- Ph.D., Ecology & Evolution, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey.
- B.S., Natural Resources, concentration: Environmental Policy & Behavior, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
I am an applied ecologist studying ecological restoration as a social-ecological system. I examine the structure and composition of plant communities in human-modified landscapes, and how management decision-making influences biodiversity. I also research the distribution and management of invasive species. I began my research interests working as a forestry specialist in the Peace Corps in central eastern Honduras in the late 1990s. After Hurricane Mitch in 1998, I experienced the importance of ecological restoration as a pathway to both ecosystem and social resilience. I have over 15 years of experience working with a variety of collaborators to create management plans, feasibility studies, monitoring protocols, project and grant proposals, and research studies. I enjoy working at the intersection of management, policy, and science, and reveal the tensions and complexities within that intersection to students taking my applied ecology courses.
As part of the Biology Program undergraduate curriculum I teach Introductory Ecology and Biology, Urban Ecology, Ecological Restoration, and professional development seminar courses for science majors. In the Masters of Environmental Studies online program I teach Ecological Restoration and Capstone Proposal Writing courses. I also mentor graduate students working on projects in environmental policy, ecological restoration, urban biodiversity, habitat conservation, botanical surveys, invasive species management plans, and environmental education.
Rutland Herald links for students participating in course service learning:
PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENTS/EMPLOYMENT (see link to CV for publication list)
- 2017-present Visiting Assistant Professor, Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT
- 2014-present Research Associate and Adjunct Professor, Green Mountain College, Poultney, VT
- 2010-2014 Post-doctoral Research Associate, Chicago Wilderness Science Team, Dept. Biological Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, funded by NSF Coupled Natural and Human Systems Program
- 2008-2010 Research Ecologist, Center for Urban Restoration Ecology, Rutgers University
- 2009 Invasive Species Post-doctoral Associate, Citizen Science and Invasive Species Project, Rutgers University with NY/NJ Trails Conference, funded by USDA
- 2007 Policy Writing and Research Intern, Division of Parks & Forestry, Dept. of Environmental Protection, NJ. Research and policy writing on commercial use of native plant seed stock on state lands
- 2006-2007 Research Assistant, Morris County Parks System, Morris Country, NJ
- 2002-2005 Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. Ecology, Evolution, & Natural Resources, Rutgers University
- 2001 Peace Corps, USAID, and Pan-American Development Fund, Disaster Preparedness Volunteer, Honduras
- 2000 Restoration Team Leader, National Park Service, Joshua Tree National Park, CA
- 1997-1999 Peace Corps, Forestry Extension and Natural Resource Volunteer, Honduras
GRADUATE STUDENT MENTORSHIP:
- Ahmed-Ali Awadallah (expected 2019) The Negri-Nepote Native Grassland Preserve nature interface project
- Patrick Hall (expected 2019) Longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) restoration guide for East Bank Claiborn and McDuffie Landing Areas near Franklin, Alabama
- Stefanie Hedrick (expected 2019) Plant composition vs. fragmentation of urban woodlands: Which is the greater determining factor for moth diversity and abundance?
- Allen Parker (2018) Barn owl (Tyto alba) nesting on reclaimed surface mine grasslands in the Ohio Valley states-an examination of site selection and nest box use
- Benjamin Porter (2018) Assisted Succession: Restoration of native plant communities and seed mix assessment in burn scars in Northwest Colorado Forests
- Cassie Bradshaw (2018) The impacts of Norway maple (Acer platanoides) on Northeastern urban forest community along an invasion severity gradient
- Jennifer Van Istendal (2018) A justification for increasing New Jersey Pine Barrens protection efforts
- Amanda White (2017) Place-based environmental education: Instructional materials for the Dyken Pond Environmental Education Center
- Brian McKnight (2017) The road to restoration: Mitigating erosion to restore granite outcrop island communities
- Kris Tempel (2016) Techniques to limit vole damage and pasture grass competition to improve black cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa) restoration success
- Scott Kiester (2016) The restoration index: A proposed tool to assess floral communities
- Kelly Harmon (2016) PCBs in the Hudson: Where is General Electric?
- Jared Lewis (2015) Evaluating managed and targeted grazing systems: Water quality and environmental impacts