Sierra received a B.S. degree from the University of Wyoming and majored in Earth Systems Science and Chemistry. She also completed an M.S. degree at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry. She is rostered in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Sierra completed her first lab rotation in Dr. Orit Peleg's lab in the Department of Computer Science. She completed her second lab rotation in Dr. Boswell Wing's lab in the Department of Geological Sciences. Sierra completed her third lab rotation in Dr. Daniel Larremore's lab in the Department of Computer Science. For her fourth lab rotation, she worked with two other IQ Biology students and their advisor was Dr. Colin Campbell.