Jessica Groenendijk, M.S.
Jessica Groenendijk serves San Diego Zoo Global as Education and Outreach Coordinator for Cocha Cashu Biological Station in Peru. She is a Dutch biologist who engages with people — ranging from local school children and communities to Peruvian and international students and researchers, to protected area staff — to promote research and conservation education in Manu National Park.
Jessica is responsible for the implementation of Cocha Cashu’s Conservation Education, Capacity Building and Outreach Initiative (EduCashu). She also manages the Cocha Cashu Facebook page and website, communicates with over 500 "Cashu Nuts" alumni through a regular newsletter, produces promotional materials for the Station, and writes blogs, articles, and books to highlight Cocha Cashu-related research, news, and activities. Her writings include book that synthesizes the research conducted at Cocha Cashu within the last decade, as well as a bilingual conservation education book published for the indigenous Matsigenka communities.
Jessica earned her bachelor’s degree in Biology at Imperial College, London, and her master’s degree in Aquatic Resource Management from King's College, London. After obtaining her degrees, Jessica worked as project leader for the Frankfurt Zoological Society’s Giant Otter Research and Conservation Project. She has also served as a technical advisor to the Frankfurt Zoo’s North Luangwa Conservation Programme in Zambia, which is responsible for monitoring of the reintroduced black rhino population, and a conservation education program involving nine schools in adjacent game management Areas. Jessica was the Giant Otter Species Coordinator for the IUCN Otter Specialist Group for seven years and recently published two peer-reviewed papers on her work with giant otters, in collaboration with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of Oxford University. In her spare time Jessica photographs and writes to connect people with nature, and runs a family nature club called Club NaturaNiños.