I assist with the development of native plant materials, particularly forbs, for the Great Basin. Responsibilities include seed collecting and cleaning; plant identification; germination studies; common garden establishment, maintenance, and data collection. Other current projects include assisting with studies on post-fire seeding equipment and techniques, big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) seed storage and longevity and sagebrush genecology. I am also the webmaster for the Boise-GSD, Great Basin Native Plant Selection and Increase Project, and the Rangeland Technology and Equipment Council websites.
My research interests include native plant material development and establishment, fire ecology, climate change and plant physiology. On more of a personal interest level, I enjoy discovering the many historical uses, especially medicinal, of the native plants in our area.
Native plant communities are under increasing stress in a constantly changing world. Our research is focused on a wide array of topics, each playing an important role in how these intricate and fragile systems function. Studying these native communities and their interactions with the changing climatic extremes and the persistant, thriving exotics and human/agricultural involvement all emphasize the need to promote and develop conservation and restoration efforts. The lack of native plant material available for restoration is a huge problem and we are working to connect native materials with the commercial market for use in restoration.
All of my post-collegiate research has been as a part of the GSD at the Rocky Mountain Research Station in Boise, ID. Although I did participate in an experiment in college that dealt with the chemical castration of chickens. That experiment is what encouraged me to explore other areas of Biology, mainly the areas that didn't involve chemical castration of chickens.