I have been hooked on diatoms since I first looked through a microscope and saw a kaleidoscope of intricate glass beings gleaming back. Their beauty and durability make diatoms perfect for both engaging the public and developing a nuanced understanding of the health and changes happening in the world around us. My passion is for learning to interpret the signs and stories that ecosystems provide us about their needs and well-being, and then conveying what I've learned to broader audiences in ways that people will enjoy hearing. Inviting the world to become enthusiastic participants in what we love is, I think, the only way to enact meaningful change. To that end I did my undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and majored in Environmental Science and Creative Writing. There I worked at the Center for Limnology for five years studying aquatic trophic dynamics, invasive species impacts, and the salinization of urban soils and inland lakes due to road salts. I am now beginning my doctorate at Florida International University under Dr. Evelyn Gaiser, where I am studying how diatom and other algal communities in the Everglades are responding to sea level rise and climate change conditions, so that we can better understand what changes to expect of shoreline communities in this changing world.