I am currently in my third year as a PhD student at the University of Denver in the Department of Geography and the Environment with cognates in Biology (Ecology emphasis) and economics, and my sixth year as a Biological Science Technician/Park Ranger (Pathways student) at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge.
My research interests lie primarily in the area of human-environment interactions with my main interest being the influence of the economy on ecosystem structure and function. My dissertation research is focused on grassland fragments and prarie dog towns in the Denver metro area. I use critical geographic theories as an interpretive lens for the ecological data I collect, to show how these remnants are constructed by people, and to shed light on our heirarchical relationships with grasslands. Further, I hope to uncover the opportunities and challenges for conservation and environmental relations they present.
I am also collaborating with other researchers on several other projects.
-I am currently writing a paper on social relations and whaling in the Faroe Islands with a DU Geography faculty member
-I am working with another DU faculty member, a University of Arizona PhD student and a USGS scientist on a dendrochronology project looking at single storm event detection
-I am also working on a project with a DU Biology faculty member, several DU Biology graduate students and individuals from the Grand County Utah Weed Department looking at the impact of Diorhabda spp. introduction on Tamarix spp.
I also have a varietyof experience with the U.S. Fish and Widlife Service at Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge detailed in my USFWS tab.
PhD Student and Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Geography
Office: Boettcher West 212
My research interests lie within the human-environment subdiscipline of Geography. Specifically, they lie at the nexus of ecology, economics, and critical theory with regional interests and background in Central America, Western Europe, the Western United States and Great Plains. I tend to agree with Carl Sauer that being familiar with more than one region is important. Important differences tend to stand out better when you have something else to compare them with.
My current research focuses primarily on using critical geographic theory to analyze patterns in biodiversity. This allows us to see specifically how the economy impacts the natural world to produce the patterns we see. My goal is for my research to illuminate the economic drivers of biodiversity, providing information that will lead to improved conservation strategies, especially for endangered species and ecosystems, and also provide access to environmental amenities for disadvantaged socioeconomic groups.
My dissertation research documents the urban Political Ecology of the black-tailed prairie dog and grassland fragments in the Denver area. Remnant colonies and shortgrass prairie in an urban setting provide unique opportunities for conservation and unique challenges. There may also be some interesting correlation between the marginalization of the species and the marginalization of low-income and minority socioeconomic groups. This is part of my greater interest in prairie diversity and conservation.Like many great geographers, I have a constantly growing "life list" of research projects I would love to carry out.