Bureau of Land Management

Jennifer Wheeler
Jennifer Wheeler studies plants near Headwaters Forest Reserve
Jennifer Wheeler


"You can't take the dancer out of the scientist."

Jennifer is the botanist/range conservationist/invasive weed specialist for the Arcata field office in northwest California.  But, being a scientist was not her original plan. 

Jennifer is also a dancer.  She was studying dance at Cabrillo College near Santa Cruz when she was given an opportunity to study wildlife management in Kenya, Africa through the School for Field Studies, a nationwide program administered by Northeastern University in Boston.  She was immersed in the culture and a very intensive program of study and research on game ranching and conservation.  The goal was to show the native people reasons to preserve their lands.  After that experience, Jennifer transferred to Humboldt State University where she obtained a BS in rangeland resources. 

She started as a co-op student with BLM in 1991 in Lakeview, Oregon.  Her experiences there included monitoring water quality in watersheds and grazing allotments, mining claim compliance, and botany.  Jennifer transferred to Arcata in 1993 and has been involved in removing invasive beach grass and transplanting native grasses in the Manila Dunes on the Samoa Peninsula; getting rid of pampas grass, English ivy and scotch broom in the Headwaters Forest Reserve; and lots of grazing activities in the King Range.  Oh, and she still dances at local events. 

A native of Felton, California just north of the coastal town of Santa Cruz, Jennifer now lives in McKinleyville with her husband George and children Samantha, Dalton and Natalie.

For more information concerning this feature story, contact Jennifer Wheeler by telephone 707-825-2316 or by e-mail
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