An experienced researcher, evaluator, educator, and consultant, Jessica brings multi-faceted expertise to the study of learning across the spectrum of informal environments. For more than a decade, she has helped organizations and programs to understand, embrace, and implement evaluation and audience research in their quest for improvement and community impact.
Much of Jessica's experience has focused on the study and strategic development of Public Engagement with Science initiatives – programs that foster two-way communication between scientists and the public. Her work has examined all elements of these programs, from scientist motivations, to efficacy of communication training, to program impact with public audiences.
As a research and evaluation consultant, Jessica has led many types of projects, including program planning, front-end concept testing, needs assessment, formative evaluation, summative evaluation, and research studies. From her early career as an educator and evaluator within zoos and aquariums, Jessica brings strong experience examining the goals and strategies of conservation-focused environments. Since then, her work has extended to all types of museums, including science centers, natural history museums, gardens, art museums, history centers, and libraries. In addition, this experience extends beyond the walls of institutions, studying programs that engage learners in all environments with lifelong, life-wide, and life-deep learning experiences.
Prior to founding J. Sickler Consulting, Jessica co-founded and was Managing Director of the Lifelong Learning Group for three years. Earlier, she served as a senior researcher at the Institute for Learning Innovation and an internal evaluator for the five zoos and aquariums of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Jessica holds an M.S.Ed. in Museum Education and K-6 classroom teaching from Bank Street College of Education and a B.A. in Environmental Analysis and Policy from Boston University. Jessica has served as adjunct faculty teaching museum research and evaluation methods at Bank Street College of Education and Seton Hall University.