Environment and Sustainability

Jessie Kemper working to remove invasive species from our waterways.
Jessie Kemper working to remove invasive species from our waterways.

Jessie Kemper


Environmental Studies



Current Position

Conservation Coordinator


Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy


I grew up in Royersford, Pennsylvania and graduated from Spring-Ford High School in 2008. I came to Ursinus completely undecided about my major. My plan was to fulfill a bunch of my core requirements during my freshman and sophomore years and hopefully find what I was passionate about along the way. That passion turned out to be Environmental Studies! During my time at Ursinus, I worked in admissions as a tour guide, became a member of Tau Sigma Gamma, participated in a research project with Dr. Corey Straub, and studied abroad at James Cook University in Australia.

I graduated from Ursinus in 2012 and moved to Cape Cod National Seashore for the summer where I interned with the National Park Service as a Marine Mammal Educator and volunteered on a local whale watching boat. After Cape Cod, I moved to Southern New Jersey for a year, where I interned in the Environmental Department of Salem Hope-Creek Nuclear Power Plant. Following that internship, I had a two-month externship with The Wildlife Center of Virginia as a wildlife rehabilitator. Then, I moved back to PA for a year while I worked as a Farm Apprentice at Rushton Farm. After my work on the farm, I moved to Delaware for an internship as an Environmental Educator with the Brandywine Zoo. While I was working at the Zoo, a position became available at the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy, an environmental non-profit in Schwenksville PA, where I interned while I was at Ursinus. I loved my internship with the Conservancy so I jumped at the chance to be a full-time employee. I am now the Conservation Coordinator at PWC and am coming up on my 5-year mark with the organization!

Impact of Ursinus

Ursinus allowed me to fully explore my interests and introduced me to the world of Environmental Studies. It enabled me to live in a foreign country for a semester, which was an amazing, life-changing experience. The Environmental Studies faculty at Ursinus guided me and helped me learn and grow as a student and as a person. I am lucky enough to be able to continue my relationship with Ursinus and the Environmental Studies Department through my job with the Perkiomen Watershed Conservancy.

Piece of Advice

Don’t be afraid to follow your interests, wherever they may take you! My most valuable on-the-job learning experiences came from the variety of internships I had post-graduation. Through these internships, I was able to step outside of my comfort zone, explore new places, gain a wide-variety of experiences and figure out what I wanted to do long-term for my career.