EDUCATION • M.S. in Geology
Indiana University • B.S. in Hydrogeology UW-Oshkosh
ENROLLED • Cohort 6
LOCATION • Huntley, Ill.
Growing up in Wisconsin, Kate loved the outdoors and found her father’s job as a hydrogeologist fascinating. His work was in environmental clean-up of groundwater contaminated sites and Kate would often go on site visits with him. Kate knew from a very young age that she wanted to work to improve the environment because of her father’s commitment to cleaning up drinking water. As a middle-school student, Kate had the opportunity to attend the UW-Stevens Point’s Environmental Science Summer Camp. This eye-opening experience only excited her to learn more about the environment. A willingness to learn more about the world around her drove her passion for science. Her former employer once called her an “information sponge” because of her eagerness to learn more and retain critical information. As an undergraduate student at the UW-Oshkosh, Kate studied hydrogeology, specifically investigating how water well construction affected drinking water quality in a small town in rural Wisconsin. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she pursued graduate education. Kate had the opportunity to research glacial flow in Antarctica and the implications of this movement on climate. Kate’s research took her to the frozen continent of Antarctica where she could see the consequences of climate change first hand. Upon completing her master’s degree, Kate split her time working for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Groundwater Remediation and Redevelopment Program and teaching as an adjunct instructor for the Geology Department at UW-Oshkosh. While teaching, Kate realized the impact she could have on students and decided to pursue a full-time position in education. Kate has been a full-time instructor of Earth Science and Geology at McHenry County College in northern Illinois since 2009. Teaching is her passion. Kate loves opening students’ minds and encouraging them to explore the world around us. One of Kate’s goals through the Educational Sustainability doctoral program at UW-Stevens Point would be to create more curriculum around the topic of groundwater/drinking water. This curriculum would encompass the environmental system, the social system, and the economic system, and give students a true, deep understanding of sustainable use of groundwater/drinking water and an appreciation of the global inequities of clean water availability. The incorporation of more sustainable principles in her classroom would also reach well beyond the in-class experience. Kate’s ultimate career goal is to be a great earth science instructor who influences students to think more sustainably about the world around them.
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