Jenna Munson is dedicated to teaching students from diverse backgrounds about Earth and environmental science. Jenna observed that most students in the department came from white, upper-middle-class backgrounds, often inspired by family visits to national parks and regular hikes. Recognizing the need for diversity in the field, she spearheaded the creation of Earth Camp, a summer science program specifically aimed at engaging high schoolers from underrepresented communities. 

Now, for over a decade, Earth Camp has recruited talented students and provided them with mentorship, field experience, and exciting travel opportunities as the cohorts embark on a summer adventure. Earth Camp includes a series of summer trips with scientific activities and culminates at our Camp Davis Field Station. The program encourages students to continue science studies, and often even leads them to the University of Michigan for further education. 

Jenna's work promotes the view that communities need both activists and scientists. Her courses challenge students' preconceptions about sustainability and resource extraction. Some also focus on Michigan's environmental justice problems, such as the Flint water crisis. Despite covering often complex and negative topics, Jenna keeps her classes engaging by highlighting actionable solutions and encouraging debate. She believes in empowering her students to make a positive impact in their future careers.

You can read more about Jenna's work on the LSA Sustainability website here.