current research

I am engaged in a variety of projects that integrate research from diverse fields of science to help land managers address important challenges, especially restoring forest and meadow ecosystems in the Western U.S. For these projects, I work with teams of scientists from the Forest Service, universities, and other organizations. I also remain committed to collaborative research with tribes, and I have continued my long-standing collaborative research with the White Mountain Apache Tribe and the Cibecue Community School on restoring wetlands in their mountain homeland in Arizona.

research interest

Restoration of wetlands, especially wet meadows, springs, and other headwater systems of ecological and cultural importance.

Post-wildfire impacts and restoration.

Forest restoration and use of fire.

Participatory research and traditional ecological knowledge with tribes and indigenous communities.

Public participation in scientific research.

Ecological monitoring and data management.

past research

My cooperative research with the White Mountain Apache Tribe has focused on the design and evaluation of restoration treatments for streams and wetlands. I examined how traditional Apache landcare practices and mindsets provide cultural foundations for present-day techniques and philosophies of ecological restoration. Through my work with the Rocky Mountain Research Station, we established a network of 43 monitoring sites on Apache trout streams on the Reservation and the adjacent National Forest. My research has focused on temporal changes in riparian ecosystems, due to both management actions and climatic cycles, including examining inter-related changes in stream morphology, vegetation, fish populations, and hydrology on Southwestern streams. I also authored several papers that explain how habitats for rare species are linked to geologic variation across the Colorado Plateau.

importance

Springs and wetlands in the Southwest support are critically important to native peoples and to native plants and wildlife. The long-term network of monitoring sites helps to evaluate impacts of large fires such as the Wallow fire of 2011. Being able to understand landscape and temporal variation improves plans to conserve rare species and restore valuable wetlands. The findings from our research are used in education programs on the Reservation to reinforce traditional ecological knowledge among tribal youth and to prepare them for careers in natural resource management.

Education

  • Northern Arizona University Ecological economics, plant ecology, watershed restoration, aerial photo interpretation, environmental hydrology, Quaternary pedology, forest soils, and experimental design. Doctor Of Forest Science 2002
  • Harvard University (John F. Kennedy School of Government) Environment and Natural Resources Policy Master Of Public Policy 1994
  • The College of William and Mary Public policy, including economic, government, and ethics B.A. 1992

Professional Experience

  • University of Arizona
    Assistant Agent, Agriculture, Natural Resources, and 4-H Youth Development
    2006 - 2007
    Directed the Extension Office serving the Hualapai Tribe, conducting outreach in range evaluation, wetlands assessment, water quality monitoring, GIS, database management, youth science and agriculture education programs.
  • Rocky Mountain Research Station, US Forest Service
    Research Ecologist
    2003 - 2006
    Conducted research, reviewed monitoring protocols and provided training on monitoring streams and wetlands; authored study plan and oversaw research team to monitor habitat for a threatened trout species; provided technical assistance; initiated a project to engage Native American high school and college students in evaluating ecological change; delineated wetlands and developed mitigation plans; published research papers; maintained project GIS database.
  • Northern Arizona University
    Post-doctoral Researcher
    2003 - 2003
    Conducted research on riparian restoration and associations between geology and habitat for rare species on the Colorado Plateau.
  • White Mountain Apache Tribe
    Watershed Program Director and Program Advisor
    1994 - 2003
    • Instituted and directed the Tribe's Watershed Program • Served on team that resolved conflicts over endangered species management • Authored EPA-approved quality assurance project plans for monitoring surface water quality. • Trained and supervised 6 employees in assessing wetlands and watersheds across 1.6 million acres. • Developed Memoranda of Agreement to authorize agencies to provide technical assistance. • Designed and oversaw restoration projects, including administration of contracts and field crews.

Awards & Recognition

  • PSW New Scientist of the Year 2011, 2011
    For significant research accomplishments or measureable progress toward an important outcome as measured by scientific merit and positive impact on management and society.
  • Certificate of Merit, 2010
    For doing a superior job in managing the Lake Tahoe Research Program
  • Distinguished Service Award, 2009
    Forest Service Distinguished Service Award for excellent performance.
  • Distinguished Service Award, 2008
    Forest Service Distinguished Service Award for excellent performance.

Featured Publications & Products

Publications

Priority Research Areas

  • Climate Change
  • Forest Disturbances
  • Localized Needs (regional work)
  • Watershed Management and Restoration

The sites listed below are external or third-party sites which the Forest Service has provided for reference only.
Natural Inquirer