restoring the health of places and spaces

Ecological Instincts is a Maine-based, woman-owned environmental consulting and ecological design firm with more than 20 years of specialized education and experience. Ecological Instincts is a Limited Liability Company (LLC) formed in April 2015. The firms’ owner, Jennifer Jespersen, is a Maine native, an ecologist and water resource specialist with a knack for working with people to bring about positive environmental change.

Jennifer has a B.A. in Interdisciplinary Environmental Science from the University of Maine at Farmington, and an M.S. from the University of Maine at Orono. She has worked on the west coast, conducting rare plant surveys for the U.S. Forest Service, and spent several years at Lake Tahoe, CA working with landowners to protect the water quality of one of the deepest lakes in the world. Jen spent ten years working as an environmental consultant for a small environmental consulting firm in Portland, Maine where she earned recognition as a regional leader in the field of watershed planning and watershed restoration. Jen brings a unique balance to the field of environmental consulting through Ecological Instincts by providing ecologic design services to clients who want to improve their overall sense of health and well-being while reducing the environmental impact of their homes. She began her design career in 2000 following the purchase of her first home, and since then, has provided whole-home design services for homes between California and Maine. Jen’s holistic design approach, and passion for protecting the environment come together nicely to provide creative design solutions that bring joy to people’s lives. Jen is an Accredited Staging Professional (ASP), certified Reiki II practitioner, Feng Shui practitioner and holistic design consultant, yogi, outdoor recreation enthusiast, volunteer water quality monitor, and mom.

Katie Goodwin joined Ecological Instincts in February 2021. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a B.S. in Wildlife and Conservation Biology, Katie worked several seasons as a botany technician in Massachusetts and Arizona before moving to Maine to work at the Department of Environmental Protection. In this role, she monitored the water quality of streams throughout the State of Maine, collecting and managing field data, and assisting with various volunteer programs including volunteer lake watershed surveys. She brings skills in data management, water quality monitoring, planning and conducting watershed surveys, and GIS mapping to the Ecological Instincts Team.

Topher Castaneda joined Ecological Instincts in July 2023. From Los Angeles, Topher found his home in Maine. A 2020 graduate of Bates College with a B.S. in Environmental Science, Topher wrote his Senior Thesis on the Net Ecosystem Productivity of Lake Auburn. Topher’s past experience includes working with the Lake Stewards of Maine as a Project Coordinator, where he oversaw the internship program, assisted with data collection and submission, and coordinated with volunteers. Topher brings hydrological knowledge, water quality monitoring, and data analytics to the team at Ecological Instincts.