My research and teaching are positioned at the intersection of nature, techno-science, and politics. I combine field research, feminist ethnographic methods, and critical theory to investigate how conservation professionals act as stewards and managers of life; specifically investigating how and why certain places and forms of life are controlled and receive protection while others are deemed less worthy or deserving of eradication. Using an (eco)feminist lens, I analyze how constructions of animality are wielded, directing careful attention to the intersectionality of race, species, gender, class, and place.
Since 2012, I have conducted research on long-distance migratory shorebird conservation across the Western Atlantic coast. My current research focuses inversely on campaigns of eradication and animalization. Considering notions of grievability, multispecies environmental justice, disposability, animalization, and speciesism, I use an intersectional approach to investigate the linking of oppressions. Drawing on intersectional (eco)feminist, Black, Indigenous, and Latin American decolonial insights on animality, I analyze how and why particular forms of life (human and nonhuman) are rendered killable via negative constructions of their animality, fecundity, or insistent biomobility. I have presented this research at dozens of academic conferences and my record of scholarship led to service as a board member of the AAG Animal Geographies Specialty Group, a peer reviewer for multiple journals, and my current Associate Editor position for the ‘Political Animals’ section of the peer-reviewed journal, Society and Animals.
In addition to my research and teaching experience, I bring extensive professional experience in applied conservation, nonprofit environmental education, and environmental journalism. As a teaching fellow or research assistant, I served at multiple government and nonprofit environmental organizations in the New York metropolitan area; including The National Park Service, The Wildlife Conservation Society, UNESCO, Americorps, The New Jersey Audubon, and The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey. As an environmental journalist, I contributed fourteen articles on global biodiversity conservation for Mongabay.com. I draw on these experiences when advising students on environmentally focused career paths.
Isaacs, Jenny R. and Otruba, Ariel. (2021)."Animality/Coloniality: COVID-19 and the Animal question" in Hovorka et al (Eds), A Research Agenda for Animal Geographies. p. 39-53. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Isaacs, Jenny R. (2020). “Conservation Archipelago: Protecting Long-Distance Migratory Shorebirds along the Atlantic Flyway” in Contemporary Archipelagic Thinking: Towards New Comparative Methodologies and Disciplinary Formations. Eds. Michelle Stephens and Yolanda Martínez-San Miguel. “Rethinking the Island” Series. p. 241-258. Rowman & Littlefield
Isaacs, Jenny R. (2020)."More-than-human geographies". International Encyclopedia of Geography. Wiley-AAG.
Isaacs, Jenny R. (2019). “The Bander’s Grip: Reading Zones of Human-Shorebird Contact”. For Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. 2(4) p. 732-760.
Isaacs, Jenny R, and Ariel Otruba. (2019). Guest Editor and First Author: Introduction to the Special Theme Issue “More-than-human Contact Zones”. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.). 2 (4), 697-711.
Isaacs, Jenny R. “Unsteady Hands; Care and Grief for Conservation Subjects” in Vulnerable Witness: The Politics of Grief in the Field. Eds. Patricia J. Lopez and Kathryn Gillespie. University of California Press (July 2019).