2014 – Present: Assistant Professor in the Environmental Program, Colorado College, Colorado Springs, Colorado
2012-2014: Postdoctoral Associate, Institute of Marine & Coastal Sciences, Rutgers, New Brunswick, New Jersey
2011-2012: Visiting Assistant Professor, Bard Center for Environmental Policy, Bard College, Annandale, New York
2010-2011: Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Environmental Sciences, Rice University, Houston, Texas
2008- 2010: NSF EAR Postdoctoral Fellow, US Geological Society & University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
2008 Ph.D. Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT
2003 M.S. Water Resources, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
2003 M.P.A. Env Policy & Nat’l Resource Mgmt, School of Public & Environmental Affairs, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN
1998 B.A. Geology, Oberlin College, Oberlin, OH
My research investigates the relationship between global change drivers and ecosystem biogeochemical cycling by examining geochemical data from streams, soils, and groundwater.
My current research projects include examining the role of tides in the cycling of nitrogen and carbon in coastal environments as well as looking at the impact of fire on montane terrestrial and aquatic carbon cycling in the Front Range of Colorado. To learn more about my research please check out my website.
How I became a scientist
When I was eight I went to a summer camp focused on environmental science, I was hooked. I went to college knowing I wanted to study the natural world and after taking a geology class my sophomore year, I switched my major. I loved the puzzle of figuring out what had happened to the landscape, I loved the fact that I could do that by hiking around and examining rocks.
Like many people, I left college wanting to do something important, something that actually mattered, so I joined AmeriCorps. I worked to improve water quality in Worcester, MA, mostly through community organizing; every day I saw the link between quality of life and the quality of our waterways. WATER. This was the link between my desire to save the world and do science. I went back to school to learn more about natural resource management, environmental policy and of course all the water related science I could learn — how it moves through the world, how it carries critical elements that sustain ecosystems and society.
Fast forward many years… I am now an Assistant Professor at Colorado College. I am a biogeochemist and ecosystem ecologist who’s research focuses on understanding how aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems process and export nitrogen and carbon. Now that I am at a small liberal arts school I spend a lot of my time teaching, introducing these ideas, the science that I love, to students. Basically, I have a pretty awesome job.
How my work benefits society
In order to understand the ecosystem today and predict how it will respond to future perturbations, I conduct research in a collaborative, multi-scale, and interdisciplinary way; acknowledging that in order to understand the ecological impacts of global change we need to examine not only ecosystem drivers such as changes in temperature and hydrologic cycling but also policy decisions and cultural perceptions of the environment.