Katie is a Southern California native and a Staff Researcher in the Sandin Lab. She earned her undergraduate as a Marine Biology student at UCLA, researching while studying the effects of nutrients on algal defenses. Later moving to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, where she worked on coral restoration and community- based conservation projects with the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation. Katie finished her Master’s degree at the Hawai’i Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawai’i, Mānoa; focused on the effects of submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) biogeochemistry on coral growth and bioerosion rates. Katie shifted focus from research to management as a Coral Reef Monitoring Coordinator for the Hawai’i Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR), where she focused on invasive species management and coral restoration. Katie has spent the past three years living in Wellington, New Zealand, where she worked as a Senior Biosecurity Advisor for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI). This work allowed her to gain experience and skills in the fields of marine policy, stakeholder management, and international relations. In the Sandin Lab, Katie contributes to the 100 Island Challenge project, where she assists with data collection and analysis, reporting, and building relationships with partner organizations.