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jennifer mannas at big razorback island

Jennifer Mannas

Jen Mannas is a wildlife ecologist who has studied and worked with numerous species of mammals and birds in the U.S. and Antarctica over the years.

As a graduate student with the Ecology Department at Montana State University, Jen deployed to Antarctica as a member of the Weddell seal jen with weddell sealpopulation study research team for four consecutive seasons from 2006 through 2009. Based at a remote field camp located near Big Razorback Island in the Erebus Bay area of Antarctica's Ross Sea, Jen's field research work focused on Weddell seal mass and population dynamics.

In 2011, Jen received a Master of Science degree in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University based on her work studying the mass dynamics of the Weddelljen mannas studying weddell seals seal population in the Erebus Bay area. Her thesis entitled "Assessing Weddell Seal Maternal Investment In Offspring" looked at variation in Weddell seal pup mass at birth and during several ages of the lactation/nursing period, and evaluated a number of maternal traits to explain such variation.

As a member of the Weddell seal population study research team, Jen helped continue the research work on this population that began back in 1968. This is one of the longest ongoing population studies of a long-lived mammal.

Jen's work has included numerous science communication and education projects related to the work of the Weddell seal project. As a graduate student she participated in the International Polar Year (IPY) Women Working in Antarctica video portrait project (please see the video, below). That video is also available via the National Science Foundation's Science 360 news service.

Also as part of the International Polar Year (IPY) effort, Jen's science communication video interview work has been incorporated into a wonderful expanded formal science education module available to educators at the WGBH Teachers' Domain.

jen mannas ocean institute panel exhibitJen presented in 2009 a hands-on science education module as part of the Ocean Institute's Girls in Ocean Science Teen Conference. This teen conference is organized annually at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California by a dedicated group of women who hope to inspire young women to pursue careers in the sciences.

In 2011 - 2012, Jen and her Weddell seal research work with the project are presented as part of a public science outreach and education exhibit at the Ocean Institute in Dana Point, California.

This Women Scientists Working in Antarctica outdoor exhibit at the Ocean Institute has been viewed by thousands of K-12 students and members of the general public.

ocean institute women working in antarctica panel exhibit

Jen has worked as a biologist for the Polar Oceans Research Group, which is the seabird component of the Palmer Station Antarctica LTER (Long Term Ecological Research), studying seabird population dynamics with a main focus on the demography of Adélie penguins in Antarctica. This long term ecological research has been ongoing since the 1970s. 

She is currently working as a Fisheries Biologist for Oceans Associates contracted through NOAA to study the predator prey relationship between seabirds and salmon on the Columbia River.


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