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Dean of the College

Faculty Profile on Jessica Kleiss

August 30, 2011

Olin Hall

Assistant Professor in Environmental Studies


Ph.D. 2009 Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego; B.S. 2000 Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Research & Teaching Interests
Physical oceanography and air-sea interaction

What most excites you about joining the LC community?
I am excited to build relationships with the students on campus. I love mentoring, and helping people move from passion to action. I’m also excited to be in a Liberal Arts environment, since I came from a strong science background. The interdisciplinary possibilities are tantalizing.

What kind of hobbies or special activities do you enjoy outside of work?
My biggest hobby is cross-country skiing. I’m thrilled to be so close to Mount Hood and Bend, and explore the new skiing terrain! I also have a fabulous new interest in child development, as I watch my baby boy change from a sea-monkey-like fetus to a marvelously functioning human being.

What were your childhood goals/aspirations?
Early in childhood, I thought it would be cool to be president of the United States, and I even composed one or two campaign speeches! I wanted to be an astronaut mostly because I enjoyed the weightlessness of swimming. As a teenager, I wanted to “save the world,” and I was really frustrated that I couldn’t figure out how to tackle that problem.

What are you listening to in your car right now?
I tend to bike to work, so my soundtrack involves rushing wind and cranking pedals. When I do take the car out, I’m a radio girl. I enjoy some NPR programs, especially “Wait, Wait don’t tell me!” Otherwise I look for a channel with music that sounds new to me. 

What was your favorite childhood story?
I loved Aesop’s fables. I liked the idea of finding morality in the natural world. 

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