Nicki grew up in central Wisconsin where water is fresh and abundant. From spending her youth on the water every summer she then attended the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point and earned her Bachelors degree in Water Resource Management and Geology in 2012. From there she took her broad skill set and worked as a Research Assistant for the Water Resource Science and Education center at UWSP. She spent one year as an Environmental Scientist at Kapur and Associates before packing her bags and heading out west to serve in Americorps in Coos Bay Oregon. After her year of environmental education and research with the Coos Watershed Association she moved into a field position with ODFW as a Life Cycle Monitoring Technician for wild and native spawning salmon.