Friday, January 24, 2014
My name is Jenny Lentz, or “Dr. Jenny,” as they call me here at the Aquarium, and I will be taking over the Teacher’s Blog from Alie. To give you a little background about myself, I joined the Aquarium’s education department last spring as a Marine Science Fellow. This was a temporary position designed to provide six to eight months of work experience and training in all aspects of the education department. Fortunately, at the end of my appointment I was offered a full-time position as an education specialist, enabling me to stay on long-term at the Aquarium.
I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona. My parents instilled within me an appreciation for both art and science from a very young age. During our routine nature hikes and camping trips, I was always encouraged to explore and question everything around me, while also taking time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world. My passion for science and the environment drove my academic career. I graduated from Hamilton College with a bachelor of arts degree in environmental science with a marine concentration. My undergraduate thesis used radio telemetry and GIS (geographic information systems) to study the home range and habitat preferences of eastern box turtles. More recently, my graduate research focused on the declining health of the marine environment, specifically coral reefs, and creating a geospatial protocol that could be used to better understand the spatial nature of marine diseases. In May 2012 I graduated with a doctor of philosophy degree from Louisiana State University’s department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences and a geography (GIS) minor.
My current position at the Aquarium of the Pacific gives me the chance to work in a number of different areas. Depending on the day, you might find me in the classroom teaching one of our school programs, co-leading a summer camp, out on the floor of the Aquarium doing shows, or even out on a boat serving as the naturalist on one of our whale watch tours. I am also using my background in GIS and spatial analysis to develop different interpretive tools that we can use to help our visitors understand different types of environmental processes. If you would like more information on me or the work I am currently doing at the Aquarium, including some tutorials designed to show teachers how to use GIS in their classrooms, please visit my website.
I look forward to using this blog to announce upcoming events, programs, and opportunities at the Aquarium. In addition I hope this blog will serve as a forum where teachers and science educators can collaborate. If you have ideas for future blog topics, lesson plans that you’ve loved, or other suggestions, please let us know.
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