Dr. Jennifer Galvin is a scientist trained in epidemiology, exposure, and risk at Yale Medical School (MPH) and the Harvard School of Public Health (ScD).
As a pre-med undergrad at Brown, she majored in aquatic biology. Early on, her advisors told her that the fields of medicine and marine science were mutually exclusive; you had to pick one. Instead of choosing, three years later Jennifer forged the now well-known discipline of Ocean and Human Health. Her master's thesis at Yale provided the foundational framework for launching the world’s first International Center for Ocean and Human Health, located in Bermuda.
Subsequently, Jennifer was approached by the heads of the Water & Health: Epidemiology, Exposure and Risk Program at the Harvard School of Public Health to pursue a doctoral degree with full funding. Her time at Harvard was also filled with firsts. Jennifer taught Human Health and Global Environmental Change at Harvard Medical School, the first course in the country at a medical school about human health and the degradation of the global environment. She also returned to Bermuda to lead the Atlantis Mobile Marine Laboratory’s maiden voyage, which conducted a visionary study of Bermuda—including the island’s first examination of prenatal exposure to seafood contaminants.
Jennifer's deep understanding of science and innovation hails from both sides of the table. She is the director of the Henry David Thoreau Foundation, a $10M fund that supports the next generation of environmental scholars and seed-funds visionary institutional programs, such as Voss Environmental Fellows at Brown University, Ecological Design Collaboratory at University of Vermont, and Planetary Health Undergraduate Scholars Program at Harvard College.
“I WANT TO CROSS-FERTILIZE DIFFERENT SECTORS TO REFRAME THE NARRATIVE AND SHIFT THINKING,” SAYS GALVIN. “ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS DON’T FIT NEATLY INTO BOXES AND THEIR SOLUTIONS DON’T EITHER.”
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After spending decades shaping environmental research and practice, Jennifer repeatedly learned that people remember other people and stories are better than numbers. And so, her interest in film grew.
Jennifer was selected to the American Film Institute’s Catalyst Workshop for Science Storytelling and Screenwriting and to the Environmental Film and Wildlife Documentary Residency held at EICTV, Cuba. Her award-winning feature directorial debut, Free Swim, traveled the globe to reduce youth drowning, promote diversity in ocean-related sports, and ignite community coastal conservation. The Memory of Fish, released in late 2017, also made meaningful impact—raising $11K for The Collider’s climate internship program, touring in support of American Rivers, and earning the Best Script Award nomination by the Wildscreen Panda Awards, the highest accolade in the wildlife film and TV industry.
Recent honors include being named to GOOD Magazine's GOOD 100, representing the vanguard of artists, activists, entrepreneurs, and innovators from over 35 countries making creative impact.
"[GALVIN] HAS BEEN COMPARED TO A SWISS ARMY KNIFE. SHE IS A MULTI-USE TOOL FOR SCIENTIFIC AND PHILANTHROPIC ORGANIZATIONS, A RESEARCHER, AN ADVOCATE, A FILMMAKER, AND A DEEP THINKER WHO INJECTS LIFE AND NARRATIVE TO THE SCIENTIFIC ISSUES SHE IS PASSIONATE ABOUT."
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Jennifer's motivations remain fueled by the maxim protect the vulnerable and she feels a personal commitment to serve the world’s at-risk coastal populations.
Jennifer is increasingly interested in expanding her role as advisor/bridge-builder/producer for projects investing in coastal and island entrepreneurs, especially women, in the US and Caribbean. She is dedicated to innovating social impact around five core environmental and health issues: water, food, disease, climate, and energy.