Past Research

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?"

-Albert Einstein-

Ph.D. Work

I completed my Ph.D. at University of Nevada, Reno, working with Dr. Franco Biondi. My research focused on the dynamics of the North American Monsoon (NAM) from treeline environments of the North American tropics using stable isotopic records. This research grew out of my interest in the ecoclimatology of this unique environment. Also explored in this project was the interaction of paleoclimate, climate change and the associated impacts on human populations and biologic communities. I worked partially under the support of the Sulo and Aileen Maki fellowship, a three year fellowship that I received in 2000 through the Desert Research Institute and a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Biondi has started a Dendrochronology Lab at UNR.. Our field site was on Nevado de Colima, a dormant volcano adjacent to Volcan del Fuego (you guessed it, an active volcano) in Central western Mexico. This work was conducted in cooperation with colleagues at the Centro Universitario de Investigaciones en Ciencias del Ambiente de la Universidad de Colima. The project involved several areas of investigation including traditional dendroclimatological reconstruction of the Mexican Mountain Pine (Pinus hartwegii), an intensive monitoring network of dendrometers and weather stations, and the collection and analysis of isotopic data. The project was also part of the Inter American Institute for Global Change Research initiative CRN 3. I am very interested in networking with others doing ecohydrological work in Mexico and in the NAM region.

M.S. Work

I completed my Master's work on paleoclimate and paleorecharge records preserved in the soil chemistry of arid vadose zones in 2000. I did this work at the University of Nevada, Reno with my advisor, Dr. Scott Tyler. An interesting part of this work investigated nitrate records preserved in vadose zone profiles. We subsequently had a paper published in Science following up on this work! Housing and support for this and ongoing research were graciously provided by the Desert Research Institute and the National Science Foundation.



While working at the Desert Research Institute, I was fortunate to work on a research project in Antarctica with Chris Fritsen's group studying how the various ecological communities function over the long Antarctic winter. It was cold and dark....but beautiful. Check out Andy Nunn's blog from Antarctica for a taste of life down there. Also some cool tales of polar scientists