Jennifer Loder

General Manager, Reef Check Australia and Coordinator, Great Barrier Reef Citizen Science Alliance.2015 August Intensive Fellowship

JLoder headshot

The CSL program encouraged me to embrace leadership in a way that is true to my core philosophies, while also challenging me to push boundaries (real and perceived).

What was the most valuable thing you got out of CSL?

Leadership comes in many forms and we each define what that means for our self, community and planet.

Why are you passionate about sustainability? What was the moment or event that made you decide to become a ‘change maker’ in your field?

As long as I can remember, nature has inspired me to be curious, grateful and compassionate. I feel a sense of responsibility to give something back. A dive trip to Palau in 2007 inspired me to actively pursue my fascination with the ocean and I moved across the world to Australia to pursue work in marine conservation.

There hasn’t been one defining moment that shaped my path, just the firm belief that there was work to be done and that I wanted to help. I believe that passionate, innovative and caring people can be a powerful force in addressing environmental challenges. I want to empower people to engage with science and sustainability to find creative solutions, and magnify their efforts through strategic systems, knowledge and partners. To me, citizen science and community-based environmental projects offer hope. By demystifying science and handing back power to communities to collect and understand science data, it builds capacity for people to be an active part process and creates sense of ownership about their role in the outcomes.

How did CSL play a role in directing your current path or project?

The CSL program encouraged me to embrace leadership in a way that is true to my core philosophies, while also challenging me to push boundaries (real and perceived).

In 25 words or less, tell us why leadership for sustainability is important.

Our sustainability challenges call for leadership at every scale. We need leaders who can help unite their networks in action.

What do you plan to do next on your sustainability journey?

I want to help mobilise communities to engage with marine science and sustainability to create innovative and collaborative solutions for positive change. I will continue to work on programs that build community capacity, strengthen strategic partnerships and foster ocean literacy. In the immediate future this includes helping to build a new sustainable and dynamic path for Reef Check Australia and strengthening citizen science for the reef through my role with the Great Barrier Reef Citizen Science Alliance.

What are three words you would use to describe the Fellowship Program?

Uplifting, constructive, introspective

Jennifer can be contacted via Email: jenn@reefcheckaustralia.org

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