My research and professional experience focuses on data-based and stakeholder-driven management and/or policy solutions to complex environmental problems. Most of my work has been in policy and legislation but focuses on synthesizing the relevant scientific, cultural and economic information while facilitating interest groups to reach a negotiated set of management changes. For example, my graduate research and later professional work focused on how to reduce commercial shipping impacts on endangered whales off the coast of California. Management solutions were informed by a stakeholder group of marine biologists and ecologists, acousticians, environmental advocacy groups, federal and state government agencies, and shipping industry representatives. I am especially interested in exploring ways to bring traditionally oppositional sides together to realize environmental, economic and social/cultural benefits.
My current research addresses ecological-economic modeling of control efforts for Rapid Ohia Death (from Ceratocystis sp.) in the Hawaiian islands. My research interests include ecological and environmental economics, environmental justice, sustainable development, global climate change, watershed management, invasive species control, wetland ecology and management, and ecosystem modeling. My research efforts have addressed optimal forest management and the value of carbon sequestration in New Hampshire forests, the sustainable use of upland forested watersheds in Hawaii, invasive species control, valuation of non-market ecosystem goods and services, restoration wetland ecology, ecological and economic risks of marine transgenic organisms and cost-effective economic approaches considering federal antidegradation requirements for rivers.
My research interests are at the interface of geology, water chemistry, and microbiology. Together, these factors are responsible for the quality of ground and surface water, the fertility of soils, and much more. My recent focus has been on how agricultural irrigation practices and the presence of soil iron and manganese affect subsurface arsenic mobility and plant availability. This work has begun to address some important agricultural and watershed resource management issues.
My research explores the complex interactions between human behavior and ecosystem function. I employ tools from environmental sociology, human ecology, agroecology, and sustainability science to better understand how to promote human behaviors that benefit ecosystem function. I am currently conducting research in two areas. First, I work with the Rogue Valley Food System Network to explore the impact of the cannabis industry on the region’s food system and environment. Second, I am working with collaborators in Mexico to assess the economic and ecological impacts of macroalgae formation in the Caribbean. In addition, I have recently co-authored a USDA grant to explore regenerative cover cropping and tillage in test plots at The Farm at SOU. I welcome interested undergraduate students to work with me as research assistants.
I study plant community dynamics to better inform the restoration and management of terrestrial ecosystems. My research focuses on post-disturbance recovery and the impacts of land-use change. I emphasize basic science in plant trait-based ecology to develop adaptive management solutions. I approach this using multiple techniques including observational field studies, ecological modeling, and experiments.
I am a landscape ecologist interested in modeling landscape change with an explicit focus on the integration of socioeconomic and biophysical drivers. I am particularly interested in modeling alternative futures in order to better understand how various landscape drivers combine to determine the future conditions of both terrestrial and aquatic systems. I continually work to translate disparate data sources (from climate to social to economic to ecological) into a common geospatial framework for landscape-level analyses, and I have experience in modeling aquatic and terrestrial systems within a GIS to facilitate visualization and communication.