Our Team

Jenny Woodman, Founder and Executive Director

Jenny Woodman is a writer, educator, and ocean explorer; her home port is in the Pacific Northwest with her dog Gus and a wonderful man named Dave. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t daydream about being near the ocean and jumped for joy at the chance join Oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Corps of Exploration as a science communication fellow in 2017, and then again in 2018.

She’s sailed on board NOAA Ship Bell M. Shimada and the Exploration Vessel Nautilus. While at sea, she’s experienced seasickness, seafloor mapping, magical wildlife sightings in National Marine Sanctuaries, and exploring underwater volcanoes with robots. If she doesn’t return your e-mail immediately, she is doing one or more of the following: writing, walking Gus, knitting, cooking, or trying to get on another boat!

Woodman holds a B.S. in Communication and an M.F.A. in creative writing, both from Portland State University. Her work has been published in IEEE Earthzine, OES Beacon, Portland Monthly Magazine, Ensia Magazine, and The Atlantic Monthly.

Elise Mulder Osenga, Contributing Editor

Elise Mulder Osenga lives in the mountains where she dabbles in the headwaters of rivers that might someday join the sea. Her favorite science communication articles are those that interweave human experience and a strong sense of place with the science stories they share. She also appreciates stories about bears.

As both a scientist and a communicator, Osenga brings to Proteus personal experience in both communication and research. She has previous experience as a writer and editor for IEEE Earthzine and has been published in Legacy Magazine, The STEAM Journal, and Journal of Forestry. Osenga currently works at the Aspen Global Change Institute (AGCI), a non-profit dedicated to furthering understanding of global environmental change. Her activities include field work, project management of an ecological monitoring network, and local outreach. She has spent a fair amount of time stirring mud.

Rachel Powers, Strategy and Programming

Rachel Powers is a writer and web designer with a background in marketing, communication, and strategic planning. As a nature writer and lover, Powers is delighted to join Proteus in promoting critical thinking about our responsibilities toward and relationship with the future of the natural world.

Powers has been published in IEEE Earthzine, Eastern Iowa Review, Entropy Magazine, and others. She holds a B.A. from Brown University, an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and an M.F.A. from Portland State University.

Jenny Gessaman, Contributing Writer

Jenny Gessaman grew up in rural Montana, a place that fostered her curiosity and passion for wilderness. Jenny uses those qualities, along with the skills she gained as a reporter and a Glacier National Park tour guide, to connect the public with the science around them.

She’s a journalism graduate student focused on natural resource science and the policy it affects. When not meeting deadlines, she enjoy biking, horror stories and petting her flat-faced cat Caramel Loaf (not pictured).