General Research Assistant
Jake currently resides in Salina, but he has lived in several parts of the country over the past decade and considers the Mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. to be home. Jake received his B.S. in Sustainable Food Systems from the University of Delaware and hopes to pursue a master’s program in a similar field in the near future. Before joining The Land Institute as a Research Assistant, he was deeply engaged in food systems work through positions at various market garden farms in both Oregon and southeastern Pennsylvania. Jake also worked in a greenhouse and wet lab as an undergraduate research assistant, providing him with skills that are relevant to the work he is now engaged in at The Land Institute.
What’s most inspiring about your specific position at TLI?
As a General Research Assistant, I am in contact with work being done by many different research teams. It is inspiring to help take care of all the different types of plants, including perennial legumes, grains, and oilseeds. I also love all of the rich, informal dialogues that take place during the course of a regular day of work!
What drew you to work at TLI?
I was drawn by the mission of TLI. As a matter of fact, before I ever heard of the organization, I stumbled upon the idea of perennial grain agriculture during a brainstorming session for a biotechnology class I took as an undergraduate student. So when I learned that there was actually an organization devoted to that vision, I had to come and get involved!
What’s one aspect of your life history that most people don’t know or wouldn’t expect?
Over the past decade, I’ve spent several weeks and months in meditation retreats at a Buddhist center in Arizona. In a similar vein, I also spent 5 weeks walking across northern Spain on the pilgrimage route called El Camino de Santiago de Compostela.
What else are you passionate about outside of work?
I love disc golf, rock climbing, philosophy, and traveling.
What’s your motto/favorite quote?
Lately, I’ve been inspired by the following quote from our own Wes Jackson: “If your life’s work can be accomplished in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough.” This mindset goes hand in hand with my intention for 2023, which includes cultivating a sense of continuity, continuation, and momentum towards long-term goals.
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