The new manager of GLISA (Great Lakes Integrated Sciences and Assessments) is Dr. Jenna Jorns. She’s coming to GLISA from the Climate Registry, a nonprofit organization based in Los Angeles.
“Jenna brings to the table wonderful experience in stakeholder engagement and leading stakeholder working groups,” says Dr. Maria Carmen de Mello Lemos, Director of GLISA. “Jenna’s experience will contribute toward ongoing engagement of GLISA stakeholders, help strengthen partnerships, and build new connections throughout the Great Lakes region,” said Lemos.
For Jorns, the move to Ann Arbor will be something of a homecoming. She grew up in Illinois and earned an undergraduate degree in biochemistry from the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. “I first got the climate change bug,” Jorns says, when as an undergraduate she took a global environmental problems course.
“Climate change really sparked an interest in me but it was still using the science I wanted to learn more about,” she says. “But then there seemed to be this disconnect between the science that, to me, seemed quite obvious, and decision makers not being able to interpret that information. So I decided to pursue a PhD in climate change science.”
Jorns earned a PhD in geoscience from Princeton University, with a certificate in environmental policy. She prefers to work at local levels where she can get to know a region and its unique challenges. It’s her interest in locally-based work and community engagement that drew her to GLISA.
“I think what was most exciting to me, the ability to be connected with local stakeholders and learn what people are actually doing on the ground, what kind of climate information they need, and then that GLISA provides those services,” she says. “You know, digging into the best available science but also packaging it in a way that it's digestible and usable was really exciting to me.”
Jorns is also excited about being able to work with students and learn about the many new and innovative sustainability education initiatives going on at the university. She is ready to hit the ground running, after attending the Great Lakes Climate Adaptation Forum held in October 2016, hosted by GLISA and partners. The forum started the process of getting her up to speed.
A self-professed college sports fanatic, Jorns is looking forward to being in a college town again and plans on attending as many games as she can. And, finding a dog will be a top priority.
The Climate Registry focuses on climate change mitigation by helping companies understand their carbon emissions and carbon footprint. They develop methodologies and software tools to facilitate better decision-making for companies.