I have mentored undergraduate students through a variety of programs, including with INBRE, NASA, NSF, and EPSCoR. Every summer I work with a small cohort of students in the Spring Mountains west of Las Vegas, Nevada. During the fall and spring semesters I work individually with students (through grants, independent studies, or undergraduate research courses) to work on either (1) a small portion of the larger projects listed in my research bio, or (2) a short-term project that we develop together.
I am an applied geologist by training and an opportunistic scientist in practice, meaning I love geology but am interested in many areas of the natural sciences. I can abbreviate my research focus with the acronym GASP: geophysical and surface processes.
Geophysical Processes. I use geophysical and remote sensing instruments to study changes on the Earth’s surface and within the shallow subsurface. I will be starting a research project (early 2023) on utilizing passive seismic methods to map bedrock depth (or sediment thickness) as an indirect approach to identify buried faults and to study extensional tectonics of the Las Vegas valley.
Surface Processes. I use an interdisciplinary approach to study our dynamic Earth. A major research project I am currently working on (2021-future) is titled Analyses of spring water chemistry and microbiology in the Spring Mountains, Nevada. I use field and laboratory methods across multiple disciplines (geology, biology, and chemistry) to quantify physical properties of high-elevation springs and analyze microbial communities found in these springs.
I teach courses that are required or electives for the BS in Environmental & Resource Science and BS in Biology. I teach the following courses at Nevada State:
–GEOL 101A/L Exploring Planet Earth Lecture and Lab
–GEOL 333 Principles of Geomorphology
–GEOL 405 Geology of the National Parks
–NRES 322 Soils
–NRES 467 Regional and Global Issues in Environmental Science
–BIOL/ENV 494 Biology and Environmental Science Colloquium
I received a Ph.D. in Geology from Michigan Technological University, an MS in Geosciences and BS in Geophysics from Western Michigan University, and an AS from Kalamazoo Valley Community College. I was the Postdoctoral Fellow in Environmental Science at Trinity College (Hartford, CT) and a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellow while earning my Ph.D. I have also worked as a Geological Mapping Technician for two summers at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where I assisted with the creation of ten surficial geology quadrangle maps by acquiring near-surface geophysical data and auger samples.