There has been much criticism of the use of single least cost path approaches for habitat connectivity assessments, yet some other methods such as circuit theory-based analysis are extremely computationally intensive.
As a student in the Master of Environmental Management program at Duke University, Nathan Walker developed methods for multigraph analysis. Multigraphs are made up of multiple low-cost paths, which can differentiate between habitat patches connected through a single narrow corridor, versus patches connected by a wide swath of traversable land.
Our new paper with Dr. Jennifer J. Swenson and Dr. Dean L. Urban, published in the journal Landscape Ecology, evaluates potential movement pathways for the endangered San Martin titi monkey (Plecturocebus oenanthe) by iteratively removing paths and recomputing connectivity metrics. Additionally, a novel innovation for sensitivity analysis was applied; rather than varying costs uniformly across the landscape, we generated landscapes with spatially varying costs to account for uncertainty in land cover mapping based on remote sensing data.
I am proud to see this work published and I hope that these methods will be useful for conservation practitioners. Big congrats to Nathan for his persistence in seeing this through to publication!
Our new paper is out demonstrating the use of multiple low-cost paths for rich and efficient habitat connectivity analysis!
I am honored to have been featured in a piece celebrating Women in STEM. Sean Rowe at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke did a fantastic job profiling some amazing women doing great work!
I was invited to present a talk at the Graduate Hydrosystems Seminar at Arizona State University hosted by Enrique Vivoni and Rebecca Muenich, one of my NatureNet project mentors.
ASU's commitment to provide access for all to a high quality education at an R1 institution is admirable. I'm impressed by the faculty, staff and students whom I have had the pleasure to interact with during my stay.
A major component of this first trip to ASU has been centered around learning to use the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model working with Dr. Muenich. We will be collaborating with USGS to develop a SWAT model to examine ways to improve water quality and reduce flooding in the Cape Fear River Watershed as part of our research. It's exciting to get some of this work off the ground!
Preliminary examination of Hurricane Florence impacts on Cape Fear River Watershed presented at the AGU Meeting in Washington, DC, December 2018
A TV crew came out >3 years ago to to film the bird banding operation at Prairie Ridge Ecostation and to see how specimen preparation is done by the experts at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences here in Raleigh, NC.
The episode featuring our fearless leader John Gerwin and the rest of the team finally aired after all this time!
I was recently selected for one of six Nature Net Science Fellowships, which aim to apply research to solve real-world problems in agriculture, freshwater, energy, tech and climate.
In collaboration with mentors at Arizona State University and The Nature Conservancy North Carolina, I will embark on two years of postdoctoral research to investigate nutrient pollution risk from intensified agriculture under elevated flooding and hurricanes.
I look forward to meeting the entire NatureNet Class of 2018 at our orientation in October!
I am honored to have been recognized for a special topics course on Lidar Remote Sensing, which I co-taught with Dr. Amanda Schwantes in Spring 2018. Along with 26 other instructors at the Nicholas School of the Environment, I received a rating of at least 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 in student course evaluations. It is impressive that so many instructors in our department have been recognized for teaching excellence in addition to the high-caliber research that they produce!
NASA has enabled permanent open access to our paper 'Three decades of Landsat-derived spring surface water dynamics in an agricultural wetland mosaic; implications for migratory shorebirds'. This new platform makes NASA-funded publications available completely FREE of charge!
Press coverage of our study finding signals that industrial-scale agriculture is increasingly responsible for tropical deforestation
The news outlets Mongabay and EnvironmentalResearchWeb covered our recent paper finding that deforested clearings increased in size throughout much of the pantropics from 2000-2012.
In 2016, I received a Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grant to attend the 3rd graduate workshop for data analytics hosted by the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and the National Ecological Observation Network (NEON) in Boulder, Colorado. My reflection on the experience is currently featured by Duke Interdisciplinary Studies.