Illinois born and Texas bred, Kari Howard has always been drawn to all things nature. She began her career with a Marine Biology bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University at Galveston in 2007. The experience working in the wetlands ecology lab and local plant nursery led to several years of doing wetland delineation and mitigation consulting in Houston where she also became a part of the Texas Master Naturalist Program in 2010. She restored nearly 27 acres of native dune habitat on Galveston and Follet’s island as the Habitat and Stewardship Coordinator at Artist Boat and then began working for Audubon Texas to help restore rookery islands for colonial waterbirds along the entire Texas coast. During her six years at Audubon Texas, she developed the Texas Estuarine Resource Network which trains community members as citizen scientists to collect bird monitoring data on nesting and foraging habitats as well as contributed to many bird surveys and bird protection projects. In 2020, she was recruited to help build another citizen science-based program with the Sea Turtle Stranding and Salvage Network out of Texas A&M University when Gulf Center for Sea Turtle Research picked up sea turtle rescue and rehab responsibilities for the upper Texas coast. During that time, she trained over 100 volunteers to assist with sea turtle rescue and recovery while maintaining the database and mortality studies for three years. Currently, she is the Public Participation and Education Coordinator for the Galveston Bay Estuary Program, a program of the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality. In this role she works alongside scientists, organizations, and agencies to disseminate the research and policy surrounding the challenges to our natural resources and develops educational and outreach materials to encourage positive changes within the community through partnership projects. She still loves all things nature and when she’s not taking care of her two boys and husband or working, she’s digging in the dirt with native plants and vegetable gardening.