I grew up in Northern Minnesota, then moved to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan for college. I graduated summa cum laude from Northern Michigan University with a B.S. in Environmental Science, minoring in Chemistry. In 2011, I received an M.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. My thesis work included looking at the expression of 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 in placental tissue, metal concentrations in placental tissue, and how both relate to birth weight in Hamilton County, TN.