I am a freelance science writer and alum of the UCSC Science Communication Program. Before deciding to become a science writer, I spent time in Europe and New York living abroad and going to school. Eventually, I returned to my home state of California to study environmental and natural sciences earning a degree in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. With initially broad interests during my time as a student, I became focused on entomological research with application in the agricultural industry. Agriculture is a fascinating field where a mesh of disciplines come together to interact. There I supported the development of methods for breeding tolerant crops to insects, identifying mites and studying their use for biological control, pollination biology, and on occasion working on native bumble bee side projects. Bees, particularly wild, solitary bees remain a big passion of mine. Before coming to the UCSC Sci Comm program, I spent a few months supporting STEM diversity research for Women/Latinos at a non profit.
My resume and more information can be found on LinkedIn. I speak Spanish, German, and can get by with a little Portuguese. I love to travel and cook, and spend time exploring nature and the outdoors with friends and family. Most people know and call me by middle name, Katrina. More can be found on my background and the UCSC Sci Comm program here.
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There are certainly many modes of inspiration that brought me to science and eventually science writing. It is hard to restrict a passion for science to just one branch.
I have been inspired by my family as well. I spent a good amount of time outdoors growing up in Northern California. My grandfather was a geologist who was always in the Sierras doing field work and performing surveys. He once mapped rebel-occupied, contested territory in Morocco, before settling later in life in Northern California. He took his family around the world with him as a geologist. As a kid, my grandfather reminded me of Indiana Jones with his field hats and work truck full of ropes, measuring tapes, theodolite and other tools. To me, he was a true explorer.
My grandmother gave me an appreciation for nature, I would sit down with her and attempt to paint landscapes, and then try to convince the birds, deer, bobcats to play with me in her big backyard. A school trip to Effie Yaw, the nature center in Sacramento, first cemented my awe with the natural sciences. My mother would take me on trips to the San Francisco Exploratorium and the library. I would bring home stacks of books three feet high on dinosaurs and mummies and read them all in a day. My father would share ideas for adventurous trips searching for fallen meteorites in the desert, true to his geological upbringing. During my early time spent in Europe as an adult, I saw a greater efficiency and use of natural resources, which finally encouraged me to pursue my curiosity about the planet and nature further. I think all of these experiences and more, is what led me down a path for appreciating science and nature, and eventually wanting to share that with others through storytelling.