Combining my passions for and experience in education, conservation, and research, my professional goal is to use research to inform participatory conservation program development. Also, to provide technical assistance in translating research into collaborative conservation practice and education within the United States and abroad.
My primary research interests are in the areas of tropical ecology, collaborative-based conservation, biocultural diversity, and community education and outreach. Because it is imperative, in my opinion, to involve communities in the conservation research surrounding them, I am interested in focusing not only the social and ecological perspectives of conservation but also on the interface of these natural and cultural environments. I believe that focusing on these aspects will help increase environmental awareness and interest in land stewardship and the importance of biodiversity. I am committed to collaborating with tribal and indigenous, local, regional, federal, and international communities, researchers, and stakeholders as part of achieving this goal.
Antioch University New England, Keene, NH
MS Candidate in Environmental Studies, Environmental Education
August 2010–May 2012 (anticipated)
New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL
B.A. Environmental Studies
Concentration: Environmental Education and Conservation
August 2003–May 2008
Misty Forest Enrichment Center Assistant Teacher
- Created hands-on environmentally focused curricula for 1st-3rd graders
Undergraduate Honors Thesis Research
Water Bear, Water Bear, what do you see?: The Implementation of Tardigrades as a means towards a more inclusive science experience
- Created curricula to investigate whether or not tardigrades, also known as Water Bears, can be used to engage elementary school children into appreciating, exploring, and investigating local ecosystems.
- Worked closely with both a 3rd and a 5th grade teacher and their classes as well as Tardigradologist, Colleen Mitchell, to ensure the students would be able to understand the lessons and learn real scientific sampling methods. Video of Charzy working with the students
Emerson Pointe Preserve BioBlitz
- First annual biodiversity blitz (BioBlitz) at one of Manatee County’s twelve preserves.
Advertised, recruited volunteers, community members, undergraduate students,
professors, and scientists to participate in data collection during this 12-hour event.
Event also served to introduce local citizens to the preserve.
Environmental Education and Volunteer Intern with the Manatee County Conservation Lands Management Department
Jan. 2007–Jan. 2008
- Responsible for presentation of nature-based curriculum to children and parents as well as organizing volunteer events at the nature preserves.
- Created curricula and public programming.
- Aided in program marketing, attending outreach events (such as festivals and other public events) and creating promotional materials.
- The implementation of a BioBlitz at Emerson Point was my personal project.
- Lead tours on Hammock Ecology and Tree Canopy Studies at Myakka River State Park for local and international high school students, doctoral level scientists and non- academic visitors.
- Lead tours through Red Bug Slough Nature Preserve.
Research Assistant to Dr. Margaret Lowman
- Responsible for creating and presenting environmental education to the K-12 community and general public.
- Lead nature tours through Red Bug Slough, Myakka Rivers State Park, and the Carlton Reserve.
- Presented conservation information dealing with rainforest and canopy ecology at schools and various fairs.
- Collected data by administering surveys, interviews, or running research protocols.
- Assist in preparing submissions for local or regional conferences and, if accepted, work on poster or oral presentations for professional conferences.
- Various other research and tasks as directed.
Science Outreach for Students (SOS) program at New College
- Created science and environmental education-focused lesson plans for K-12 students and taught in middle and high school classrooms.
- Took on all teacher responsibilities with an average, 10 hours weekly in preparation and classroom time.
- Taught various classrooms of elementary and middles school students.
- Participated in a daylong K-12 teacher workshop, which included student presentations and canoe tour at Myakka River State Park in Sarasota.
- Presented as a poster at the 2006 ESA national conference in Memphis, Tennessee.
BioBlitz Volunteer and Event Organizer
- A Bioblitz is a daylong cumulative survey of species by scientists and volunteers.
- Member of Entomology Team in 12 hour bio-specimen survey at Myakka River State Park (2005).
- Member of Entomology Team in 12 hour Organism Survey at Crosley Estate, Sarasota, Fl (2004).
