Entrepreneurial, Collaborative & Tech Savvy
To connect with, learn from, and contribute to a global network of professionals striving to nurture a love of nature as a means to effect meaningful behavior change.
In Hawaii, as in other locales, there is a lot of so-called ‘preaching to the choir’ within the conservation community. Another barrier to change is taking a prescriptive approach that alienates the public audiences we most need to engage. On the other hand, CEC’s past and ongoing work to ‘inspire a new generation’ provides an inclusive framework for collective problem-solving, which makes me excited to be a part of this organization.
The current focus of my consulting practice is leveraging resources and enhancing the capacity of nonprofits and community-minded businesses through strategic use of web-based tools and social networking. This means I typically work with organizations to set-up websites, social media channels, and other web tools; following this, I often train the organization’s team (staff, volunteers, interns, board members, etc.) to utilize these tools in ways that will further their mission.
Other current projects include preparing for the 23rd Annual Hawaii Conservation Conference, launching a nonprofit that provides intensive naturalist training programs and enriching outdoor leisure experiences, and leading a task force for the CEC’s involvement in the 2016 World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii. I also serve as the Chair of the Kaulunani Urban & Community Forestry Program and on the Communications Committee for the Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence – Island Earth.
Born and raised in Hawaii, Jennifer Barrett has also lived in Colorado, where she received her B.A. in English literature from Colorado College, and California, where she interned at the San Francisco Zoo’s Insect Zoo. Barrett credits her mother with introducing her to volunteerism at the age of six — when she was a Brownie Girl Scout in Mililani Town. That early encounter inspired rewarding professional pursuits working with volunteers in informal education settings. The many unusual ‘office spaces’ Barrett is proud to have roamed include the exhibit halls of Bishop Museum, the scenic grounds of the Honolulu Zoo, the sandy shoreline of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, and research labs of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology.
An interest in nonprofit management prompted her entry into the Executive MBA program at the University of Hawaii, which she completed in 2007. More recently, she received a second graduate degree in environmental management through Duke University’s Environmental Leadership Program. In early 2012, she left her faculty position with the University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program to launch her own business, Island Connect Consulting, which specializes in community-driven and volunteer-powered projects, as well as environmentally-focused initiatives and social marketing campaigns.
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