- GRADUATE STUDIES
- STUDENT LIFE
B.S., University of New Hampshire
M.S., Antioch University New England
Sustainability Certificate program, Sustainability Seminar and Sustainability Project courses
Research Interests & Areas of Expertise
Sustainability & Ecoliteracy
Integrating ecology, economy, and equity
Sustainability leadership in higher education
Collaborative Leadership Team for the New Hampshire Children in Nature Coalition (NHCiNC)
Children & Nature Network (C&NN) Grassroots Gathering
Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
Advisor to the Franklin Pierce University Eco Club
Board of Directors for the Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC)
As the point of contact for sustainability efforts on the Rindge campus, Jess Gerrior directs the Sustainability Center, working closely with the Dean's Office, the Monadnock Institute of Nature, Place and Culture, and community stakeholders. She convenes the Sustainability Council, facilitating communication among its members and lead the implementation of a Climate Action Plan. This significant and multi-faceted effort to reduce the environmental impact of campus operations involves energy, transportation, purchasing, food, buildings and grounds, residential life, student clubs and activities as well as academics.
Jess manages the Sustainability Certificate program, which includes teaching Sustainability Seminar and Sustainability Project, courses that allow students of all majors to research, develop, and implement solutions that address the triple bottom line of planet, profit, and people. Jess has overseen student projects to donate reusable goods to area charities during move-out, reduce bottled water consumption, map the campus's natural and built resources, write a sustainable business plan for a student-run cafe, and improve the Sustainable Lifestyle Housing program through better engagement and accountability. This program is co-managed by Jess and the Director of Residential Life.
Jess offers support for faculty to integrate sustainability into the curriculum, primarily through "Green Earth" courses in the Sustainability Certificate program but also through special projects such as "Digging In," in which Freshman Composition students have engaged in readings, research, dialogue, poster sessions, a public panel discussion, and hands-on activities related to food and social justice.
Jess serves as the campus liaison to the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), where she also serves on the Education & Professional Development Steering Committee. Jess represents FPU at professional conferences and regional events, and works with the Environmental Science & Environmental Studies faculty to enhance and expand this signature program. She provides community engagement and outreach through campus-wide events, newsletters and social media.
Before coming to Franklin Pierce, Jess was the Project Manager for the Monadnock Food Co-op, where she coordinated its first annual meeting and annual report, and held a public forum, in partnership with Antioch University New England and local partner organizations, on the need for a community-driven and accessible local food system. Jess now serves on the Board of Directors for the Monadnock Farm & Community Coalition (MFCC), a regional coalition whose mission is to support a sustainable food system by cultivating community action and building collaborations to implement effective programs, projects and policies.
Jess earned her Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Environmental Education at Antioch University New England, where she received the Ginsberg-Wessels Award for Leadership, the President’s Merit Scholarship, and the Cap & Gown Book Award. Special areas of interest included school-community partnerships, place-based education, ecological literacy, intentional communities, and sustainable leadership. Jess completed an internship with The Cornucopia Project, in which she wrote a successful $20,000 Community Impact Grant to build an educational garden which now provides fresh, organic foods for Peterborough Community Center programs. She also completed internships with the NH Department of Environmental Services and with the Children in Nature Coalition, where she authored the white paper, Opening Doors to Happier, Healthier Lives. Jess earned her Bachelor of Science degree (magna cum laude) at the University of New Hampshire, with a major in Biology and minor in Microbiology, and taught Environmental Science, Biology and Microbiology classes at three community college campuses before returning to graduate school.
In addition to her professional roles, Jess is a mother, writer, photographer, and roller derby team captain.