Professor Martin Nie says that Jessica Jenne is one of the best students he’s had in his natural resource policy class. Jessica was quiet in class, but her thinking about natural resource policy impressed this long-time professor. She’s equally impressed by how Professor Nie takes something so frustrating and complex – politics – and makes it interesting for students.
Jessica came to UM for her Resource Conservation degree after starting classes in energy technology at Bitterroot College. She’s originally from Hamilton, and is the first in her family to attend college.
“I never thought about going to school for bugs,” Jessica says, about her decision to focus on forest entomology. She took an entomology class from Professor Diana Six where she had to set pit traps to collect and identify bugs and was hooked.
After that, Jessica volunteered to help Professor Six run bark beetle research at Lubrecht Forest. This spring she wrote a guidebook to bark beetles for the Missoula Butterfly House and Insectarium. With that field experience and beetle-IDing expertise, Jessica landed a job researching bark beetles in Glacier National Park this summer.
She’s excited for the chance to to study fire and bark beetle impacts on forests burned in the 1990s and 2000s and to spend six weeks in the field. As a mom of three, she can’t easily work in the field for extended periods. But with Glacier close enough to home in Stevensville and an accommodating husband and kids, she will help scientists in Glacier gather data on how bark beetles effect burned areas in forests and their role in providing resources by removing old, weak, and injured trees.
Jessica is a member of the Golden Key Honour Society graduating with a degree in Resource Conservation and a minor in Ecological Restoration.