as the inaugural Past President.

SABER Founding members at inaugural 2010 meeting (in alphabetical order): Teri Balser, Clarissa Dirks, Mary Pat Wenderoth, Janet Branchaw, Rob Brooker, Peggy Brickman, Malcom Campbell, Mark Connelly, Erin Dolan, Scott Freeman, Mark Hens, Jenny Knight, Kathryn Miller, Jennifer Momsen, Lisa Montplaisir, Erika Offerdahl, Marcy Osgood, Nancy Palaez, Becky Ruden, Jonathon Schramm, Michele Shuster, Karen Sirum, Amber Smith, Michelle Smith, Brian White, Devin Wilcox, William Wood, Robin Wright. [Photo credit: Becky Ruden].


SABER held a competition for the creation of a new logo in 2018. Over 25 entries were submitted. The SABER community voted on their favorites in an initial round of voting and made their final selection from the five finalists. Over 400 people cast votes!

The winning logo was designed by Tari Tan, a Curriculum Fellow and Lecturer in the Harvard Medical School Department of Neurobiology.

Dr. Tan provided the following rationale for her design:

The DNA helix as the backbone of this logo signifies SABER's grounding in biology, as DNA is a unifying symbol across biological fields. Superimposed on that, and forming an integral component of the DNA helix, is a histogram, which is a common visualization used with education research data. This is meant to highlight SABER’s foundation in education research and to illustrate the interconnectedness of biology and the data we collect. Not only do SABER researchers study educational practices within the context of biology education, but education research data shed light on biological processes such as learning.

Society for the Advancement of Biology Education Research is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
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