Jennifer Nelson (Schultz)
Extension Educator, Horticulture
3351 N. President Howard Brown Blvd.
Decatur, IL 62521
Jennifer Schultz Nelson is the horticulture educator for University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt, Macon and Piatt counties. She joined the staff in August 2004. Her responsibilities include development and coordination of horticulture programs, particularly the University of Illinois Master Gardener program, as well as Green Thumb Operation in Macon County.
Nelson is interested in urban horticulture as it relates to community development. She is also excited about horticulture in a global, holistic context, particularly in how it relates to health and wellness, especially for children. She is passionate about hands-on learning in her programs. She and Jennifer Fishburn, Horticulture Educator in the Logan-Menard-Sangamon Unit, led their first Summer Horticulture Institutes in July 2008 for elementary school teachers in both Springfield and Decatur. The Institute provided teachers with hands-on lessons and experiences they could take back to their classrooms.
Nelson holds a B.S. in biology from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois, and a Ph.D. in horticulture from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Her Ph.D. research examined plant genetics and breeding in sweet corn. Specifically, she investigated marker-assisted selection for the sugary enhancer1 trait in sweet corn.
Nelson is originally from Burr Ridge, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. She has always been interested in science, especially plants. Horticulture and gardening have been a constant part of her life -- she can't imagine working in an area that didn't include plants!
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