Jen Palmer is a remarkable woman and I knew it within seconds of first meeting her. It was at the Outdoor Retailer trade show and she walked up to the World Minded booth with a beaming smile and said “I heard your company is doing really cool things!” Turns out, Jen Palmer is not only doing really cool things but AMAZING things for the world!
Jen is a conservation scientist, youth mentor, world explorer, and nature enthusiast. She has a master’s in International Applied Ecology and Conservation from University of East Anglia (UK) and bachelor’s in Biology from University of California at Santa Cruz. Her resume of the impactful work she has done all over the world is like nothing I have ever seen. Jen has either helped co-found or worked for organizations devoted to environmental issues, endangered marine species and connecting youth to the importance of ocean conservation for her entire life. A short list of the organizations she has been with are; The Wild Foundation’s World Wilderness Congress, 5 Gyres Institute, Ocean Revolution, Teens4Oceans and the DC Marine Community. Currently Jen is finishing work with the Academy-Award nominated film Chasing Ice, leading an education and outreach initiative to inspire people to take action on climate change. I could go on and on about the amazing work she has done but that would warrant an entire separate article. My intention with this article/interview was to find out what makes Jen tick…..
WM: What is your background Jen?
“I grew up in South Florida on the beach and since I can remember I was always fascinated with wildlife and had a deep found connection to animals. I didn’t even know what a conservationist was but I could feel my heart lift being around animals and I knew I wanted to work close to them.”
WM: Were your parents conservationists?
“No and they didn’t even travel much. They just recognized my connection to nature and created a space for me to follow my passion. Living near the water was the perfect environment. In fact, we called my grandpa Capt (short for captain) and were on his boat a lot.”
WM: What inspired you to do the type of work you do?
“My first inspiration was Dr. Roger Payne and the work he did recording the first Humpback whale song. I knew I wanted to walk in his footsteps at a very young age.”
WM: How has doing the work you do enriched your life?
“Connection! I have worked in or visited over 31 countries now and no matter where I am I see that we are all connected. I get constant reminders that we are all not so different. We all crave love and are just trying to figure ourselves out. We all rely on connection and it gives me a sense of humanity. “
WM: What inspiring project are you working on now?
“I am wrapping up the work I have been doing promoting the Chasing Ice tour in Ohio and working on launching my own passion project called Women for Wildlife. The organization will connect and empower women globally who are working on wildlife issues. My intention is to create a platform where they can shine and to help build a tribe of women leaders.”
WM: What do you recommend others do to get inspired?
“The very first step is to spend time in nature to help find your passion. It does not matter if you sit under a tree or take a long walk on the beach. Find where nature speaks to you. Loss of that connection to nature is what’s holding us back. We can make any excuse not to make time but in all actuality we can always make time. We need to listen to what is holding us back. If you don’t face your fears, then you won’t have a life of exploring. From all of my travel I have learned that people are inherently good. Yes you need to be smart and mindful when you travel but the world is not as scary as the U.S. media portrays it. Travel or spend time in nature and listen to what your calling is. Whether it’s art, music, culture, etc., the whole entire world shares in these feelings.”
Jen is truly a World Minded thinker who recognizes that everything is connected and that our impact is significant. During our interview she held onto that beaming smile I spoke of earlier and come to think of it, I’ve never seen her without it. Now, I’m not a rocket scientist but it’s pretty darn obvious to me that the smile is because she is living her passion! Bottom line, Jennifer Palmer is a remarkable person and we thought you should know about her.
P.S. We will keep you posted as her Women for Wildlife organization comes to fruition.
About Charles Perry
Charles is a bit of a renaissance man, a citizen of the planet, a building inspector by trade, devoted father & husband and one of the funniest people he knows. He is deeply passionate about peace, social justice and respect and equality for all living creatures. Charles thought up the World Minded ideology several years ago and has made it his goal to inspire people around the world to care for themselves, others and the planet we share by exposing what’s right in the world. He resides in the Eastern Sierras and loves life in the mountains, but longs for the beach because of some ridiculous “grass is always greener” notion.