Research

Integrated modeling and quantitative spatial analyses of human-environment, socio-ecological systems and natural resource management; land systems science, remote sensing, rural lands and livelihoods

I chose to return to graduate school to pursue a Ph.D. after working for an educational non-profit and as a freelance software application developer. Though my undergraduate education and research interests were steeped in ecological methodology, theory and application at a variety of scales and environments, my interests shifted to broader, more far-reaching issues. I knew that a geography department like the University of Florida's could provide those opportunities.

After returning to school, funded by UF Presidential and NSF IGERT Fellowships, I studied geographic theories, new analytical methods and developed many interdisciplinary avenues for geospatial data and land change science. My Masters research addressed the highly technical challenges related to integrating multiple satellite platforms, and my Ph.D. research focused on forest resource management, land cover and land use change, human population modeling.

My current interests relate to how economic and ecological drivers impact natural resource management and land use, and how those play out at multiple temporal and spatial scales. I'm actively engaging in interdisciplinary work with the following research groups if you would like more information:

Communities and Forests in Oregon - USDA Funded Project to study quantify the current range of variation in forest conditions with a focus on small private landowners, and assess current landowner strategies for mitigating climate variability in forest and silvo-pastoral systems.

WorldPop.org - High resolution, contemporary data on human population distributions are a prerequisite for the accurate measurement of the impacts of population growth, for monitoring changes and for planning interventions. The WorldPop project aims to meet these needs through the provision of detailed and open access population distribution datasets built using transparent approaches.

KAZAVA - This is an NSF-funded, interdisciplinary project studying how communities and their households, land use, and climate interact to create or mitigate vulnerability in the Kavango-Zambezi Transfrontier Area of Southern Africa. Combining household surveys, remote sensing of vegetation and land use, and innovative modeling, the key leverage points identified will help craft interventions to mitigate different sources of household vulnerability. ?Our team has developed a conceptual model of how adaptive capacity, exposure to climate variability, and sensitivity to changes in land use might combine to affect household vulnerability. An integrated, quantitative modeling framework will be used to evaluate the strength of this framework and test which of the aspects of the framework are important to support sustainable communities in the KAZA transfrontier conservation area and beyond.

For links to publications and more information please see my ResearchGate profile.