Meet Jen Pate

geographer and filmmaker fascinated by human-environment interaction

JP2Meet Jen Pate… you might recognise Jen from our eXXpedition documentary: Making the Unseen Seen, that’s because Jen shot, produced and edited the film after her Atlantic crossing with the eXXpeditiongirls back in 2014!  

Now Jen is back on Sea Dragon and this time she has a new objective: Mission Coordinator on the worlds first sampling mission of micro-plastic in the Caribbean Sea.

Jen is also busy preparing for eXXpedtion Great Lakes later this year – the largest simultaneous sampling for micro-plastics in HISTORY! On 20th August 2016, there will be lead boats on each Great Lake,  Lake St Clair, and the St Lawrence River, led by female scientists, artists, activists, and most importantly – residents of the Great Lakes.

“What we need to do is wake up to the fact that we only have one home and that everything is interconnected. We need to raise awareness that issues like plastic and toxics aren’t just ‘out there’ in the oceans, but ‘right here’ in our backyard, on our dinner plates, in our bodies”

When Jen’s not working with eXXpedition she’s creating huge waves of her own at her environmentally sustainable outdoor recreation park in Canada called Windmill Lake.

Jen’s other great passion is filmmaking and she is proud of the Community Interest Film Company Your Frontier she has built up in the UK.

We stole Jen away from Sea Dragon to ask what her top tips are for reducing plastic, who she’d invite round for the ultimate dinner party, and of course… what her favourite marine animal is!


Q: What colour is your toothbrush?

A: Bamboo, so brown!

Q: If you could teleport where would you go and why?

A: I’ve recently been planning eXXpedition Great Lakes for the 20th August 2016. We are going to have all-female Lead Boats on all five Great Lakes, Lake St Clair and the St Lawrence River. We are also going to have an all-female student boat. They are all going to sail at the same time, on the same day and lead the world’s largest simultaneous sampling for micro-plastics in history. As I am leading Lake Huron’s boat, I won’t be able to be with these amazing crews of women on the day. If I could teleport – I would travel to each of these boats and experience this day with them! Instead, I will sail into my Great Lake and know they are out there on their own boats – living the eXXpedition mission and vision. So, that’s good enough for me!

Q: Who do you admire the most (dead or alive)?

A: My mom! Most amazing human I know

Q: What’s your top tip for reducing plastic use – what works for you?

A: Personally, it’s just being aware of it everywhere I go and making conscious decisions not to use it and encourage others to do the same. Yes – sometimes I carry all my groceries out to my car in my arms, and yes…sometimes they fall all over the ground and I spend 5 minutes chasing around a runaway tomato. But better that than another plastic bag used and disposed of!

Jen leading one of the immersive adventures she offers through her initiative on Lake Huron: “Love Your Greats”

Q: If you could put just one thing at the top of your bucket list, what would it be?

A: Can’t narrow it down to one!

Q: What’s the most delightful word you can think of?

A: Ikigai: Japanese word for “reason for being”

Q: What’s your biggest fear?

A: Loss of loved ones

Q: Favourite flavour ice-cream?

A: Strawberry!

Q: Who would be your 4 ultimate dinner party guests (dead or alive)?

A: Alexander von Humboldt, Rumi, Maya Angelou, and Paulo Coehlo

Q: Where would you go if you were invisible?

A: This one is difficult. I’d probably just join all the amazing expeditions and adventures people are doing!

Q: If you owned your own Yacht, what would you call her?

A: I have my own sailboat, she’s called Walkabout. Her name represents a right of passage but also slow travel. That’s perfect for me

Q: What have you done that you are most proud of?

A: Personally, I am most proud of the fact that I have strong relationships with my family and friends based on mutual respect, love and support. That’s a pretty great thing to achieve in your life.

In terms of work, I’m very proud to be involved with eXXpedition, for being true to myself, for working hard to do projects that matter to me and raise awareness/action for a healthier future. Also for being mindful enough to be grateful everyday for being alive and able to adventure and experience what this amazing world has to offer

Q: What would your Superhero power be?

A: Flying…probably badly

Q: What piece of advice have you been given that was most rewarding?

A: Do small things with great love, and repeat

Jen loves being on the water; teaching watersports including stand up paddleboarding, wakeboarding, canoeing and kayaking and environmental education at her outdoor recreational park in Canada!

Q: What’s the most important thing you want to take away from your eXXpedition voyage?

A: An ever growing family of amazing, inspirational women who lead the way for a healthier future with not only their words but their actions

Q: What’s your favourite marine animal and why?

A: Narwhal or Octopus. Narwhals are basically like the unicorns of the Ocean and Octopi because they are intelligent and represent flexibility, agility and grace

Q: What’s the one thing that drives you crazy?

A: Unsurprisingly, single-use plastic! Straws, utensils, plates…and of it/all of it!


Thanks Jen! sounds like you have already mastered the art of Superpowers!!

Last year Jen was named as one of Origin Magazine’s Top 100 Ocean Heroes

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