Beth Katz received a B.A. in environmental science from Columbia University with summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa distinctions. With a research fellowship at Columbia's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Katz researched arsenic in tree rings at a Superfund Site in New Jersey. She presented this project at an annual conference of the American Geophysical Union and contributed to the published research paper. For her undergraduate senior thesis, she evaluated the effects of home water filters on tap water quality in New York City, collecting and analyzing hundreds of water samples. Katz returned to her hometown of Los Angeles to serve as Teach for America Corps Member with an Amgen Math-Science Fellowship. For the past four years, she has been teaching environmental science to 9th graders at Environmental Charter High School in an underserved South L.A. community.