Jason is doctoral candidate in Environmental Psychology at the Graduate Center, CUNY. His dissertation research concerns the political ecology of environmental protection in the resource-rich Cockpit Country of Jamaica. With an M.A. in Animal Behavior and Conservation (ABC) from Hunter College, CUNY, Jason has worked extensively in developing research and education programs concerning animals and the environment. His second year doctoral research, funded by the Robert Bowne Foundation, focused on the combined role of urban zoos and an after-school program in influencing children's relationship and sense of responsibility toward animals and nature more broadly.
Jason brought this experience into a 2008-2009 National Science Foundation Graduate Teaching Fellowship in the K-12 Education Program, where he worked with ninth grade biology students conducting research on the social and environmental effects of improper litter disposal in New York City. This program was centered on the MOODLE (modular object oriented dynamic learning environment) technology platform--an interactive online learning environment--which afforded the opportunity for teachers and students to continue their real-time classroom discussions, work, and collaboration during out-of-school time.
As a College Now Fellow from 2009 to 2011, Jason developed and taught a research practicum which concerned access to and use of green space in New York City. This course is designed to provide a space for young people to explore their concerns about green space and address those concerns with science. Based on the theory and practice Jason employed during his field work in Jamaica, as well as the pedagogical theory of Situated Learning, the course provided a platform for students identify and study issues concerning green space and communicate their findings to a broader audience.
Offered at The Frederick Douglas Academy (FDA) and Manhattan Hunter Science High School, the course was extended to provide a space for students to disseminate their findings in government and academic institutions. Several FDA students presented their work to local community boards to help inform construction of the Harlem River Park, and two FDA students went on to present their research at the New York City Science and Engineering Fair (NYCSEF). These students advanced to the final round of NYCSEF and placed third in the Behavioral and Social Sciences category.