- The Crosley Estate blitz was used to catalogue the different organisms in the area before University of South Florida built their commuter campus in the area.
“Pedagogy in Environmental Education in Sarasota, FL”
- Four week independent research project served as a continuation of the Science Outreach of Students (SOS) Program.
- Taught courses in environmental education to seventh and eighth grade students (one group was gifted and the other was regular) at Booker Middle School.
- The lessons varied from Insect-Plant Interactions to Fisheries Policies to General Marine Biology.
Independent Study Project: “Population Dynamics of Leatherback Sea Turtles in Galibi, Suriname”
- Six week independent volunteer research experience in Galibi, Suriname, South America.
- The research project was a shared venture between IUCN, WWF, STINASU, and a group of Amerindians, Caribs, from Galibi working towards sea turtle conservation, specifically, Leatherbacks.
- Conducted daily and nightly walks on the beach to find and tag sea turtles. as well as checking the shorelines in the morning for nests, and excavating nests.
Honors, Awards, Fellowships, & Grants
SEEDS* Travel Grant Recipient to ESA Annual Meeting (Milwaukee, WI)
Travel Grant for Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL) Symposium
SEEDS* Travel Grant Recipient to SEEDS Leadership Meeting – Hosted by Dr. Nom Christensen
SEEDS* Travel Grant Recipient to ESA Annual Meeting (San Jose, CA)
SEEDS* Travel Grant Recipient to Coweeta, LTER (Otto, NC)
SEEDS* Travel Grant Recipient to ESA Annual Meeting (Memphis, TN)
National Science Foundation Grant Recipient: Out On A Limb – Forest Canopies
An ecology education canopy exhibit
Sarasota County Conservation Award for Outstanding Environmental Education
Science Outreach for Students program
Certificate of Appreciation Presented to New College SOS Students
By the 13th Annual Sarasota County Conservation Awards for efforts in conserving natural resources
SEEDS* Travel Grant Recipient to Sevilleta LTER (Albuquerque, NM)
Community Foundation of Sarasota Grant
Co-authored a successful $10,000 grant to create a base of operations for Science Outreach at New College and an outdoor, interactive teachers; workshop.
New College Foundation Scholarship
Aug. 2003–May 2007
New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL
Florida Bright Futures Scholarship
Aug. 2003–Dec. 2007
New College of Florida, Sarasota, FL
International Baccalaureate Diploma
University High School, Orlando, FL
*SEEDS (Strategies for Ecology, Education, Development, and Sustainability) is the student organization of the Ecological Society of America, which recently won the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring Organized Sessions, Workshops & Field Trips
Ecological Outreach Opportunity (ECO) – Pittsburgh, PA
- Coordinated an educational field trip for the 95th Annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) Meeting in Pittsburgh, PA.
- Conducted a Bioblitz within a schoolyard in Pittsburgh.
“Revolutionary Ecology: Multidisciplinary and Multimedia Approaches to Cooling the Planet”
- Forum for creating action-oriented solutions by in ecology.
- Integrated panel of ecologists, environmental activists, and artists working towards the goal of enhanced communication and application of local and traditional ecological concepts in public policy, conservation, education, and community outreach by thinking globally but acting locally.
- The overall purpose of this session is to explore alternative links between ecology, outreach, and community efforts.
Ecological Outreach Opportunity (ECO) – BioBlitz at the Albuquerque Bosque Ecosystem
The overall aims of the trip are to: (1) allow ESA members to connect with the local host community of the annual meeting; (2) use the expertise of ESA to aid a local conservation organization in the planning stages of a restoration project; (3) leave that community with surveying skills taught by ESA members; and (4) build and/or strengthen connections between local schools and the Albuquerque environmental groups, so that similar educational activities can continue beyond this fieldtrip.
Educational field trip for the 94th Annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.
- Responsible for the marketing and advertisement of the program to ESA members, and the K-12 community, and tribal members in the Albuquerque area.
