Woman among vegetation with mountain range in backgroundMy love of travel and the environment led me to seek out opportunities to learn new skills and leverage these to travel around the world. This desire transitioned into a degree in Geography. In fact, I am one of the rare few who has received degrees in Geography throughout my academic career, first for my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Hawai’i -Hilo, then for my Master’s degree at Texas A&M University, and lastly for my Ph.D at the Pennsylvania State University. 

As an undergraduate at the University of Hawai’i – Hilo, I had the opportunity to participate in research examining the succession of vegetation after lava flows. During my Master’s at Texas A&M University, I used a combination of field and GIScience skills to explore the impacts of ice storms in Virginia and Arkansas. This research and improving my technical skills helped me get a full-time position in GIS environmental compliance before I even graduated. While working full-time, I missed academic research and the opportunity to learn new skills. I leapt at opportunities when invited to join research expeditions examining the roles of fire and climate change in Mount Rainier National Park, WA and Denali National Park, AK. My career and these expeditions helped solidify how valued physical geography and technical skills were across private, government, and academic industries.

I completed my Ph.D. work at Pennsylvania State University in the Department of Geography. My doctoral work examined the spatial and temporal impacts of climate change on treeline in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. At Penn State, I was also given the opportunity to teach my first courses and discovered how much fun I had communicating my passions to others. My research interests in biogeography, climate change, GIScience, remote sensing, and spatial statistics have led me to conduct research in several international and domestic locations including Scotland, Nicaragua, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawai’i, Washington, and California. 

Woman drilling a hole in a small tree in the mountainsMy background and technical skills have enabled me to work in government and private sectors, as well as academia for the past 16 years. Private and government institutions include the American Association of Geographers, NOAA, National Geographic, and environmental compliance for the oil and gas industry with EMS and AK Environmental. I have also worked as a research consultant and instructor for Johns Hopkins University, Bucknell University, Saint Paul College, University of Colorado – Colorado Springs, and Unity College. For the past three years, I have taught a variety of physical geography, human geography, statistics, remote sensing, and GIScience courses.

Though I have taught the Remote Sensing of the Environment course for CU Boulder in the past, I am really excited to join the Department of Geography and Continuing Education full time. I look forward to working with undergraduate and graduate students in this amazing interdisciplinary field of study.

Photos are of me conducting field research in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska