Katie grew up in a small town in Kentucky, mastering the art of muddy creek exploration, before earning a BA in English and Earth Science at Vassar College. Prior to beginning her current MS studies at Western Washington University, she lived throughout the west, teaching as an environmental educator, coordinating amphibian citizen science work and conducting field research on bison, moose, wolverines and mountain lions. Most recently she has served as an aquatic field technician in Mount Rainier National Park, where she monitors alpine lakes, glaciers, glacial rivers, amphibians and fish. Katie enjoys cold dips in alpine lakes, trail running, long days in the mountains, reading and dreaming of adopting a dog (or three).
Katie’s research interests are driven by an overarching desire to study the effects of climate change on sensitive alpine ecosystems. As a freshwater ecology student, she aims to assess current and future climate change ramifications on glacial ecosystems and to work with resource managers to effectively protect the most vulnerable associated aquatic habitats and species. Furthermore, she is passionate about effective science communication, citizen science and community involvement, and she believes that incorporating education into ecological research is a crucial component of conservation.