- Aided in planing the biobliz activities and schedule.
Ecological Outreach Opportunity (ECO) – High School Educators’ Ecological Literacy and Research Day
- Component of ECO BioBlitz fieldtrip.
- Entire day focused on how high school educators can integrate ecological literacy and research into their teaching practice and answer the question: Just was is ESA doing to link the ecological literacy, research, and the high school educator? Read the full day’s outline here.
Ecological Outreach Opportunity (ECO) – Bioblitz at the Proposed Milwaukee Central Park Riparian Corridor
The overall aims of the trip are to: (1) allow ESA members to connect with the local host community of the annual meeting; (2) use the expertise of ESA to aid a local conservation organization in the planning stages of a restoration project; (3) leave that community with surveying skills taught by ESA members; and (4) build and/or strengthen connections between local schools and the Milwaukee environmental groups, so that similar educational activities can continue beyond this field trip.
One of five SEOI (SEEDS Education and Outreach Initiative) coordinators.
- Educational field trip held in conjunction with the 93rd Annual Ecological Society of America (ESA) Meeting in Milwaukee, WI.
- Advertised the field trip to local Milwaukee K-12 teachers and their students.
- Visited local Milwaukee area teachers and students late April 2008 to give presentations about the meeting, ESA in general and a new high school section we were starting.
- Aided my fellow coordinators with location logistics and planning, food selection, curriculum development and the evaluation assessment of the field trip.
Presentations and Published Abstracts
Jones, Charissa. (2008, August). Water Bear, Water Bear, What do you see?: The Implementation of Tardigrades Towards a More Inclusive Science Experience. Poster presented at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI.
Jones, Charissa, Dyer, Jennifer, Lowman, Margaret, Miller, Erika Anne, Evers, Zachary I., Miller, Evan (2008, August). Science Outreach for Students: Connecting Outreach and Ecology. Poster presented at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Milwaukee, WI.
Jones, Charissa, Lowman, Margaret, Evers, Zach (2008, April). Science Outreach for Students: Connecting Local Schools to Ecology. Oral and Powerpoint presentation at the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL) Student Symposium entitled Festival of Scholarship: Celebrating Collaborative Inquiry in Bellingham, WA.
Jessica Wheeler1, Margaret Lowman1, Fabiana Silva1, Charissa Jones1, Colleen Mitchell2, and Evan Miller1. (1) New College of Florida, (2) TREE Foundation (2007, August). Science outreach for students: Initiatives to connect local schools to ecology. Poster presented at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA.
Margaret Lowman, New College of Florida, Zachary I. Evers, New College of Florida, Colleen Mitchell, TREE Foundation, and Charissa Jones, New College of Florida. (2007, August). Out on a Limb: Forest Canopies. Poster presented at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in San Jose, CA.
Jones, Charissa, Lowman, Meg, Wheeler, Jessica, Miller, Evan, Silva, Fabiana, Mitchell, Colleen, (2006, August). Out on a Limb – Forest Canopies, an informal science education exhibit. Poster presented at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Memphis, TN.
Silva, Fabiana, Lowman, Margaret, Wheeler, Jessica, Jones, Charissa, Mitchell, Colleen, Miller, Evan (2006, August). Science Outreach for Students: new initiatives to connect local schools to ecology. Poster presented at the Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting in Memphis, TN.
Travel and Language Experience
Fluent in English
Beginning proficiency in Dutch (speaking & writing)
Suriname, South America: Travel and stays, including volunteering and environmental field work
Professional Organizations and Memberships
Center for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (CTEC)
Ecological Society of America (ESA)
Comparative Cognition Society (CCS)
The Wildlife Society (TWS)
(leatherback) sea turtles, tropical ecology and conservation, Suriname indigenous ecological knowledge, local ecological knowledge, environmental anthropology, ecoliteracy, listening to pop songs played on a ukulele, reading, dancing in the rain, exploring.