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Dr. Jorge Ramos named as the Associate Director for Environmental Education at Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve

Jorge Ramos, JRBP's new Associate Director for Education

We are delighted to welcome Jorge Ramos to Jasper Ridge as our newest team member.  Jorge will be assuming the role of Associate Director for Environmental Education as of May 13, taking over the guidance of the preserve’s education program from Cindy Wilber when she retires in June.  He was the top candidate in an international search that saw more than 90 applicants for the position. He brings 13 years of experience and skills that will both continue the amazing education program that Cindy has built and also give Stanford students and our broader community new opportunities. 

A first-generation college student, Jorge earned a Bachelor of Science degree at The University of Texas at El Paso, a Master of Science degree at University of Washington in Forest Resources, and a PhD at Arizona State University in Environmental Life Sciences.  He is an accomplished educator and scientist with deep knowledge of freshwater and coastal wetland ecosystems, environmental education and outreach, climate change science communication, and conservation practices both locally and worldwide.

He comes to us from his most recent position at Conservation International in Washington DC, where he was the manager of the Blue Climate team in the Center for Oceans, a role in which he helped develop, implement, and manage coastal community conservation projects and teams from Mexico, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Suriname, China, and Fiji.  Jorge likes to point out that one of the things he enjoyed most about his task of developing successful conservation plans was taking community leaders out to the shoreline and having them pick up handfuls of mud to give them a literal hands-on experience of where carbon was stored. Connecting them personally to a new ecosystem service—carbon storage and sequestration—was a key step in increasing their understanding and motivation to preserve their carbon-rich coastal ecosystems.

His true love, though, is the North American West, imbued by his childhood in the Chihuahuan desert and educational experiences in Arizona and Mexico, where he first discovered his enthusiasm for environmental science and communication and hands-on experiential teaching [see his video here]. Since then, in positions at University of Washington, Arizona State University, and Conservation International, he honed his skills in developing curricula, teaching at levels from K-12 to university to NGOs and governments, coordinating multimedia, and communicating environmental issues to everyone from children to policy makers at the highest levels. 

Fluent in Spanish as well as English, Jorge has founded and led national and international initiatives to promote the inclusion and retention of a diverse population in science, including taking on local and national-level leadership roles with the Ecological Society of America SEEDS Program, Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science, International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists, (INNGE), NSF GK-12 Sustainability Schools Program, and Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAPLTER) station.

Among the things that excite him most about moving to Stanford and Jasper Ridge are immersing himself in the preserve’s ecosystems, working with students and the rest of the Jasper Ridge community to build upon Cindy’s prior work, and developing additional interdisciplinary and inclusive environmental education programs.  “Playing with mud will definitely continue to be part of the activities!,” he assures us.

You will soon be able to find Jorge at Sun Field Station, where he will be located in the Education side of the building, and looking forward to meeting everyone:  “My door will be open to start getting to know all of you!” ¡Mis puertas estarán abiertas para empezar a conocer a todos!

Please stop by and say hi and join us in welcoming Jorge to the Jasper Ridge community!