Vargas received a bachelors in music from Radcliffe College, a masters in music education from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in educational research from the University of Pittsburgh. She served as a faculty member at West Virginia University where she and her husband, Ernest A. Vargas, taught for more than 30 years in the College of Human Resources and Education.
She wrote Writing Worthwhile Behavioral Objectives in 1973 and Behavioral Psychology for Teachers in 1977, both with Harper & Row. She is the co-author of Teaching Behavior to Infants: A Manual for Childcare Workers and Parents with Bernice Stewart, 1990. Her more recent publications have been articles, including two 2005 entries on B. F. Skinner in Volumes I and III of The Encyclopedia of Behavior Modification and Cognitive Behavior Therapy, and Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching  with Routledge, Taylor and Francis, 2009.
Behaviorology: Skinner's new science
Vargas has written that, "What B. F. Skinner began is not an 'approach', 'view', 'discipline', 'field', or 'theory'. It was, and is, a science, differing from psychology in its dependent variables, its measurement system, its procedures, and its analytic framework". She and a number of her colleagues have given Skinner's science the name "behaviorology". Behaviorology may be defined as the natural science of the behavior of organisms.
Vargas is a member and officer of The International Society for Behaviorology.
- Bernice Stewart, Julie S. Vargas. Teaching Behavior to Infants and Toddlers: A Manual for Caregivers and Parents. C.C. Thomas. ISBN 0-398-05638-2.
- Vargas, Julie S. Applied Behavior Analysis for Educators. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. ISBN 0-8058-5787-7.
- Vargas, Julie Skinner. Item Selection Techniques for Norm-referenced and Criterion-referenced Tests. University of Pittsburgh.
- Arntzen, Erik (2010). "Interview With Julie S. Vargas". European Journal of Behavior Analysis. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- Freedman, David H. (June 2012). "The Perfected Self". The Atlantic Magazine. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- An overview and a preview of Behavior Analysis for Effective Teaching can be found at Google Books.
- Julie S. Vargas, (2004). "Contingencies over B. F. Skinner’s Discovery of Contingencies". European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 5, pp. 137-142.
- "Routledge Education Author of the Month May 2011 – Julie S. Vargas". Retrieved 3 Jun 2013.
- Julie Vargas's personal website
- B. F. Skinner Foundation
- The International Society for Behaviorology
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