Kristan Culbert currently works as a Biological Science Technician for the National Park Service at Manassas National Battlefield Park. She manages all GIS data for the park’s Resources Management division, provides GIS assistance to other departments as needed, and is currently developing watershed assessments/enhancement plans and GIS-focused educational materials for the park. She is excited to be celebrating the National Park Service’s 2016 centennial by being included in the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History’s photography exhibit, “100 Years of America’s National Park Service: Preserve, Enjoy, Inspire”. (Below is the video that will be included in the exhibit.)
Kristan graduated from the University of Southern California with a BA in Earth Sciences and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies in 2011. The early stages of her career have taken her many places: she has worked with the California Bureau of Land Management on monitoring the impacts of renewable energy projects on the hydrology of the Chuckwalla Basin in the Mojave Desert, monitored tinajas (fragile desert pools) in Saguaro National Park, worked to rehabilitate and improve public access to the Santa Ana River in inland southern California, mapped water resources for Catoctin Mountain Park, a national park adjacent to Camp David (and accidentally poked a Secret Service security camera while doing fieldwork–whoops!), and taught children and their families in south Los Angeles and on Catalina Island about marine science and conservation. Over the years, she has taken selfies with the director of the National Park Service and an astronaut, sat on the Secretary of the Interior’s couch, had her food stolen by bears in the Sierras, helped rescue a drowning deer in the Sonoran Desert, met incredible geoscientists, and has nearly gotten struck by lightning more than once.
As a little girl, Kristan loved science and the outdoors and hoped that she would become a scientist. After a brief stint as a budding journalist, she decided to study geoscience instead after participating in an REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates) as an undergraduate. She has always been interested in understanding the complex relationship between healthy ecosystems and waterways, healthy communities, and social justice, and committed to doing science in the public interest. She joined ESWN in 2012, and is inspired to be among the ranks of scientists and adventurers who are wholly devoted to doing incredible science, inspiring the future generations of female scientists, adventurers and conservationists, and confronting inequality within the scientific community wherever they can.
Kristan is an adventurous baker, hiker, rock climber, and an overly ambitious traveler. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and hopes to visit 30 countries, all 50 US states, and all 416 places in the National Park Service system before her thirtieth birthday with her wonderful boyfriend, Kyle.