It’s official: Kathryn Barnard will stay on as the science teacher at the Orcas Island High School this semester. This news has been happily received by biology and chemistry students at OISD, as it was a great relief for many of the students that they would be able to carry on learning without another disruptive switch-over.
Barnard, or “Ms. Kat,” graduated from Grand Valley State University in Michigan in 2007. There, she got her Bachelor of Science in Geology and a French minor and was a teacher’s assistant. Barnard then journeyed to the far-away land of Missouri State, where she would receive a Masters of Science in Geospatial Science and Physical Geology in 2009. It was here that she discovered her passion for teaching at high levels, particularly at the university level.
Her interest in the soil of vineyards lead to her move to Portland State to receive a doctorate. Her master’s thesis was on vineyards and how the geology is important to the product. Barnard graduated from Portland State in 2014 and spent the past 2 years finishing her final dissertation, which is 479 pages in length. It is called “The Terroir of Pinot Noir Wine in the Willamette Valley, Oregon – A Broad Analysis of Vineyard Soils, Grape Juices, and Wine Chemistry.” As of the spring of 2016, Barnard will officially hold a doctorate in Environmental Science and Resource-Geology. She jokes she will immediately bring her certificate into the classroom and even plaster the science room walls with thousands of copies.