UMN Morris welcomes Distinguished Visiting Professor Jenna Jambeck

Sue Dieter

This spring the University of Minnesota Morris will welcome Jenna Jambeck as its Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Liberal Arts.  

Jambeck is an award-winning environmental engineer who specializes in plastic waste. She will deliver a public lecture as well as participate in other campus events including classroom visits and discussions.

Jambeck will give a public presentation on Tuesday, April 11, at 7 p.m. in the Science Auditorium.  She will discuss “Sea to Source: Reducing Plastics in our Environment.”

Plastic debris and its impacts in the environment have been widely documented, but the quantity entering the ocean from land was previously unknown. By linking worldwide data on solid waste, population density, and economic status, Jambeck estimated the mass of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean at 5–13 million metric tons. As part of the presentation, Jambeck will present an intervention framework to reduce plastic ending up in our environment, while sharing stories of integrating technology and citizen science, science communication, and community-level efforts to address plastic pollution around the globe.

Also, during her time in Morris, Jambeck will be doing some waste assessment work in the community using the Circularity Assessment Protocol, which she developed to provide data to reduce the leakage of waste into the environment. 

A white woman with blonde hair wearing a black coat.  She is standing in front of a river.

About Jambeck

Jenna Jambeck is a Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering at the University of Georgia, a 2022 MacArthur Fellow, Founder of the Circularity Informatics Lab in the New Materials Institute and is a National Geographic Explorer. In 2019, she co-led the National Geographic Sea to Source Expedition: Ganges and currently leads the science for the Mississippi River Plastic Pollution Initiative. She has been conducting research on solid waste issues for over 25 years and marine debris/plastic pollution for 21 years. Her work has been recognized by the global community and translated into policy discussions by the High-Level Panel for the Ocean, testimony to Congress, in G7 and G20 Declarations, and the United Nations Environment program.

About the Distinguished Visiting Professorship

The University of Minnesota Morris Distinguished Visiting Professorship in the Liberal Arts was established through the generous support of a private donor.