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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jerry Bartz: "Top Influencer"

Jerry Bartz: "Top Influencer"

When I'm at work, I'm a writer, a marketing professional. At home, though, I'm Jessica, a lover of movies, games and reading. Many of us don't consider what we do at work to be who we are at home, but Jerry Bartz does.

A Geospatial Technology lab coordinator and geochemist, Jerry loves his work. Talk to him like I did for just a few minutes. You won't walk away before you know what he does and get a taste of who he is.

Over spring break, the self-proclaimed "practical environmentalist" didn't miss a beat, using LinkedIn, a social networking site for professionals, to talk shop. In discussions regarding global warming and the scientific scandal "Climategate," Jerry quickly stood out among his colleagues, giving answers backed by science rather than emotion. His fact-based responses concerning the composition of the atmosphere, the greenhouse warming effect, the geologic historical content temperature of CO2 and a thermodynamic calculation by Dr. Fred Singer (Have I lost you yet? Hang with me here.) received "likes," well, like crazy.

Jerry was labeled an expert in his international environmental professional group, and by the end of the week, his picture accompanied his name in the "Top Influencers This Week" box on LinkedIn for climate change. Top influencers are group members whose contributions drive the most participation from other members over the course of a week, according to LinkedIn.

When Jerry saw his photo, he did a double take.

"Yes, I was surprised," Jerry said. "There were participants who were more active than I was, and there were discussions that were a bit polarizing. I focused on helping people by supporting them with scientific data."

In other words, he did what he always does, which is also who he is.

Jerry admitted that many of his other spring break activities had science-minded motives, including preparation for an environmentally-friendly keyhole garden. The garden itself is a Green Team and healthy-eater's dream: organic vegetables that use minimum water, and (WOW!) the garden recycles the vegetable waste. It's even stocked with three lizards and two skunks, the garden's "comical pesticides," he said.

As you can see, for Jerry, removing science from his mind would be more like shedding skin than hanging his hat on a hall tree--it's part of his personality.

Jerry has a Bachelor of Science in physical analytical chemistry and a master's degree in geochemistry.