Kari Martin
Kari Jermansen Martin
Class of 1997
Oceanport, NJ

Environmental Advocacy Campaign Manager

Determined not to follow in the footsteps of her older sister, Randi Jermansen Albiston ’95, Kari Jermansen Martin was dead-set against going to AU. She had visited the campus a couple years prior to her own search for college and hadn’t been impressed. But her feelings soon warmed. She enjoyed visiting her sister, and each “inside” tour given by Randi and her friends revealed more of AU’s character. The classes, dorms, extracurricular activities and downtown life all radiated a family-like atmosphere. Even now, some twenty years since her graduation, it’s a feeling Kari can’t quite put into words.

When I was looking for the right college, my mother told me that she wished she could go to college all over again. I never understood why until I went to Alfred.
Kari Martin

Kari decided to enroll at AU as an English major. After taking an Intro to Environmental Studies class during her first year, however, she found herself on a new path: dual majoring in Environmental Studies and Political Science.

Growing up along the Jersey Shore in the 1980s, Kari had seen garbage heaped up on the beaches and heard about people getting sick from the polluted water. She had personally experienced the consequences of pollution as well; her summer swimming lessons in the bay waters were cancelled because of it. Kari’s mother, Elaine Torkildsen Jermansen '64, remembers how upset her young daughter grew to see people not caring for the environment. But until Kari took a class with AU’s Dr. Thomas Rasmussen, she hadn’t realized that her interest in ecology could become a career.

Kari’s professors provided her with the instruction, tools and encouragement to develop her academic knowledge as well as her personal connection with nature. “I have to say, the professor in the Environmental Studies and Political Science programs were, and still are, an inspiration,” Kari comments. She thanks Drs. Thomas Rasmussen, Michele Hluchy, Gordon Godshalk and David Kowalewski for guiding and supporting her. 

The study skills, academic tools and independence she learned from AU helped her earn a Master of Science Degree from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, in Syracuse, NY. She began working at Clean Ocean Action, a nonprofit ocean advocacy organization based in NJ, immediately after graduating. The information and experiences she gained at Alfred came in handy when she began working in outreach, education, communications and policy for the organization. She recently rejoined COA after leaving in 2009 to raise a family.

Kari finds many aspects of her work rewarding, but the greatest satisfaction comes from knowing that her work makes a difference. By caring for the environment and teaching others about the impacts of their actions, she ensures that people can create a better, healthier future for themselves and Planet Earth. 

My Life at Alfred and Beyond

Here are just some of the clubs, places and activities I love:

Kari Jermansen Martin

My Hobbies & Interests

Environmental Studies Club

My Favorite Places

Science Center

Foster Lake

My Topics

  • Research
  • Liberal Arts and Sciences