I have an intense interest in finding new and creative ways to reach students in large lecture classrooms. The format of traditional introductory geology and earth science courses is often ineffective in conveying fundamental scientific ideas to a general audience. The use of new technology and unique lecture styles to engage students is an area of active and continuous research for me.
When I am not focused on the classroom, I am in interested in the geomorphology of alpine landscapes and the paleolclimatic proxy information they may contain. The last 20,000 years has been a time of significant climatic change, including the end of the last ice age and recent global warming. Understanding the timing of past climatic changes and deciphering their primary forcing mechanisms is of particular interest. Climatically sensitive alpine environments in and around the Colorado Plateau in the southwestern U.S. have provided an excellent venue for obtaining high-resolution evidence of these paleoclimatic changes. This data is largely recovered from low energy, depositional glacial features like cirques, kettle bogs, and kettle lakes. Obtaining these continuous, high-resolution sedimentary records is often a challenging and grueling logistical task and one that I relish!
It is becoming more evident every day that our water resources are becoming increasingly stressed. The supply of sufficient and healthy drinking water is becoming increasingly challenging for a growing populace. Understanding the interaction of ground water, surface water, and contaminants is another area of personal interest. Across the midlatitude regions of the world, over reliance on ground water and the pollution of surface water is coming to a head. I am interest in increasing out understanding of how these reservoirs are connected in various geologic settings and using that information to initiate new and innovative ways to obtain, conserve, and protect these resources.