Jenna Hartley – Doctoral Student


Jenna Hartley

About Me

I am working with Dr. Kathryn Stevenson researching the power of students as environmental change-agents in their families and communities. I am excited to be doing this work because I used to be a classroom science teacher for 7 years, and now my research examines how a classroom and citizen-science based, environmental education curriculum can facilitate learning from students to their parents. This means that I get to work with classroom teachers, a community science partner, students, parents, and community members, which literally makes my heart pitter-patter. Prior to this program, after teaching, I worked as a Fellow hosted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). For that work, I conducted educational outreach around a tool called EnviroAtlas and developed K-12 resources that empower students as decision-makers. I couldn’t be more thrilled that my NC State work now builds on all of my former experiences in a way that is meaningful, rigorous, and (hopefully!) impactful.

Who has been most influential to you?

I’m grateful to have lots of strong mentors in my life, many of whom are smart, kind, humble, and hard-working women (hi Mom!). However, much of my influence lately has come from my partner, Keith.   For about the past five years, I have tried to be more like him: calm, extremely thoughtful, always seeing the big picture, supportive, funny, and relentlessly kind and patient.

Professional Goal

Does anyone have some chart paper for me to diagram this out?! I’m only half-kidding about that.
I wish I knew the answer to this. Right now I see myself going in three different, but related, directions: the first option is to go back to the high school classroom to teach, coach soccer, lead other teachers, and make an impact close to the very community that raised me. The second direction would be to work as a Professor at a small school like the one I attended (go Bucs!), where I could teach and maybe even help out with their soccer team on the side. Lastly, I would be delighted to head back to the EPA or another agency, like NOAA, to work with their educational outreach programming.

Previous Degrees and Where I Received these Degrees

B.S. in Environmental Geology – Beloit College, Beloit, WI
M.S. in Secondary Science Education – CUNY Lehman College, Bronx, NY
M.S. in Environmental Sciences & Engineering – UNC Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

“Words of Wisdom” for Prospective Students

I can’t pinpoint exactly why, but I just keep coming back to the word “rise.” Rise to the occasion. Rise above what makes you uncertain. Rise above what has held you back in the past. I believe that we are capable of far more than we give ourselves credit for. If you feel as though that is true for you too, just try to rise. (It also happens to be an amazing donut shop, and donuts help with everything, too.)

My Leisure Interests

I love to spend as much time as I can (which is never enough, right?) playing with my son Everett, going on walks and hikes with Keith & Everett, and playing soccer. I am also just now dipping my toes into the hunting and fishing world (this might be my first-ever season in a deer stand, wish me luck!), so I am excited to see where that goes. Maybe by the end of my PhD program, I’ll have my own crossbow. To be determined…
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