I am from a small town called Grass Valley, California - a beautiful town in the foothills of the Northern Sierra Nevadas about an hour and a half from South Lake Tahoe.  I owe my love of nature and science to my parents, who also love the natural world and instilled in me the respect and wonderment it deserves, as well as a couple of very dedicated science teachers who got me interested in ecology and biology from a young age.  

I attended the University of San Francisco where I studied Biology and Mathematics as my majors and Chemistry as my minor.  I began working at the California Academy of Sciences on a volunteer basis in early 2006, during my senior year.  The friends I have made there have been tremendously helpful to me in my personal and scientific development.  I attended Columbia University from 2008-2010 for my Master's degree in Conservation Biology as part of the Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology department. I am currently working towards my Ph.D. in Liam Revell's lab at UMass Boston.

Kristin's bookshelf: read

FlatlandThe Count of Monte CristoRobinson CrusoeTwenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaThe Time MachineThe Odyssey

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My hobbies include:

     -cooking - I enjoy cooking and am currently experimenting with a variety of vegan and vegetarian recipes in an effort to eat healthier and cut out processed foods from my diet.  

     - reading - I'm a pretty voracious reader, especially when it comes to free public domain books.  Check out my goodreads list below for a glimpse of what I have been reading lately.

     - running/soccer - I would like to run a marathon before I turn 30... if my years-of-soccer-abused knees will let me.  I periodically run in small races to work towards this goal.  I also like to play pickup soccer games on occasion.  

     - guitar - I have been playing for about 7 years.  I have written a couple of children's songs about reptiles and amphibians and would like to eventually turn that into a larger side project.

     - nature sketching - I enjoy sketching animals and plants and hope to eventually take a course to learn how to do scientific illustration.

     - crochet - not just an old-lady activity, I am pretty handy with a crochet hook and can make some pretty neat things.

     - photography - while just amateur at this, it is something that I would like to get into more when I have the money to invest in the equipment.  Check out some of my photos at http://365project.org/kmwinchell/365

     - Scuba - certified in 2008, I've only been a couple times, but I loved it and hope to do more in the future.

     - Hiking and other outdoor activities   

     - Website development - As a teenager in the early days of the internet I played around with html... I rediscovered this recently when I took up the task of creating a website for my Master's research.  This developed into an interest and proficiency in PHP, HTML, and Wordpress site design.  Check out the two sites I made this past summer:  Urban Turtles (about my Master's research) and The Roosevelt Wild Life Station (a contract job I completed for the foundation).

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