I grew up in Evanston, Illinois, then went to college at Cornell University. I always liked science, and I was excited to take geoscience classes in college and discover that they let me do chemistry, physics, and biology all at the same time! I wound up majoring in Science of Earth Systems, concentrating in biogeochemistry — the study of how the Earth and life interact via chemical reactions – and paleontology. I came back to Chicago for graduate school, studying paleobiology at the University of Chicago. While there, I used fieldwork and quantitative approaches to investigate the ecology of the 300-million-year-old marine ecosystems whose fossils are preserved in our Midwestern rocks. After a brief stint at the Museum of Science and Industry (ask me about the liquid nitrogen superhero play some time), I came to IMSA, where I currently teach Geology, Planetary Science, and Scientific Inquiries in Chemistry.