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Bowman promoted to Voinovich School director of environmental programs

Daniel Kington
August 31, 2017

Jen BowmanAfter thirteen years of leadership at Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, Jen Bowman was recently promoted to director of environmental programs.

Bowman holds a bachelor's degree in environmental geology and a master's degree in environmental geochemistry, both from Ohio University. She first joined the Voinovich School in 2004 as environmental projects manager and began overseeing the School’s watershed work in 2012, when she was promoted to senior project manager. Last summer, Bowman became interim director of environmental programs, a title she held until her recent promotion.

Stemming from her long-held love of nature, Bowman’s career has been dedicated to environmental research and restoration.

“As a kid, I grew up on 21 acres of woods, fields and streams where I would play,” Bowman said. “There were fossils and crawdads in our creeks. I liked being in the woods, and that instilled in me the desire to preserve the environment.”

Bowman has a great deal of pride for the work she has already done at the School, citing accomplishments such as the development and management of watersheddata.com, which allows scientists in Ohio to group water quality research in one place while also providing interactive tools for data analysis.

“The resource is being used more and more by those in the coal-bearing region, so that’s a success that I’m very proud of,” Bowman said.

Additionally, Bowman takes pride in her participation on the watershed team at a time when it worked to successfully remediate more than 90 miles of stream in the Raccoon Creek watershed.

Now, Bowman’s responsibilities are broader, as she works with stakeholders to shape and implement programs that elevate and enhance Ohio University's environmental research while overseeing all existing environmental programming, including the School’s renewable energy research and work on the Zero Waste Initiative.

“I’m focused more on continual management and teaching, as well as building the robustness of our team, because the team is healthier when more people can do more of the work. However, something that’s unique about the Voinovich School is that as director, I’m not only overseeing the work, but I’m actually doing the work too,” Bowman said, noting that she continues to participate in multiple watershed restoration projects.

Bowman serves as director during a time when the Voinovich School is expanding wetland research and the scope of its watershed restoration work, focusing on a broader geographical area and responding to a greater diversity of water quality issues.

“To be a leader in this work is very exciting,” Bowman said.

In addition to project work and oversight, Bowman is also happy to continue teaching. “I’ve always wanted to be a teacher. It’s so fun working with students, seeing their enthusiasm for projects and seeing how they change and where their experience here takes them.”

“Jen is a dedicated, thoughtful, hardworking and talented person, all great leadership qualities for the Voinovich School,” Mark Weinberg, Voinovich School Founding Dean, said.

Bowman looks forward to what the future holds for her at the Voinovich School.

“I’m very thankful for the opportunity to work as director,” Bowman said. “The Voinovich School is a wonderful place to work, providing me the opportunity to be creative, give back to the environment and make a difference.”