Jennifer A. Lentz
My Background
Jennifer Anne Lentz

Dr. Jennifer Lentz in 2012 Employment: Present
2013
  Education Coordinator at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA
    
 Education Specialist at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, CA
      Marine Science Fellow at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach


Education:      2012 Doctor of Philosophy Degree (PhD) from Louisiana State University
      Major: Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences
      Minor: Department of Geography and Anthropology (GIS concentration)
                      

2005

Bachelor of Arts Degree
(BA) from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY
     Graduated Cum Laude
      Major: Interdisciplinary Concentration in Environmental Studies
      Minor: Studio Art


Areas of Interest &
Subject Keywords:

Anthropogenic Stressors
Biodiversity & Conservation
Biomedical Social Sciences
Caribbean Acropora corals
Climate Change
Computer & Information Technology
Coral Reef Ecology
Coral Disease
Education & Educational Research
Environmental Sciences & Ecology
Environmental Education

Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Imaging Science
Infectious Diseases
Marine & Freshwater Sciences
Medical Geography
Pathology
Oceanography
Spatial Analysis
Spatial Epidemiology
Sustainability & Sustainable Living
Water Resources

My Early Years
the budding naturalist
"Splat"
I was born and raised in Tucson, Arizona

From a very young age my parents instilled within me
an appreciation for both Art & Science.  During our routine nature hikes and camping trips, I was always encouraged to explore & question everything around me, while also taking time to appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

I attended St. Gregory College Preparatory School
for both Middle School & High School.   In addition taking all of the required course work (usually taking the AP/honors versions), I also I tried to fill as many of my electives with Art classes as possible, as well as taking additional science courses over the summer.  Senior year I was asked to make a commemorative bench to celebrate the school's 20th anniversary, while also teaching a small group of students how to tile &  mosaic.  

My passion for both art & science intensified as I grew older,
though for the most part these interests remained separate but equal. 
The Future Artist

St. Gregory's 20 year Anniversary Bench

me & the completed bench on graduation day
During a summer Tropical Marine Ecology course in high school my two passions intersected for the first time. 
The course spent several weeks in Panama, during which time we were able to spend a few days staying in a remote
Embera Indian village
.  The tribe we stayed with were one of the few remaining tribes that were both native to the area and virtually untainted by western culture.  This was in large part due to the location of their village, which was deep inside the Chagres National Park.   Most of our communication was with the village chief who spoke Spanish, and was the only bilingual adult in the tribe (the rest of the tribe spoke only their native dialect).  Having taken only French in high school, I couldn't understand much of what was said, so instead I tried to document as much as possible in my field notebook.  My sketches in this notebook caught the eye of Yalmilka, a 12 year-old girl who was known as the "artist" in the tribe. 
We spent the next few days communicating through pictures, such as the image she drew of her parents (shown below).         Yalkmila & I communicating through art Yalmilka's drawing of the 2 of us the 2 Artists, Jenny & Yalmilka           
To this day, my time with Yalmilka remains one of the most meaningful experiences of my life.  
Since then I have done my best to try to incorporate both art and science into as much of my research as possible. 
 
In 2001, I received both  Studio Art & Science Research Awards, graduating with High Honors.


Undergraduate Education at Hamilton College
Hamilton College Pennant

Adirondack Adventure
Adirondack Adventure 2003
I attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York from 2001 to 2005. 

I arrived at school early so that I could participate in Adirondack Adventure, which is Hamilton's "nationally acclaimed" 8-day outdoor orientation program for incoming students.  I loved my experience so much that I applied to become an "AA" Leader so that I could lead future trips.  I was accepted & led orientation trips the following 3 years.  Being an AA leader consisted of an intensive training program on team-building initiatives; crisis management; wilderness survival, emergency first aid, & LNT (leave no trace) camping techniques; & last, being certified to work on high and low ropes courses.  Throughout the year AA leaders would check in on their participants to make sure they were acclimating to college life & in many cases serve as a sort of mentor for these new students.  AA leaders were also frequently contacted by Hamilton professors & asked to facilitate various get-to-know each other activities to help students get to know each other & their professors.  Leaders were also asked to work on Hamilton's High & Low Ropes Course whenever outside groups reserved the facility.
Graduation Day Photo
While at Hamilton, I designed my own major in Environmental Science with a marine concentration. 
From what I understand this was the first time a science-based Interdisciplinary Concentration had been approved. 
Upon graduating I was told by my thesis advisor that my hard work had paid off, and that the following
Fall Semester   Environmental Studies would be an official major for incoming students.
SFS Logo

I spent the spring semester of my junior year abroad,
studying at the School for Field Studies “Marine Resource” program, which was located in the Turks and Caicos Islands. 

