Kathryn received a B.S. in management science from the University of Rhode Island and received a M.S. in applied mathematics from Clemson University. She started at the Northeast Fisheries Science Center in 1987 working on a CCAMLR research projects and then accepted an FTE position in the RPAC group where she introduced quantitative methods to strategic planning at the center. In 1991 Kathryn transitioned to the newly formed marine mammal investigation to estimate marine mammal bycatch in commercial fisheries. She was a recipient of NOAA's long term training program and received a Ph.D. in environmental and natural resource economics from the University of Rhode Island in 2000. Her position transition to a protected resource economist and in 2010 she transferred from the Protected Species Branch to the Social Sciences Branch.
Kathryn's research has focused on bio-economics of protected resources (PR). She integrated her skills as a PR bycatch analyst with environmental economics; specifically, modelling of bio-economic trade-offs of proposed alternatives designed to reduce turtle and marine mammal bycatch in commercial fisheries. Understanding human behavioral responses of different policy instruments, command-and-control and economic incentives is key. Previous research involved designing policy instruments that can manage both PR and non-PR species, cod and harbor porpoise, simultaneously. More recent projects include framework development to estimate the economic value of scientific information along with incentives and disincentives in relationship to compliance with protected resource regulations. Current projects are a scoping study for Atlantic sea turtles using a holistic multi-pronged approach that includes both reducing mortality and increasing survival rates. Additional projects include integrating the analytical hierarchy process, a multi-attribute decision making tool, into a management strategy evaluation framework and evaluating the risk of various policy instruments to mitigate lethal right whale entanglements within a benefit-cost-analysis framework is underway