Kirsten grew up surrounded by the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. She graduated from the University of San Diego with a bachelor's degree in biology. During that time, a course in natural history introduced her to birdwatching, which quickly became a passion. After graduation, her exploits took her through volunteer and paid positions working in zoos before she wound up in Florida. The natural areas in central Florida and the Space Coast had a huge impact on her art. She spent much of her time there hiking, birding, and exploring. Many of the photos she took there have become the inspiration for art that followed. Later, she returned to the Northwest, where she attended the University of Washington's Natural Science Illustration certificate program and finished in June 2012. Currently, she is living in the Los Angeles area and is actively involved with local nature organizations. She uses her art to teach people about the natural world, and hopes that, through it, more people will appreciate and understand the planet on which we live.