Dr. Kristi Straus is passionate about marine biology, effective teaching, and education equity. She was thrilled with the opportunity to teach the MESA Saturday Academy in Marine Biology as this seemed like an incredible way to teach marine bio while empowering students to pursue careers in science. Kristi received her B.A. in Biology from Colby College in 1998 and her Ph.D. in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences in 2010 from the University of Washington. Her dissertation research focused on conservation genetics of marine invertebrates—using DNA based tools to answer conservation oriented questions about abalone and geoduck living in Puget Sound. Since earning her doctorate, Kristi has been a UW faculty member in environmental studies as well as a research scientist examining science learning in middle school students. When not teaching science or doing science, Kristi likes to be at the playground with her two young children.