Georgia College, Milledgeville, GA (2011), B.S. Environmental Science
I am a graduate student at Portland State University pursuing a M.S. in Environmental Science & Management. My general research interests include studying the responses of inland freshwater systems to changes in environmental conditions as well as remediation and restoration methods for imperiled ecosystems. I am currently working on a thesis project that monitors the response of plankton communities to simulations of atmospheric nitrogen deposition in montane lakes of Mount Rainier National Park. When I am not working on campus or in the field, I enjoy bicycling, running, and exploring the Pacific Northwest.
Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (2012) B.A. Environmental Studies
Research Interests: The effects of legacy pollutants on aquatic food web dynamics, specifically under the context of species invasions.
I am originally from Massachusetts, and grew up with a love for the outdoors. As an undergraduate I became involved in multiple research projects regarding stream ecosystem health, which fostered my interest in freshwater ecology. After graduating, I conducted life cycle monitoring for coho salmon and steelhead trout in the Lagunitas Creek Watershed in Marin County, California as a part of the AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Project.
My current project is designed to understand the dynamics of montane lake ecology, as well as the factors that influence pollutant bioaccumulation across the lakes’ food webs. I spent the past summer hiking hundreds of miles and thousands of feet of elevation to sample stocked and fishless montane lakes in North Cascades National Park.
Outside of work and academics, I enjoy cooking, good music, and anything outdoors: rock climbing, riding my bike, backpacking, cross country skiing, exploring new places. The Pacific Northwest and it’s alpine peaks have grown very dear to me after just a year here, and I look forward to many more adventures!
Other Research Experience
University of Colorado, Boulder (2010), B.A. Environmental Studies (Specialization in Water)
Minors: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Geography
Invasive Species- How invasive species may be displacing native competitors and how they might affect the food-web. Particular species include: New Zealand mudsnail, Asian freshwater clam, rusty crayfish, spotted knapweed, and tansy ragwort.
Novel Ecosystems - Instead of attempting to restore ecosystems to a historically sustainable state, which may not be physically or financially possible, we create new sustainable systems that benefit the most important or widest range of biodiversity. Novel ecosystems attempt to promote native species development in a less-than natural system.
Biocontrols - Good examples: Root weevils on spotted knapweed and cinnabar moth on tansy ragwort Bad Examples: cane toad in Australia, mongoose in the Caribbean
Freshwater Ecology - Lakes, rivers, riparian zones, marshes.
Sustainable water use- agriculture
Brewing, Running, Biking, most sports, All Colorado Sport Teams (Especially the Buffs), Bluegrass and music in general, Drawing, Chinese Checkers, Food, and People...sometimes.
Southern Oregon University (2008), B.S. Biology
I am an Oregon native whose love of ecology began during my early career as a wilderness-backpacking guide. My undergraduate work focused on assessing shifts in tree species composition in the Siskiyou Mountains of Southern Oregon and my graduate work now focuses on assessing cumulative survival of juvenile salmonids passing through the dams of the Lower Columbia River hydrosystem. My professional work includes numerous field instructor and land caretaker positions, fish work with the US Forest Service, botanical work with the Bureau of Land Management and most recently a biologist position with the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission. I am an outdoor enthusiast and enjoy photography, metalwork, playing music and sitting in the sun with a cup of coffee and a good book.
Biotic and Abiotic Factors Effecting the Survival of Juvenile Salmonids Passing Through the Lower Columbia River Hydrosystem
Grants and Awards
Ploskey, GR, MA Weiland, JS Hughes, CM Woodley, Z Deng, TJ Carlson, J Kim, IM Royer, GW Batten, AW Cushing, SM Carpenter, DJ Etherington, TS Elder, ES Fischer, T Fu, MJ Hennen, TD Mitchell, TJ Monter, JR Skalski, RL Townsend, SA Zimmerman. 2011. Survival and Passage of Juvenile Chinook Salmon and Steelhead Passing Through John Day Dam, 2010. US Army Corps of Engineers - Final Report
Link to full CV
University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA (2010)
Bachelor of Philosophy, Environmental Studies
Habitat connectivity in freshwater ecosystems, floodplain-stream interactions, salmonid conservation and population modeling
I will be beginning graduate study at the Strecker Lab in Fall 2014. My undergraduate research was focused on urban pollution legacies, but I have mainly spent my post-undergraduate years monitoring coho salmon with California Sea Grant. Landscape connectivity has always been of interest to me, whether I am looking at legacy pollution issues or salmonid migration patterns, and I will continue to consider the question of spatial and temporal scale while at PSU.
For my Master's thesis, I will study habitat influences on overwintering juvenile coho salmon migration patterns, growth and survival. My study area is the Russian River watershed, which spans Sonoma and Mendocino Counties in northern California.
When not working in a creek or analyzing data, I enjoy a lazy swimming day on a river, sporadically following the Pittsburgh Pirates, and a good book.
University of California Berkeley, California, B.A., English and Creative Writing
I am currently a graduate student in the Strecker Aquatic Ecology Lab, seeking a Master of Science degree in environmental science at PSU. While taking post-baccalaureate coursework at Portland Community College, I became interested in anthropogenic stressors to urban watersheds. That interest has ultimately led to my current research on mercury in freshwater systems.
I am currently working on understanding how common stressors to lakes, such as warming temperatures and nutrient addition from urban/agricultural runoff, might impact the way mercury might moves through a freshwater food web, beginning with zooplankton. My experiment took place at Cottage Grove Reservoir in central Oregon because of its situation within mercury-rich geology (and an associated abandoned mining district), but mercury bioaccumulation is of concern worldwide due to the mobile nature of coal combustion-related pollution.
I am also interested in environmental justice issues; specifically, understanding how contamination of aquatic systems has highly variable impacts to different demographic groups, and learning how those impacts might be mitigated.
When not working on my research, I enjoy road trips with my daughter, taking my dog for hikes, finding new and great beers and restaurants, gardening and generally just enjoying all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Oregon State University, M.S., Soil Science
Williams College, Massachusetts, B.A., Geology and English
I am a Ph.D. Candidate in the Environmental Sciences and Resources Department. I have always been an outdoor enthusiast and lover of the environment. I obtained a B.A degree in both Geology and English at Williams College in Massachusetts. My M.S. degree in Soil Science was completed at Oregon State University. During my previous graduate studies, I predicted the location of various soil types in the Fremont National Forest of South-Central Oregon. I also love spatial analysis and plan to use it to study some of the water systems of the Pacific Northwest. In my spare time, I love hiking, traveling the world, and playing around on my farm.