Kazia Mermel brings a strong scientific background to Bren. As an undergraduate, she researched marine science through the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Sea Education Association, and Oregon State University. In the course of this research she analyzed marine fish habitat and lobster genetics, collected samples for pelagic food web studies, reviewed international marine policy, and evaluated bias in chemical oceanography sensors. She found this research fascinating, but felt something lacking in her career aspirations. When Kazia graduated from Carleton College in 2017 with a Bachelor of Arts in Biology, she decided to take a step back from academia. During the course of a two-year stint at a national grocery chain, inspiration struck. The extent of industrial packaging waste that she saw every day frustrated Kazia, yet she saw enormous potential in her company’s commitment to plastic reduction. What could we achieve through simple waste-reduction actions taken on a vast scale? Kazia decided to attend Bren, leaving behind pure academic research to focus on crafting large-scale solutions to complex environmental problems. Her goal is to transform the industrial landscape from one of waste to one of reuse through corporate creativity and government regulation.