Marissa is a literary scholar and science writer focused on environmental history and the Antarctic. She earned a BA in Comparative Literature from Yale and a PhD in English Literature from Harvard University. She has held fellowships from Harvard's Center for the Environment, the American Association of University Women, and the Center for Public Humanities at Arizona State University. She lived and worked at McMurdo Station, Antarctica, during the austral summer of 2022-2023. Her articles on culture and science history can be found in Discover, Atlas Obscura, and Nautilus among other venues.

She is currently a lecturer at the University of Colorado Boulder.