Katherine Aristi graduated from the University of Connecticut (UConn) with a Bachelor’s in Animal Science and minor in Wildlife Conservation. During her undergraduate career, she pursued her passion in the Natural Resource field both on and off campus. While wildlife conservation was always at the forefront, she explored everything UConn had to offer, between being a teacher assistant for Conservation Law Enforcement to leading a wildlife management project her senior year. In both instances, she learned how wildlife in New England has been affected by overfishing and hunting, deforestation, and wetland loss. Outside of the classroom, she volunteered for the Animal Rescue Unit within the Mystic Aquarium. She was able to work to rehabilitate sick, injured or abandoned harbor seals to, hopefully, be released back into the Long Island Sound. After graduation, her engagement in this field led to the pursuit of a career within the restaurant industry. Katherine began working at a high end farm-to-table restaurant in Connecticut. She worked to create a craft cocktail and beer list that was focused on sustainability and up-cycling food scraps. Being able to grow her passion for conservation during her undergraduate time and then working within restaurant sustainability drew her closer to the pursuit of a career in the environmental field. As a now MESM student at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), Katherine plans to specialize in Conservation Planning. She hopes to gain the necessary skills to one day work within wildlife research, whether that is for a university or within National Parks.