Kirsten White graduated magna cum laude from Virginia Tech in 2018 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and minors in Geospatial Information Systems, Watershed Management, and Sustainable Natural Environments. Growing up in a coastal community reliant on healthy marine and coastal ecosystems instilled the desire to protect these systems. During her undergraduate career, she conducted underwater transect data surveys on the Great Barrier Reef. Observing first-hand how dramatically humans are devastating the ocean inspired her to study human-ocean relationships in greater depth. After graduating, she worked as an Environmental Analyst in the DC Metropolitan Area conducting water, soil, and vapor sampling and synthesizing environmental assessments. While this position supplied valuable skills and professional experience, the desire to directly contribute towards building more sustainable coastlines and a healthy ocean remained. As a master’s student at the Bren School, Kirsten plans to specialize in Coastal Marine Resource Management. She hopes to develop integrative and equitable strategies for coastal cities facing challenges of a changing climate.