My name is Jack Polentes, and I am from Bethlehem Pennsylvania. I come from Hobart College where I studied Geoscience with minors in biology, chemistry, and environmental studies. There I learned an appreciation for connectivity, one between chemical mobility, organic activity, and the evolution of human behaviors. At school, my research focused on reconstructing paleo-environments in New York State during the past ~13,000 years with the goal of understanding the region’s climate history. From there, I moved to a research project through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), applying numerical models to predict surface and sea-bottom currents and temperatures. At NOAA, I learned about the complexity of community-based environmental research and conservation initiatives.
With the experiences initiated during undergrad, I am excited to grow my scientific background and develop my policy skills through the EMAP program. I hope to look at environmental and climate related issues from both a zoomed in, chemical approach, as well as a broad-scoped, policy approach, and form a bridge between the two. For so many, environmental science is a black box and bridging the divide between labs and lawmakers is a must. I enter EMAP hoping to broaden my experience to outside of the lab and field, and plan to tackle the issues of the day- environmental racism, climate literacy, and scientific communication.
“If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals … we had better know something about their power.” – Rachel Carson