My primary research focus through the years has been interested in altered ecosystems and the impacts those alterations have on ecosystem services and processes.
Doctoral Research at the University of Idaho
I am currently a PhD candidate in the department of Geography at the University of Idaho under Dr. Jeffrey Hicke (http://www.uidaho.edu/~jhicke) in the Ecological Geography Lab. My research revolves around the effects bark beetles have on forests of western North America. My specific research has develop a new methods for multi-phase (green vs. red vs. gray trees) bark beetle-induced tree mortality detection and mapping with Landsat imagery. This research will expand the knowledge of how disturbances are detected across spatial scales and help evaluate the effects on surface water flow regimes following beetle outbreaks. My research is currently ongoing, if you have any questions about my work feel free to contact me.
Masters Research at West Virginia University
I completed my Masters in Geography at West Virginia University under Dr. Brenden McNeil in the Spatial Ecosystem Ecology Lab (http://www.geo.wvu.edu/~bmcneil/). My work here evaluated gypsy moth-induced forest disturbances, with Landsat imagery, and how these disturbances could change the concentrations of nitrate in surface waters of forested watersheds within the Chesapeake Bay drainage. We found a slight influence of spatial pattern of disturbance on the expected nitrate exported from a system, but these influences were over-run in years of massive defoliation events. The manuscript of this work is currently in revision for the International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation. If you have any questions about this work please contact me.
Alternative Geography Education
As I began teaching I found many new challenges but none as unique as being afforded the opportunity to teach physical geography to a blind student. I immediately realized how visually intensive my teaching methods were and began looking for solutions to alternative methods of conveying the information of physical geography. I began creating simple tactile maps and models and with the help of several geography Capstone students and the Virtual Technology and Design department here I am working to complete the first digitally shareable set of lesson plans, maps, and models to aid in the education of blind and visually impaired students in geography and other associated geosciences. You can follow my progress and read more about the Project on my other website Geography Without Sight.