Catherine grew up in Arkansas and Texas. She received a BS degree in Home Economics from the University of North Texas in 1975. In 1982 -1984 she worked with Coconino County Department of Public Health in Flagstaff, Arizona in the Women, Infants, and Children program, which involved travelling throughout Coconino County and frequent contact with the native community. Later she worked in senior and community nutrition programs in Texas and Minnesota. For the last 15 years Catherine has worked in finance and administration at the University of Colorado. From 2011 – 2013 she worked with the Center for Native Oral Health Research at the Anschutz Medical Campus, University of Colorado. Currently she is CFO for the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, which conducts research on climate change, on the Boulder campus.