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Council Staff - Jennifer Summers


Jennifer Summers
Jennifer Summers
Science Policy Fellow

Jennifer (Jenn) Summers is currently a National Academy of Sciences Gulf Coast Research Policy fellow for 2020-2021 and is hosted by the Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Council (RESTORE Council). Created by the RESTORE Act of 2012, and comprised of the Governors of the five Gulf Coast States and Cabinet-level officials from six federal agencies, the RESTORE Council is responsible for restoring and protecting the natural resources, ecosystems, fisheries, marine and wildlife habitats, beaches, coastal wetlands, and economy of the Gulf Coast.

Summers is a Science Policy Fellow with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine's Gulf Research Program. Prior to starting as a fellow, Summers worked on her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Tulane University in New Orleans and then at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. Summers' research focuses on the evolutionary responses of coastal marsh plants to sea level rise.

Summers also invests her time in writing "pop sci" articles for the general public, including, but not limited to, Nature Jobs and Scientific American. She is also involved in promoting diversity in the sciences via inclusive, evidence-based teaching methods, science outreach, and participating in organizations like the Pride Center at UTK. Prior to beginning work on her PhD,  Summers worked as a summer assistant at the non-profit Desarollo Sostenible para Guatemala (DESGUA) in Guatemala; taught biology and English at the Centre de Formation Fritz Lafontant in Corporant, Haiti; worked as an intern at Jenks Farmer, Plantsman sustainable lily farm in Beech Island, SC; and worked as staff at the John C. Campbell folk school in western North Carolina.

Summers holds degrees in French and Biology from Furman University in Greenville, SC and is scheduled to complete her PhD in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Tennessee Knoxville in December 2020.