Kirsten Bauer

Hi there! I'm an Extension Program Assistant at Mississippi State University. Originally from Virginia, I developed my fascination with the natural world at a young age backpacking, hiking, and camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Despite the terrestrial origins of my interest in the environment, I always felt drawn to the water. Whether it was snorkeling at the beach or wading in a creek, I took every chance I could to get my toes wet and explore! 

I pursued my undergraduate degree at Longwood University, where I earned a B.S. in Integrated Environmental Sciences in 2021. Under the advisership of Dr. Dina Leech, I conducted research spanning topics from the biogeochemistry of estuarine systems to population dynamics of freshwater fishes. I also had the opportunity to conduct marine megafauna and tropical conservation research on the beautiful Caribbean island of South Caicos, which solidified my desire to work in marine fisheries. 

After graduating, I studied at the Duke University Marine Laboratory (DUML) as a Marine Science and Conservation Post-baccalaureate Scholar. There, I took marine ecology coursework and studied elasmobranch habitat use via drone surveys. Following my time at DUML, I worked as a fisheries technician for the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources. This allowed me the unique opportunity to return to the area where I grew up and study the very systems which ignited my passion for ecology as a child.

I had the privilege of joining Mississippi State University’s Marine Fisheries Ecology Program in 2023. As an Extension Program Assistant, I help conduct a bottom longline survey in the northern Gulf of Mexico. When not in the field, I assist with various Extension and outreach efforts, including class excursions and the creation of Extension publications. I find it incredibly rewarding to work alongside anglers and the public to tackle fisheries concerns through science-based approaches, and I love sharing my passion for environmental stewardship and sustainable fisheries with the community.