Professor of Environmental Engineering and National Geographic Fellow
Jenna is a Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Georgia (UGA). She received her PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of Florida. She then worked for the US EPA Office of Research and Development in Research Triangle Park, NC as an ORISE post-doc. She became a research professor at the University of New Hampshire and then moved to the University of Georgia in 2009. She is passionate about her work and has been conducting research in solid waste issues for 17 years with related projects on marine debris since 2001, especially projects related to location and spatial analysis, waste (debris) characterization, and mobile device usage (mapping, etc.). She has published numerous papers, several book chapters and given talks in many countries. She was PI of the NOAA partnership the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative (SEA-MDI) and co-developer of the mobile app Marine Debris Tracker, a tool currently being used to log marine debris throughout the world.
Marine Debris Tracker will be used to log any visible debris items on the voyage, and data will be presented in real time on the website. Jenna will also be helping the team to sample microplastics in conjunction with other ongoing research related to plastic fragmentation and size distribution. While she has been on smaller sampling vessels and much larger cruise ships, Jenna has never been on this type of sailing ship, nor taken this kind of adventure before. She hopes to raise awareness about how waste generation, characterization and management relate to plastic in the oceans. As an engineer, she also wants to inspire and encourage women to enter STEM disciplines. She will speak to both her students at UGA and her young son’s classes about plastics in the ocean while out on the water and when she returns. More on Jenna and her projects can be found here: http://jambeck.engr.uga.edu/. Follow on her adventures on Twitter @JambeckResearch, @DebrisTracker or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jenna.jambeck, https://www.facebook.com/MarineDebrisTracker