Vlogger, Marine Ecologist
Kat is the daughter of an Iranian immigrant father and American mother of Norwegian descent. Though this multi-cultured identity was only felt when filling out personal information bubbles on K-12 standardized tests. Tests where it was made clear that math was not her strong suit. Many grueling weekends were spent at the kitchen table going through math worksheets with her dad in an effort to improve her arithmetic skills. In high school, Kat drove a Prius sporting more tie-dye than any 16 year old should. She started her college career with the intention of going to Medical School but quickly realized that rerouting her academic track to pursue a degree in Earth and Environmental Science was true to who she was and what she wanted to dedicate her life to, both personally and professionally. In her last year at UC Irvine, Kat’s mentor, Dr. Peter Bowler asked her to assist in teaching the Limnology and Freshwater Ecology class, an experience that solidified her commitment to teaching and research and catapulted her into graduate school at UC Santa Cruz where she has used her dissertation research to mentor over fifty undergraduate students.