I primarily teach courses in soils, hydrology, environmental geology, and geographic information systems. My current primary research interest is the interpretation of past climates from paleosols; I also am interested in soil biogeochemistry, paleoecology, and catchment hydrology.
My research interests include Quaternary and modern ecology, the global carbon cycle, soil biogeochemistry, Quaternary climate change, and catchment hydrology. My interest in geology was sparked as a child after seeing the remains of prehistoric creatures at the Museum of Natural History in New York. After high school, I went on to study geology at Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. During college, a summer job excavating an archeological site along the Ohio River got me interested in palynology and plant macrofossils. I pursued this interest for my Master's research at the University of Arizona at Tucson, where I used fossil pollen from Death Valley's Badwater Basin to reconstruct Quaternary climate changes. After graduating from the University of Arizona, I extended my study of ecology and climate change to modern ecological settings. At the University of California at Santa Cruz, I earned my doctorate for my work on the influence of plants and soil microbes on the global carbon cycle, and on global climate. I am lucky to be a part of the geology department at Whitman College, where I have been teaching geology, geographic information systems, soils, and environmental studies since 2007. My current research interest is paleosols (ancient buried soil horizons) and what they can tell us about past climate.
Click here to download my current CV, in pdf format.