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Jean Pennycook

About Jean Pennycook

Ornithology Presenter
You may also see Jean in the following role(s): Marine Biology Presenter and Expedition Guide

Jean has worked with Quark Expeditions since 2015, sharing her knowledge of the Polar Regions with engaging presentations and countless stories. Jean’s passion for sea birds and her love affair with penguins combine to provide guests with a deeper insight into the lives of these extraordinary species. In 1999, after 20 years as a high school science teacher, Jean began designing and implementing education and outreach projects engaging the public in the history, science and wonder of the Polar Regions through grants from the National Science Foundation.

Since 2004, she has spent the Antarctic summers (Oct – Jan) living in a tent near the Adélie penguin breeding colony at Cape Royds on Ross Island. Her research team monitors the population of these iconic birds as they respond to changes in their environment. Jean wants everyone to have the experience of ‘up close and personal‘ with wild birds. The best way to achieve this is to be patient, respect space and non-disturbance guidelines so the birds can feel comfortable enough to be curious about you.

Through an interpretive website, Jean connects her penguin research to classrooms and the public around the world, providing a virtual field trip to the breeding colony and live interactions with the penguins. She lives in California, USA, earning her B.Sc. in Wildlife Biology from the University of California, Davis, and her M.Sc. from California State University, Fresno.