Kathy was born and raised in small communities in British Columbia. She earned a B.Sc.(H) from the University of British Columbia in 1991 and a masters in animal physiology in 1995. During her graduate years she collaborated with several researchers in Hawaii, England and Australia, and after graduating she accepted a three-year position with the University of Hawaii, studying the cardiovascular physiology of tuna and broadbill swordfish. Kathy later worked for NOAA Fisheries and the Western Pacific Regional Fisheries Management Council as a Protected Species Coordinator. During her years with NOAA Fisheries and the Council, she specialized in developing programs for fishermen to reduce interactions between fishing operations and seabirds, sea turtles and marine mammals. She also worked with national and international agencies and organizations to find ways to reduce marine pollution and invasive species.
Having a desire to return to the Pacific Northwest, Kathy began her career with the Idaho Department of Fish and Game in 2004 as the Mitigation Staff Biologist for Northern Idaho. She currently works to implement wildlife mitigation for the construction and inundation of the Albeni Falls Dam. Protecting and enhancing fish and wildlife habitats is her current focus. Kathy joined the Kaniksu Land Trust in 2004.