I am lucky to have a unique joint position as assistant professor of Biological Resources at Oregon Tech and Science Coordinator at the Crater Lake National Park Science and Learning Center.
Grace’s Warbler in Santa Catalina Mountains
At Oregon Tech I will be teaching courses in biology and wildlife ecology. My research wildlife management work has been primarily focused on the ecology of migratory birds. I am especially interested in advising students in wildlife, habitat ecology, and issues related to wildlife management and conservation including wildfire, resource extraction, agriculture, exurban development, and climate. I use a diverse suite of field methods and analytical tools to study wildlife including GIS and numerous statistical approaches using freely available software products such as R, DISTANCE, and MARK.
Burn Severity map for two wild fires in southern Arizona overlaid on bird survey points (MTBS 2012).
I received my PhD in Wildlife Conservation and Management from the University of Arizona in Tucson where I studied the impacts of climate and wildfire on spatial and temporal patterns of bird migration across large elevation gradients of the Sky Island Mountains on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. We found that, in response to interannual changes in climate birds can adjust the timing of their migration, shift to different habitats, or change their migration route all together. We also found that fire severity plays an important role in habitat use by migrating birds, but birds respond differently depending on key life history traits such as diet and foraging behavior.
Coffee farms in Blue Mountains, Jamaica
I attained my Master's degree from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA. My research examined the ecological and economic services of migratory birds to coffee farmers in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. We found that birds were controlling an important insect pest, the coffee berry borer, and that this ecosystem service was worth more than $1,000 dollars per year per hectare. This is a significant amount since the Gross National Income for Jamaicans is about $3,400 and it costs $540 dollars to send a child to school for the year. That means that the money earned from the coffee beans that were not damaged by borer thanks to birds can send two kids to school!
Pollen cones of Douglas Fir
While at UA I worked with the USA National Phenology Network (www.usanpn.org), a group dedicated to understanding phenology – the timing of key life cycle events in organisms such as flowering of plants or nesting of birds – from local to continental scales and the impacts of environmental and climatic variation and change. I hope to incorporate phenology monitoring into programs in the upper Klamath Basin to better understand mechanisms of ecological change in the region.
While at HSU I spent summers working with the Klamath Bird Observatory in Ashland. I studied birds and their habitats throughout the Klamath Basin, and particularly the upper Klamath Basin. I fell in love with this region and its diverse range of ecosystems and wildlife habitats. I look forward to being a part of education and scientific research in the region to further understanding of our unique wildlife, habitats, and natural resources.