Experience

Research Associate, November 2009 – present
USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
North Carolina State University Department of Applied Ecology
Collaborators: Dr. Jaime Collazo, Dr. Alexa McKerrow, Steve Williams, Matt Rubino, Curtis Belyea, Dr. Kevin Gergely, Leah Dunn, Anne Davidson, Dr. Jennifer Costanza, Dr. Kenneth Boykin, Sky Bristol, Dr. Daniel Wieferich, Dr. Tristan Wellman, Steve Aullenbach, Julie Prior-Magee.

I am part of the core group that manages, develops, and analyzes national wildlife range and habitat maps for the national Gap Analysis Program (GAP).  I also recently led the habitat component of a project that integrated timber supply, vegetation dynamics, and habitat models to explore the influences of biofuels production on bird and amphibian habitat in North Carolina (see publication).

I am currently collaborating with researchers from Utrecht University on a project that examines potential effects of European demand for wood pellets on wildlife diversity in the southeastern U.S.  Other projects that I have in the works or on the horizon include the identification of species most at risk to changes to woody wetlands of the southeastern U.S., the identification of species most at risk from drought and large wildfires in the West, and an investigation of the coincidence of habitat fragmentation for species with dissimilar habitats.

I recently contributed heavily to an analysis that refines species richness hotspot maps in the U.S. and demonstrates the ability of fine-resolution data (30m x 30m) to reveal the locations of species richness hotspots that would be missed with data that is even slightly coarser and similar to resolutions commonly used for continental and global species richness assessments (1km x 1km).  A manuscript is in review for that work.

I was initially hired to create deductive habitat models for a regional GAP project for the Northeast.  In 2010, our program adopted a national focus and I began creating habitat maps with national extents instead.  We completed modeling 1,719 species and subspecies in 2016 and began several analyses.  I worked on these 236 species.  I have contributed to the development and maintenance of databases and code for our national wildlife-habitat relationship and range data.  In particular, I maintain two python packages for data production and analysis that are documented here.

Conservation Recommendations Research Technician, January – November 2009
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission
Collaborators: Dr. Jeff Marcus, Jacquelyn Wallace

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) works extensively to understand the impacts of urbanization and land use on wildlife populations through programs such as the Green Growth Toolbox.   Questions about relationships between species’ ecology and human development have been studied, but the NCWRC needed dedicated effort compiling this information.  I synthesized the scientific literature on the habitat needs of priority species for conservation in North Carolina and drafted conservation recommendations for land use planners and developers.  The work was eventually approved and published by the NCWRC (see publication).

Research Assistant, January – November 2009
USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Principle Investigator: Dr. C. Ashton Drew
• Reviewed scientific literature on the habitat relationships of Swainson’s Warblers for use in spatially-explicit habitat models.
• Hired field assistants for secretive marsh bird surveys in wildlife refuges.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, August – December 2008
Department of Plant Biology, North Carolina State University
I instructed two lab sections of “Introduction to Ecology” while I was a graduate student.

Graduate Research Assistant, August 2005 – August 2008
USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Principle Investigator: Dr. Theodore R. Simons
• Designed, conducted, and analyzed an experimental field study on the effects of vehicle disturbance on shorebirds’ habitat use and behavior at Cape Lookout National Seashore, NC.
• Performed extensive shorebird surveys at South Core Banks, NC.

Research Technician, May – June 2008
USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Principal Investigator: Dr. Theodore R. Simons
• Participated in field research that assessed different methods for estimating detection probabilities during avian point count surveys.
• Performed modified point counts along 12 Breeding Bird Survey routes in central North Carolina.

Graduate Teaching Assistant, January – May 2006
Department of Zoology, North Carolina State University
• Instructed two lab sections of “Evolution, Behavior, and Ecology”

Research Technician, February – June 2005
USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Principal Investigator: Dr. Sarah Mabey
• Ordered, downloaded, reviewed, and exported Nexrad WSR-88D imagery from the National Climatic Data Center for a project that used radar imagery to identify migratory landbird stopover sites in North Carolina and Virginia.

Research Technician, May – July 2004
USGS North Carolina Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Principal Investigator: Dr. Theodore R. Simons
• Collected field data on spatial and temporal variations in Black-throated Blue Warbler and Ovenbird singing rates, Pisgah National Forest, NC.
• Located and monitored nests, sampled singing rates, and sampled vegetation at study sites.

Research Technician, April 2004
Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University
Principal Investigators: Dr. George Hess and Dr. Christopher Moorman
• Conducted songbird surveys along transects in Raleigh and Cary, NC for a study of habitat use by migrating songbirds in urban greenways.

Assistant Produce Team Leader, February 2003 – March 2004
Whole Foods Market, Pittsburgh, PA and Durham, NC
• Ordered and inventoried produce in accordance with department’s target profit margin and implemented new regional standards and performance goals.
• Oversaw product merchandising and quality control.
• Supervised and trained 25 team members.

Research Technician, April 2002 – June 2002
Department of Forestry, North Carolina State University
Principal Investigators: Dr. George Hess and Dr. Christopher Moorman
• Performed point count surveys of songbirds in Raleigh and Cary, NC for a study of the relationship between urban greenway landscape characteristics and breeding birds.

Research Technician, June 2000 – July 2002
Mears Fork Corridor Project, Summerfield, NC
Supervisor: Moni Bates
• Created and implemented an annual bird survey protocol for assessing the effectiveness of habitat conservation efforts along Mears Fork Creek in NC.

Volunteer

Painted Bunting Population Assessment and Monitoring Project, Spring 2007
USGS, USFWS, and NC Museum of Natural Sciences
• Performed Painted Bunting surveys at 18 sites in coastal North Carolina.

All Bird Radio Project, Fall 2004 – Spring 2007
USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, North Carolina State University
• Performed simulated point count surveys of recorded bird songs for a study of avian point count methods and bird detectability.

Powdermill Bird Banding, 2003
Powdermill Avian Research Center, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Rector, PA
• Banded birds and recorded data in assistance with a long-term banding project.