Nicky grew up in Vicksburg, MS and is a STEM outreach success story. She attended a science and engineering camp hosted by USACE ERDC when she was in high school and absolutely loved the biology and ecology activities. This experience led to a part-time job working as a student lab technician for the Fish and Invertebrate Ecology Team in the Environmental Laboratory during school breaks and holidays over most of her college career. Having been exposed to research early, she chose research in fish ecology as a career. She graduated from Louisiana Tech with a Bachelor's in Environmental Science and earned a Master's in Aquatic Resources from Texas State where her thesis work included creating a tool for prioritizing fish species for inclusion on the Texas SGCN list. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. in Forest Resources with a concentration in Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture from Mississippi State University as a member of the Mississippi Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit. Her current research focuses on the effects of erosion and stream stabilization efforts on fish assemblages and stream habitat.