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Jess grew up in Southern Illinois and spent most of her life in the Midwest where she developed her love and passion for the natural world and its many complexities. She moved to New Mexico a couple years ago and fell in love with the people, culture and landscape of this beautiful state. She has a Master’s degree in Conservation Ecology from the University of Michigan and in her career in ecology and agriculture she has gained skills in invasive species management, field research and inventory, and farming and farm planning for organic vegetable farms. In addition, she has a passion for and expertise in educational programming and curriculum development for diverse learners through her work as a Savanna Institute program manager in Wisconsin and a middle school science teacher here in New Mexico. Jess is passionate about building community and ecological resilience in agriculture through an agroecological and racial justice framework, and loves supporting New Mexican producers through ranch planning and education! When she isn’t working, Jess is hitting the hiking and biking trails, baking sourdough bread, and growing food for her community.