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Jill Bartolotta | Ohio Sea Grant

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Jill Bartolotta

Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant College Program

About Bartolotta

 Jill Ferlinc Bartolotta

Jill Bartolotta

Extension Educator, Ohio Sea Grant College Program.

Jill, Ohio Sea Grant Extension Educator for Ashtabula and Lake Counties, works with municipalities, scientists, and the public to collaboratively manage Lake Erie and its resources through research, outreach and education, and partnership development.


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EXPERTISE / SPECIALIZATIONS
  • Marine Debris
  • Ecosystem-Based Management
  • Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS)
  • Experiential Environmental Education
  • Coastal Resiliency

Jill Bartolotta is the Ohio Sea Grant College Program Extension Educator for Lake and Ashtabula Counties. She works with communities to conduct outreach and education about Lake Erie, identify community needs in regards to research, funding, or scientific expertise, develop partnerships to foster a collaborative approach to management of natural resource issues, and bring science into the decision-making process at the individual and community level.

Her areas of focus include experiential environmental education, marine debris, wildlife ecology, climate change impacts on coastal communities, interdisciplinary approach to problem solving, engagement of relevant stakeholders, contextual mapping, and use of science in the decision-making process. Jill offers formal and informal education opportunities for a variety of audiences on topics such as marine debris, nutrient loading, shoreline processes, and aquatic invasive species. Other learning opportunities include field trip presentations and beach cleanups.

Jill earned a dual B.S in wildlife ecology and outdoor education with a minor in marine biology from the University of New Hampshire in 2012. She continued her studies at UNH by earning a M.S. in Integrated Coastal Ecosystem Science, Policy, and Management in 2015.

She holds certifications in Basic SCUBA from NAUI, Leave No Trace Trainer from the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, Ohio Boating Education Course from the ODNR-Division of Watercraft, and Level 1 QDC/HWP Training from Ohio EPA.

Professional memberships and committees include

  • Mentor Marsh Board of Management
  • Great Lakes Water Safety Consortium Advisory Council
  • Lake Erie College Environmental Science Advisory Board
  • National Marine Educators Association: Great Lakes Educators of Aquatic and Marine Sciences Chapter
  • International Association for Great Lakes Research
  • Ohio Joint Council of Extension Professionals
  • Epsilon Sigma Phi: Alpha Eta Chapter

Impacts and Accomplishments

Plastic pollution on South Bass Island from visiting tourists is substantial. With limited and expensive recycling and waste removal operations on the island, Ohio Sea Grant and Stone Laboratory are working with island partners and tourists to reduce their use of single-use plastic items through public signage and messaging at popular island restaurants.

Through educational programming, outreach events, and exhibit displays, Ohio Sea Grant has educated 20,480 people on the impacts of and prevention strategies for marine debris. Of those reached by Ohio Sea Grant, 55% of participants have changed their actions, 28 acres of shoreline have been restored, and 208 pounds of trash removed as part of Ohio Sea Grant-organized beach clean-ups.

Research by Ohio Sea Grant has helped develop a social marketing campaign for Cleveland and a grocery store plastic bag reduction program, and informed legislators on plastic bag policy decisions.

Thousands of visitors to the Cleveland Boat Show are educated about Lake Erie and actions that can be taken to improve its health. A number of visitors state that Ohio Sea Grant is providing them with useful information that is causing them to make decisions that are beneficial to Lake Erie and its coastal residents.