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Dr. Jennifer Watt to lead Sustainability Education at the U

Dr. Jennifer Watt, wearing a pink puffy jacket, conducts research outdoors. She is labeling samples with a sharpie.

By Ayrel Clark-Proffitt, Sustainability Office

Headshot of Dr. Jennifer Watt wearing light gray sweater with silver necklace. Dr. Watt has bangs and shoulder-length wavy brown hair.
Dr. Jennifer Watt

Dr. Jennifer Watt, the new director of sustainability education, is ready to grow student opportunities and build on education efforts that highlight the relationships between social and environmental issues.

Watt, the associate director of the U’s Environmental & Sustainability Studies program, was selected through an internal search open to all existing career-line and tenure-line faculty. As the director of sustainability education, she said she hopes to build on and create new opportunities for students to access sustainability academically.

“My goal is to expand and advance educational opportunities related to sustainability on multiple fronts,” Watt said. “To begin, this will involve promoting the new Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability, helping faculty incorporate sustainability and equity issues into courses, and promoting a dynamic understanding of sustainability in which social and ecological relationships are actively addressed.”

Watt was selected out of multiple qualified candidates. The search committee chose her because of her significant experience in sustainability curriculum development, assessment, and student support, said Chief Sustainability Officer Kerry Case.

“Dr. Watt’s wealth of experience will benefit students, the campus, and the community as the University of Utah works to graduate students who have the skills and education needed to address major sustainability challenges,” Case said.

Watt succeeds Dr. Adrienne Cachelin, who held the role of sustainability education director for the past seven years. Watt took over the position on Aug. 1.

In addition to her administrative role, Watt teaches in Environmental & Sustainability Studies and Geography. She completed her Ph.D. in Geography at the University of Utah in 2013. She holds a master’s degree in Environmental Science and Policy from Northern Arizona University, and she completed her bachelor’s degree at Black Hills State University. Watt has earned multiple teaching awards during her tenure at the U.