March 17, 2023


Women's History Month is important because it highlights the contributions of women who have been overlooked throughout history. It is a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women like Dr. Jenna Jambeck, who is a pioneer in environmental engineering and waste management. Dr. Jambeck's groundbreaking research has brought much-needed attention to the issue of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways, and her work has led to international recognition and policy changes. Her accomplishments serve as an inspiration to young women everywhere and show the importance of diversity and inclusion in STEM fields.

Dr. Jenna Jambeck has recently been named regents’ professors, the highest honor and recognition a professor can earn in the public university system.  Dr. Jenna Jambeck is a renowned environmental engineer and expert on global waste management, best known for her research on plastic pollution in oceans and waterways. She is the Georgia Athletic Association Distinguished Professor in Environmental Engineering at the University of Georgia, where she has significantly contributed to the development of the undergraduate environmental engineering program since joining in 2009.

One of Dr. Jambeck's most notable accomplishments is the groundbreaking 2015 study published in the journal Science, in which she and her colleagues quantified the amount and sources of land-based plastic waste entering the ocean. This was the first study of its kind and led to international recognition from governmental agencies and organizations across the world. Two years later, Dr. Jambeck and her colleagues published another seminal work that offered the first comprehensive analysis of the production process and lifecycle of mass-produced plastics.

Dr. Jambeck's research has led to invitations to participate in policy discussions with organizations such as the G7 and G20, the U.S. Congress, and the United Nations Environment Program. She has been a key player in multiple national and global projects aimed at mitigating plastic contamination in rivers and oceans, including the "Sea to Source" expedition, the first female-led expedition team that developed strategies to mitigate plastic contamination in the Ganges River Basin in India and Bangladesh.

In addition to her research, Dr. Jambeck is an innovator and co-developed the "Marine Debris Tracker" mobile app. The app allows people to catalog information about litter and debris, and since its launch in 2010, users have logged more than 6.5 million items in over 92 countries. Dr. Jambeck has also made significant contributions to teaching at the University of Georgia and has received numerous awards for her dedication to mentorship.

Dr. Jambeck's accomplishments are truly remarkable, but her impact extends beyond her research and academic work. As the co-founder of CIRT, a women-owned business, she has helped pave the way for women in male-dominated fields. At CIRT, the team takes pride in supporting women and their knowledge, and celebrates the achievements of women like Dr. Jambeck who are breaking barriers and changing the world. By highlighting the accomplishments of women, especially in fields where they are traditionally underrepresented, we can inspire the next generation of female leaders to pursue their passions and make a difference in their communities.

To read more about Dr. Jenna Jambeck’s achievements click here