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Q&A with NMEA Member Spotlight - Jennifer Magnusson

Posted By Jennifer Magnusson, Thursday, April 26, 2018

Describe your involvement in marine/aquatic education:

Jennifer Magnusson

I think of myself as a behind-the-scenes marine educator. I’ve worked in the classroom, aquarium, advertising agency, and research lab, and they all became a part of who I am and helped me find my niche. I am lucky to work with some really great organizations that are helping to make known the world of water—notably the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI), Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators (NAME), and now NMEA! The ocean inspires me and I aspire to boost ocean literacy through social media, science communication, website and graphic design.

I have helped organize and facilitate MBARI's EARTH Teacher Workshops since 2003. EARTH workshops connect teachers with scientists in order to bring current research and real-time data into classrooms and informal learning environments. I am always inspired by the fabulous teachers I get to work with every summer and am looking forward to this summer's workshop in Newport, Oregon, co-hosted by Oregon State University, NSF Regional Class Research Vessel (RCRV), and the Oregon Coast STEM Hub!

What do you like most about being a part of NMEA?

I love that feeling of belonging I get when I am with my fellow marine educators! It doesn’t matter where we are or what our focus is, the ocean brings us all together for conservation, education, and ocean literacy! The people I have met at conferences and events are all doing amazing things and their enthusiasm buoys me up. Right now I live over 1200 km away from the ocean in northern Alberta, so being with like-minded people really connects me back to the thing I love the most!

What issue are you most passionate about right now?

Jennifer Magnusson

I think the issue that is most relevant to my life right now is single-use plastics. My family has done our best to reduce or eliminate our use of things like plastic bags, plastic water bottles, Ziploc bags, plastic wrap, straws, and individually-wrapped snacks. So much of the marine debris and plastic pollution comes from our society’s need for things to be fast and easy, but if we all just take a few extra minutes to pack our child a litter-free lunch or bring our own cup and straw to the coffee shop, we could reduce that waste significantly. I am committed to doing my part and spreading the word to help others do theirs. There are many resources available to help end plastic pollution:

If you could go anywhere, where would you go?

I have always wanted to go to Antarctica and haven’t been able to get there yet! When I was in the 6th grade, we watched a film about an icebreaker in Antarctica, and some of the scientists came to visit our classroom. Oh, how I wanted to be one of those scientists on that icebreaker! There is so much exciting research going on right now in Antarctica…I just need to connect with someone who’s looking for a science communicator to take along on an expedition!

Tags:  member highlight  Q&A 

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