Katharine (Kat) Mackay
Kat Mackay graduated with distinction from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2022 earning a double major in Environmental Studies and Geography. As an undergrad, Kat conducted an independent research project in the Ngogo Monkey Laboratory evaluating remotely sensed measures of food availability for red-tail monkeys in western Uganda. By examining the relationships among plant reproduction, vegetation indices, and consumer energetic conditions, she sought to predict forest phenology which could potentially be used for both monkey and forest conservation efforts. This research presentation placed first in the Joe Beaton poster competition at the California Geographical Society Conference in Spring of 2022.
Kat also completed a Sustainability Internship at The Spaceship Company (now amalgamated with Virgin Galactic) conducting materiality assessments and evaluating lifecycle CO2 emissions for alternative spaceflight systems. However, after finishing her research on tropical rainforests and coming back down to earth, she got her scuba certification and began exploring marine habitats. Inspired by the breadth of life she saw, and equally devastated by their lack of protection, she plans to specialize in Conservation Planning.