Meet the lead educators at the Perot Museum
Lead Educator - Naturalist
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science degree in animal science, Jessie worked as a herpetologist at the Dallas Zoo. While there, she worked with over 300 different species of reptiles and amphibians, both exotic and native to Texas. While employed by the zoo, she traveled to Panama, Anegada (British Virgin Islands) and Australia to participate in various research projects. This past summer, Jessie also traveled to the Galapagos Islands with a group of fellow educators. Being an active Texas Master Naturalist, she enjoys volunteering her time to educate youths and adults about local flora and fauna. Jessie also enjoys hiking and photographing nature in her free time.
Lead Educator - Physical Science and Chemistry
Jessica earned Bachelor of Science degrees in biochemistry, neuroscience and biology from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. She spent two years of her undergraduate career working in a research laboratory studying the chemistry of proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders. While developing her senior honors thesis, she worked with a yeast model to understand how mutations in a protein called FUS/TLS may cause Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.
A native Texan, Jessica returned to the Dallas area after college, and began working as an educator at the Museum of Nature & Science at Fair Park in 2012. Jessica began her role as Lead Educator - Physical Science and Chemistry programs at the Perot Museum in 2014. In her spare time, she enjoys cheering on the Texas Rangers, working on her wobbly yoga skills and baking science-themed cakes and cookies.
Chris Strganac, Ph.D.
Lead Educator - Paleontology and Earth Science
Chris earned his Master of Science degree in geology and Ph.D. in geology from Southern Methodist University where he specialized in vertebrate paleontology. During his graduate work at SMU, he participated in field expeditions to Alaska’s North Slope, the Antarctic Peninsula and the African countries of Ethiopia and Angola. Prior to this, Chris spent two seasons as an interpretive park ranger at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument in Oregon. His current research utilizes the chemistry of rocks and fossils to understand ancient environments on Earth. Chris’ other interests include reading (especially works from the Romantic movement), swimming, playing guitar and synthesizer, going to the symphony, cooking various soups and long meandering walks.