Carissa graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor’s of Art in Humanities, focused on Asian Art History. She moved to China shortly after graduation, in early 2004 and began teaching English at a primary and middle school in Shandong Province. The following year she moved to Beijing, where she began writing for various English publications such as Women of China (magazine), The China Daily (Beijing Weekend), The Beijinger and The Insider’s Guide to Beijing. In 2007 she developed a volunteer platform for artists and the public to connect on topics of the environment and raise awareness about related issues in the capitol. Through researching existing environmental organizations in China, she discovered the Jane Goodall Institute China and started collaborating with the NGO on various public events and education/art projects. She has been teaching environmental education in Shenzhen for the last 5 years at Nanshan Chinese International College, Shenzhen Foreign Languages Primary School and the International School of Nanshan, Shenzhen. In addition to receiving her TESOL from Arizona State University, Carissa is also a certified mentor for youth leadership activities focused on sustainability through the Jane Goodall Institute Global Office and UNICEF (Children & Climate Change specialization).