Professor Kerri Vierling grew up in Bellevue, Washington, and went to Colorado College on a soccer scholarship. Her first job as an undergraduate research assistant was a life-changing experience, and she went on to receive her advanced degrees in biology/ecology from the University of Colorado. She worked as the wildlife biologist for the City of Boulder Open Space Department before being hired at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. She and her husband, Lee, remained at that university for five years before coming to the University of Idaho. They have two daughters.