Ongoing Research Interests

Current Projects

I have several former students (Leslie Parks, Andrew Shirk, Matt Warren and Tzeidle Wasserman) who have worked in the emerging field of landscape genetics.  This field represents a synthesis of population genetics and landscape ecology.  I am also exploring opportunities to expand this work with other wildlife species in the Cascades.  I have two former students (Tana Beus and Adam Wells) who have examined seasonal habitat relationships for mountain goats in the Cascades.  Melissa Oscarson developed a simulation model to track the population dynamics of an introduced mountain goat population in the Olympic Mountains from the 1920s to the present.  The work on mountain goats has been a collaborative effort with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the US Forest Service, the National Park Service, the Sauk Suiattle Indian Tribe and several other tribes.  As part of this project, I have employed over 50 undergraduate interns over the past decade.  One of these interns, Colin Shanley, published an article in Nature Photographer magazine describing his experience on some early parts of project (click here to view the article).  The current focus of this work involves the translocation of mountain goats from the Olympic Mountains to the Cascades. This work is described here: (click here to view the article)  and also in this brief video: (click here to view the video).  I also have two former graduate students (Erica Capuana, Kari Secrest and Julia Tatum) who have used LIDAR and high-spatial resolution multispectral imagery to address questions related to the structure and composition of riparian forests. This work focuses on the potential of these forests to provide shade and woody debris that positively influences in stream conditions for salmon. Julia's field work is described here: ( click here to view the article).  As an extenion of my interestes in remote sensing, over the past few years I have also become interested in the use of small unmanned aerial systems (sUAS) for environmental research and monitoring. Two of my current students (Hannah Hein and Jacqui Bergner) are following up on previous work by Jefferson Emm to use sUAS to map eelgrass in nearshore marine environments (click here to view an article about Jefferson's work)(click here to view a recent article about Hannah's work).  Finally, I have a continuing interest in the effects of land management on the carbon budget of Pacific Northwest forests.

Completed Masters Thesis Projects

·       Jacqui Bergner, M.S. WWU Huxley College, Environmental Sciences, expected 6/23; Evaluating Climate Change Impacts on Seasonal and Interannual Dynamics of Native and Non-native Eelgrass in Padilla Bay with Unoccupied Aerial System Imagery and Long-Term Monitoring Data


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