Carissa is from Des Moines, Iowa, and attended Grinnell College, earning a bachelor’s in anthropology. After graduating, she explored various approaches to conservation and sustainable living in Iowa, Colorado, California, and Arizona. Carissa is currently back in school and back in Iowa, pursuing a master’s in landscape architecture at Iowa State University. She has always been driven by ecological issues, particularly in relation to climate change and its implications for wildlife, bioregions, and social/environmental justice; she now sees landscape architecture as a vital piece of the puzzle. Through design and cross-disciplinary collaboration, she aspires to build resilience throughout the Midwest. In her free time, Carissa likes to run through the forest with her dog, Sunny.