Jensvold titled as Humanities scholar

This summer, Diamond Bar High School teacher Angela Jensvold went beyond her classroom to explore the depths of her passion. The Environmental Science teacher was chosen from a competitive group of teachers who applied from all across the nation to attend an environmental conference.

Funded by 2013 National for the Humanities, “The Power of Place: Land and Peoples” was a three-week conference that gave first-hand experience on the history and culture of the Appalachia lifestyle. The 30 teachers who attended were chosen based on their dedication and awareness of environmental issues.

“We learned about the connection between the people who lived in Appalachia and the environment, which gave me great perspective about the culture,” Jensvold commented.

During this trip, Jensvold also learned about mountaintop removal in the Appalachias, a form of surface mining that involves blowing the tops off of mountains and then using the bare area to mine for coal. Due to its location in Kentucky, Jensvold was unable to join the central organization opposing mountaintop removal, but she plans to donate money for the cause.

“I’ve been interested in [mountaintop removal] for quite a while. Once I learned what it was, I really couldn’t believe we were doing it, since this is our country and it’s so beautiful. It’s very nearsighted,” Jensvold explained.

Jensvold first became interested in preserving the Earth after reading multiple Advanced Placement Environmental Science textbooks and learning more information about the environment. After becoming more aware of different environmental issues, she developed a stronger mindset on how important it is to preserve nature.

In previous occasions, Jensvold dedicated her time to many Earthwatch Expeditions, which are from a non-profit international organization that involves volunteers in field research to collect vital data. For instance, she had the opportunity to study manta-ray patterns in Australia, small mammal surveys in Mongolia, aquatic biodiversity in Peru and flamingo studies in Kenya. Every summer, Jensvold travels to various locations to examine different types of field research.

“I try to incorporate all of these experiences into my teaching. All of these expeditions give me some more insight on what I’m teaching and help me teach it better. I’m even planning to have some of my students Skype Appalachians to get some better perspective on what goes on,” she said.