National University (San Diego)
Master of Public Health Program
Kayla Kittrick first fell in love with protecting the earth as a child growing up in Northern Maine.
“My grandparents owned a campground on the Penobscot River, where I spent my summers,” Kittrick said. “Since before I can remember, I spent my days learning our local fishing laws, cleaning up litter and falling in love with the outdoors. I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to preservation and sustainability.”
As an undergraduate at Southern New Hampshire University, Kittrick studied Anthropology and Environmental Sustainability, with a minor in Political Science. She took an internship through the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, where she studied natural water resources. She then moved on to a Master of Public Health program through National University, and hopes to someday earn a Ph.D.
“Studying for my undergraduate degree, I began to learn about the benefits of biofuels, and I was hooked,” she said.
Kittrick then landed a unique opportunity to work directly for the biodiesel industry as a college student. She applied for and got a job as an outreach coordinator at Maine Standard Biofuels, a biodiesel-producing member of the National Biodiesel Board.
“I have learned so much about the science behind biodiesel, as well as the specific challenges that the industry faces,” she said. “Whether it is working to educate state leaders, testing used cooking oil for Free Fatty Acid Content, or drafting proposals for municipal heating oil bids, I spend my days focused on biodiesel. I have a personal commitment to the growth and sustainability of this unique, growing industry.”
“I love watching people make the decision to switch to heating their homes with a 20 percent blend of biodiesel [Bioheat®], and helping local fleet managers take their Corporate Social Responsibility plan in a whole new direction,” Kittrick said. “When people make the decision to switch to biodiesel for their diesel needs, we are working toward something bigger—reduced particulate matter and air that is easier to breathe. Biodiesel is a pathway to a greener future, and gives trucking fleets, commercial drivers and even consumers the ability to reduce their CO2 emissions by up to 76 percent.”
Kittrick hopes to use her position as co-chair for the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel as another springboard for fighting for biodiesel and working toward a greener future.
“My passion is to show the world just how beneficial biodiesel is, and how it is a legitimate piece of the puzzle in solving our global climate crisis,” she said.
The National Biodiesel Board is funded in part by the United Soybean Board and state soybean board checkoff programs.