Jed Thompson

Education/Outreach and Communications Specialist

Jed ThompsonJed moved to Seattle from Ashland, Oregon in the fall of 2008. After a brief work hiatus and a short employment period at REI (where he spent exactly $10 more than he earned), Jed began working with JISAO as a part-time temp in February 2009. 

Filing projects and various closet organization tasks were Jed’s first responsibilities, but he soon began working with Cara MariAnna on JISAO’s education and outreach programs. Jed became a full-time employee in July 2009 and within the first year he had worked with Cara on successful programs such as a climate change lecture at the state capital building, the GEAR UP Summer Institute for high school students, the Around the Americas voyage in partnership with Pacific Science Center, NOAA Science Camp, and he represented JISAO at the SACNAS National Conference in Dallas, TX and the NOAA Education and Science Forum at Howard University in Washington, DC.

Jed and Cara’s biggest success has been the JISAO summer internship program. The program began in 2008 with one student and since has grown to accommodate five to seven students each summer. During the past three years the program has hosted students from schools across the country including Columbia University, Morehouse College, Reed College, Texas Southern University, the University of Miami, and more. Two students from JISAO’s internship program, Angel Adames from the University of Puerto Rico and Daniel Hernandez from Humboldt State University, have recently been selected into graduate school at the University of Washington.

Cara left JISAO in the summer of 2010 and Jed has continued to run the education and outreach programs with Mary Smith, JISAO’s assistant director. Jed also works on the communications side of JISAO which includes media coverage for JISAO researchers, the Science in 180 video series, graphic design for web and print material, and his biggest project, the creation and maintenance of JISAO’s brand-new website (the one you’re looking at right now). Jed is also the go-to arts and crafts guy when someone in the office needs a customized greeting card, gift, service recognition, or party decoration. If that’s not enough, Jed just joined the safety committee so he’s having fun searching for asbestos danger and being a stickler for earthquake preparation. There will be a new safety training program in early 2012 so look forward to Jed’s presentation on how to use the defibrillator.

Before lucking into his job at JISAO, Jed spent most of his post college years working in arts administration. He spent two summers with the Creede Repertory Theatre in the spectacular mountain town of Creede, Colorado followed by an internship at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. After a summer guiding whitewater rafting trips on the Colorado River Jed moved to Oregon where he worked in the world-class education department at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

It's Your Wonderful Life advertisementWhen Jed’s not at work he’s usually with his friends at Wing-It Productions where he’s a cast member of Jet City Improv, “The best comedy in Seattle.” Jed can be seen performing with Jet City nearly every weekend and will also be appearing in a brand-new holiday show, It’s Your Wonderful Life. This improvised play takes the life of an audience member and, just like George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, shows them what the world would be like if they never existed. The show runs every Thursday and Friday in December so bring your family and out of town guests to this funny, heartwarming, sure-to-be-classic, holiday show.

Speaking of winter fun, Jed is originally from Colorado so he loves skiing and is excited to have a season ski pass again this year, his first one since high school. Jed loves being outdoors and spends every second of Seattle’s 60-75 sunny days per year (statistic provided by the Office of the Washington State Climatologist) and many of the rainy ones hiking, camping, playing softball, rafting, or biking. If Jed ever buys the new road bike he’s been talking about for two years, he’s planning to ride in the 2012 Seattle to Portland – so if you have any advice on what to eat before biking 200 miles, please tell him, because his typical breakfast is a bowl of Crunch Berries or an un-frosted Pop Tart.