Transplanted from the Midwest to an island 30 miles off the coast of Cape Cod, I am an ecologist with over a decade of experience on Nantucket Island, MA and over 15 years working in wetlands, prairies and grasslands as well as with rare and endangered plants.
I started studying wetland ecology during my undergrad at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. The first time I set foot on a quaking Sphagnum bog - it was like coming home! After an internship at the Chicago Botanical Garden researching rare plants genetics, I headed to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for graduate school. I spent 6 long years living ‘farther north than most of populated Canada’ studying the ecology of carnivorous pitcher plants in Sphagnum bogs and teaching Wetland Ecology classes.
In 2008, I moved to the Grey Lady (Nantucket Island) to run the Research Program of the Nantucket Conservation Foundation. My primary research interests currently include coastal resiliency and climate change, wetland ecology, watershed water quality and connectivity, tidal salt marsh restoration, and restoration of early successional plants species.
I strongly believe a big part of being an ecologist is also being involved in my community and finding ways to productively share knowledge, experience and expertise. Since undergrad I have been actively involved in the International Society of Wetland Scientists. As a professional I’ve been able to give back to this organization by serving as President of the SWS New England chapter and now as Chair-elect of the SWS Women in Wetland Section.
On Nantucket, I serve as an appointed member of the Coastal Resilience Advisory Committee, co-chair of the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative Research Conference and a member of Sustainable Nantucket’s Farmer’s Market Advisory Committee.
Jen is also the co-chair for the Nantucket Biodiversity Initiative’s Research Conference, a founding member of the Sandplain Grassland Network and currently President of the New England Chapter of the Society of Wetland Scientists.