It was during my time there that I first became aware of the declining health of Caribbean coral reefs.  I was so alarmed by the rate of decline that I chose to do my semester-long directed research project on diseased Elkhorn corals (Acropora palmata) in the reefs around South Caicos Island. 
Marine Resource Studies
Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary Logo
Upon returning from the Turks and Caicos, I received a fellowship from Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, in Lothian, Maryland.   Eastern Box Turtle found at Jug Bay
I spent the summer using telemetry to track Eastern Box turtles, and then used this information to map the "home range" of each turtle.  At the end of the internship, the director of the sanctuary was so impressed by the work I had done, that he agreed to let me analyze the sanctuary’s 9-year dataset as part of my undergraduate thesis.

When I returned to Hamilton that fall, I taught myself how to use ESRI's ArcView 3.3 so that I could use
spatial analysis to study the home range and habitat preferences of Eastern Box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina). 

Home Range Comparisons by Gender

Shortly before graduating I was invited to join Sigma Xi, a scientific honors society. 

In May 2005, I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Hamilton College,
graduating Cum Laude with an Interdisciplinary Concentration in Environmental Science and Studio Art minor. 
Upon graduating, I also received Hamilton’s Interdisciplinary Concentration Honor, and was also awarded the
Elihu Root Fellowship
, which is given to "students who have demonstrated high achievement and special aptitude for scientific research and are planning to pursue graduate degree in the sciences." 


Graduate School at Louisiana State University
LSU Pennant
Energy, Coast, & Envrionment (ECE) building
I began my doctoral studies in August 2005 in the School of the Coast & Environment's (SC&E) Department of Oceanography & Coastal Sciences (DOCS) at Louisiana State University (LSU).

My doctoral work was funded through a 4-year Board of Regents Graduate Fellowship, 2 Teaching Assistantships, and 2 Graduate Research Fellowships.
DOCS Logo
My graduate research combines my passion for coral reefs with my interest in geospatial analysis,
with my dissertation focusing on developing analytical protocols for studying the spatial nature of coral diseases.
White-Band Disease (WBD) on Acropora palmata Mayor et al.'s 2006 Dataset Map of WBD Prevalence
CEGO's Logo
CEGO's Transatlantic Climate Bridge Booth
In 2010, I was elected president of the Coast and Environment Graduate Organization (CEGO). 

I served as president for one year, during which time I received LSU’s
 Tom W. Dutton Service Award, a Certificate of Appreciation from the German Embassy for CEGO’s contribution to the Transatlantic Climate Bridge initiative, and the CEGO Leadership and Service Award from LSU’s School of the Coast and Environment.
CEGO Leadership & Service Award

In May 2012, I received my Doctor of Philosophy degree from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences with a minor in Geography (with a GIS concentration).

Education Specialist at the Aquarium of the Pacific
Aquarium of the Pacific
Sea Otters
Sea Squirt Camp

I was initially hired as a Marine Science Fellow at the Aquarium of the Pacific (AOP). This was a temporary position designed to provide 6-8 months of work experience and training in all aspects of their Education department.  In September 2013, I was promoted to a full-time position as an Education Specialist.  In 2015, I was promoted to an Education Coordinator.

 

My primary responsibilities include:


  • Teaching the AOP’s marine education programs (pre-K to Adult)
    and co-leading summer camps

 

  • Giving public presentations at different exhibits within the aquarium
    and interacting with the public

 

  • Producing weekly educational presentations to keep volunteers up-to-date on AOP’s marine life, exhibits, and procedures

 

  • Assisting with updating and developing new program materials

 

  • Helping to infuse current topics in marine science into AOP programs

 

  • Being the Naturalist on AOP’s boat programs, including Whale Watch Tours

 

  • Developing interactive Story Maps to help the public connect to the Aquarium's exhibits, as well as current issues in marine and environmental science.  This includes overseeing and maintaining the Aquarium's ArcGIS Online Organization account.  These story maps, as well as other geospatial interactives, are accessible online at: http://aop.maps.arcgis.com
Dr. Jenny
WWT naturalist
Blue Whale
Common Dolphins

(this page was last updated on November 08, 2015)