Dr. Jarvis was born and grew up in Connecticut. After receiving a Master's Degree in Counseling, specializing in Student Personnel in Higher Education, Dr. Jarvis worked in college admission for four years. She spent the next several years in New Hampshire and Maine, before beginning her career at Doane.
Dr. Jarvis received her Ph.D. in History from the University of New Hampshire. Her research focuses on American environmental history. Her book, Franconia Notch and the Women Who Saved It (University of Press of New England, 2007) is a study of the history of Franconia Notch in New Hampshire's White Mountains and the 1920s conservation campaign that created a state park in the region. Dr. Jarvis offered a series of lectures about her book in New Hampshire's White Mountains region in July 2008. The talks were sponsored by the Weeks State Park Association, Lancaster, NH. Dr. Jarvis's work is also included in American Wilderness: A New History (2007) in A Landscape History of New England (2011).
Dr. Jarvis teaches courses in American history, medieval history, and the history of the Islamic Middle East. She also teaches in the first year Liberal Arts Seminar program and the Honors program.
Dr. Jarvis was part of the 2009 Fulbright Hays Seminars Abroad program in Oman and Jordan. In December 2006 and January 2007 Dr. Jarvis was one of 12 American faculty members participating in the Teaching Islam and Middle East Culture Seminar, Amman, Jordan. The three-week seminar included visits to a range of archeological, historical, cultural, and religious sites as well as presentations from scholars and government officials. She took part in a Doane University Interterm travel course to Egypt in January 2010.