Jessica’s doctorate took her to the heart of Appalachia and the wilds of the Alaskan Tundra to study plants, and it was during this time she discovered her passion for telling the story of research and science. As The Morton Arboretum’s first science communicator, or ‘Treeologist,’ Jessica supports the Arboretum’s mission and vision as a leading center of tree expertise by communicating and sharing knowledge. While centered in the Science and Conservation Department, she works collaboratively with members of the Education and Information team to catalyze tree champions, introducing or widening target audiences’ understanding of tree science, horticulture and conservation in creative ways that are equal parts relevant and accessible.
Currently, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors of The Chicago Council of Science and Technology (C2ST) and President Emeritus of the Auxiliary Board. She is on the Advisory Council of thenational movement to raise awareness about the importance of horticulture. Jessica is also an adjunct professor for the Associated Colleges of the Chicago Area, teaching Economic Botany and Science Communication for Broader Impacts.