An oceanographer studies all aspects of the ocean, including marine life and ecosystems, ocean circulation, plate tectonics and the geology of the seafloor, and the chemical and physical properties of the ocean. There are many disciplines within oceanography, including biological, chemical, geological, and physical. Jena's work is focused on NOAA's role in providing quality real-time water level data and accurate tide and current predictions for the nation.
Inspired by her NASA scientist father, Jena grew up wanting to be a meteorologist. She even created her own major in atmospheric science at Old Dominion University. After Jena interned with the National Weather Service as an undergrad, she realized that working as a meteorologist in a Weather Forecast Office wasn't for her. Jena eventually took her diverse skills and got a job with the National Ocean Service analyzing tides and currents data.
Now, she works on a team that is responsible for annual tide and current predictions for the nation, which help mariners safely and efficiently navigate U.S. waters. Jena and her colleagues analyze data collected at more than 200 stations across the U.S, and they help mariners understand and use this data. Her passion is communicating the importance and usefulness of NOAA's tide and currents data to help the public use this information in new and innovative ways. Jena hopes to continue to work in her career toward making ocean data more accessible.