Jenna Schlener's work as a tireless supporter of environmental/agricultural issues that impact communities is at the core of her academic and personal goals. She will complete her Associate's Degree in Environmental Science and continue her studies as a Conservation Biology major. Her passion began when she spent 3 months in Panama serving as a tropical ecologist intern. Upon returning to NCC she participated in a service learning project in the College's community garden and knew at that time what path she would follow. Jenna has volunteered countless hours at a local farm where she is in the process of establishing an environmental education center where students and community members can conduct research on species identification. To this end she has organized a "Bio-Blitz" where experts, students and community members will conduct a 24 hour capture, release and documentation of all species on the farm. Her goal is to increase bio-diversity on the farm and provide a sanctuary where research and pure enjoyment of the land converge.
My desire to make an impact on the community started with an affinity for the outdoors. I received a degree in Environmental Studies, and will receive a second degree in Environmental Science in May. In 2015, I began working with the non-profit organization the Friends of Johnston Inc. on Camel's Hump Farm. There I established a tree nursery to reforest areas where trees are being lost to disease and invasive insects. Learning about this issue inspired me to host the Farm's first Bio-blitz-a 24-hour capture, release, and documentation of all the species on the property. The educational event will connect professionals and community members for the common goal of tracking how biodiversity changes over time.
It is our mission to protect, preserve and re-purpose the farm as a Community Center for nature, education, wellness and the arts. The center will be a resource for community members to learn about native species, provide a space for student research, and encourage citizen science. We teach through experiential learning, creating connections between humans and nature. The project presents a dual opportunity to galvanize the community and carve the path for my future career as a Conservation Biologist.