My interests

My professional interests center around the rapidly changing cold regions, and the connections these fragile ecosystems have to the rest of our planet. My work focuses on wind-driven processes (soil erosion and dust deposition) and nutrient cycling (how nitrogen and phosphorus move through ecosystems). Outside of work, I play the cello and mandolin, hike, run, cook, and read as many books as I possibly can.

How I became a scientist

My interest in science stems from a love of being outdoors. With my parents, I spent a lot of time outside, and I was fortunate to have inspiring environmental science teachers in high school. During high school, I went on a trip to Churchill, Manitoba, where I ‘caught the Arctic fever.’ I became obsessed with the extreme landscapes of the polar regions, and went back as frequently as possible. In college, I took advantage of many Arctic science opportunities and traveled to Alaska and Svalbard. After college, I taught middle and high school for two years before returning to school for my PhD. My PhD brought me to Greenland and Antarctica, two of my favorite places on Earth. Now I’m starting a post-doc position, and I’m looking forward to working up in the alpine zone of the Front Range here in Colorado.

How my work benefits society

The Earth’s cold regions are rapidly changing due to anthropogenic global warming, yet many Americans have no idea how many people live in the Arctic. Through my work, I try to expose people to these incredible places. In addition, wind-driven processes can impact soil fertility, air quality, ocean productivity, and cloud formation, and we still have many open questions about these processes.