Mountain SOL Director, Aurora Lights Co-Founder
Jen is the Director of Mountain SOL School, which she opened in June 2014. She also is a co-founder of Aurora Lights (Mountain SOL’s parent non-profit) and served as its President from 1998 to 2012. Jen received her B.A. in English with Honors from the University of Virginia and her Masters in Forestry from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Jen worked as a volunteer English teacher for WorldTeach, and then as an environmental educator through Aurora Lights in Ecuador for two years.
Upon returning to the United States, Jen produced the benefit CD Moving Mountains: Voices of Appalachia Rise Up Against Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining from 2000-2003. She has taught at the university level since 2003 at Salem International and West Virginia University, and has brought two groups of college students to the Ecuadorian highlands and amazon. She completed her PhD at the geography department at WVU, where her research was focused on the impacts of mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining on the communities surrounding Coal River Mountain in Raleigh County, West Virginia. Jen was the producer for the second MTR benefit CD, Still Moving Mountains: The Journey Home which was released in June of 2009, and the project director for the multimedia website Journey Up Coal River.