I received a B.A. in Biology from Wittenberg University in May of 2001. I then was the education liaison for the Panzner Lands LLC wetlands restoration project in Copley, Ohio and a long-term unified sciences substitute for the Medina County Ohio Education System. In August of 2002 I began my M.Sc. in Ecology at the University of Akron, with Dr. Lauchlan Fraser. My research during this time focused on the alteration of hydrology and plant communities in wetlands of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park by anthropogenic disturbances. Following the completion of my M.Sc. I worked as the Ohio Graduation Test Curriculum developer at the Medina County Career Center. In August 2007 I began my Ph.D. in the Bossenbroek and Mayer labs in the Department of Environmental sciences and the Lake Erie Center at the University of Toledo. My dissertation research focuses on modeling the effects of turbidity on yellow perch populations in the western basin of Lake Erie. The GK12 program provides me with an excellent opportunity to connect with local high school students and help foster a better understanding, and hopefully a life-long passion, for science and the natural world.