I grew up in the Pacific Northwest and always had a fascination with understanding how things worked. During my undergraduate career this fascination manifested itself in understanding our environment, and I was drawn to studying geology and chemistry. I left the Pacific Northwest for graduate school and went to the University of Notre Dame to study geochemistry and geomicrobiology with Jeremy Fein’s research group. Actinide research became a major focus of my dissertation and we collaborated with scientists at the Actinide Facility at Argonne National Laboratory. My interests in actinide chemistry continued beyond graduate school, and I joined the Actinide Facility at Argonne National Laboratory as a postdoctoral fellow. In 2008, I was thrilled to join the faculty in the Earth and Space Sciences department at the University of Washington and return to the Pacific Northwest.