I’m a paleo-ecologist and educator at the University of Washington – Bothell working to understand the dynamic environment in lakes, how humans understand and interact with their environment, and how to best guide and support students in engaging with their world with a curious mind about how the landscape around them came to be and how it functions in ways important to their lives.
My research uses paleolimnologic records (sediment cores from lakes) and modern lake monitoring to learn more about how changes in land use, coupled with larger-scale changes like climate fluctuations, affect water availability, water quality, and the ecological function of lakes and watersheds over time. I’m interested in using modern analogs in lakes today to understand how lakes respond to change over time scales ranging from decades to many thousands of years. One of my main interests is using sediment records to establish baseline, or “natural” conditions in lakes to use in discussions of management goals and policy decisions around water resources issues; understanding natural rates of change and ecosystem variability allows for a better evidence-based approach to modern water resources policy.
My teaching is grounded in giving students the tools and opportunities to investigate environmental processes through active inquiry-based instruction, field learning, and mentoring of student-directed research projects.
Read more about my teaching, research interests, projects, and interests in science outreach at the links above and in posts along the sidebar about what I’ve been up to recently.