Search Google Appliance


ESUR-IGERT Students

Jump to:
2012 Cohort

2013 Cohort

2014 Cohort

 
 

2011 Cohort

Holmen Sarah Kidd
E-mail:
sarah.kidd@pdx.edu
Research: Wetland & riparian ecology, invasive plant ecology, restoration science and management  
Advisor: Dr. Alan Yeakely
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Management


Sarah (IGERT FELLOW) is a wetland restoration ecologist who has been conducting restoration effectiveness research since 2008. Sarah’s research focus is on wetland restoration and invasive species management in the Lower Columbia River Basin. As an undergraduate, Sarah studied resource management and applied ecology at Oregon State University, and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in environmental science. After graduating from Oregon State, Sarah furthered her education and training in the environmental field by working as an environmental educator on a tall ship in Long Island Sound and as a Naturalist in Juneau, Alaska. She became especially interested in conducting wetland restoration research in the Lower Columbia Basin while working as a Trails Coordinator through the University of Oregon Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) program in the growing coastal city of Warrenton, Oregon.

Sarah’s master’s degree research at PSU focused on identifying the impacts of livestock grazing and exclusion on riparian wetland plant communities and invasive plant species abundance in the Columbia River Bottomlands. For her PhD research, Sarah plans to model ecosystem service restoration trajectories of reconnected tidal wetlands in Young's Bay Watershed in the Lower Columbia River Estuary. Through this research she would like to help enhance our understanding of how wetland ecosystem services are successfully restored, sustained and valued.
manson

Paul Manson
E-mail:
mansonp@pdx.edu
Research:  Marine spatial planning, neo-institutionalism, science and technology studies, political sociology, policy analysis.
Advisor:  Dr. Craig Shinn
Degree: Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Policy

Paul (IGERT FELLOW) is a policy researcher who has been developing participatory decision support tools and methods that combine and synthesize expert opinion and community preferences. Recent efforts include spatially assisted public participation tools for ecosystem services planning in Nevada. This effort supports a local government policy for “no-net loss” of ecosystem services. Other research includes Bayesian inferential modeling for marine ecosystem service functions through a National Oceanographic Partnership Program (NOPP) funded project in partnership with Oregon State University. This project is developing a methodology to manage uncertainty in science, and divergent stakeholder opinions. He recently co-authored a Transportation Research Board report on the development of ecosystem service based crediting methods to better inform transportation decisions and measure progress. Paul has a B.A. in Anthropology from Reed College, and an MPA from PSU. For his undergraduate work, Paul conducted ethnological fieldwork in Arctic Alaska with two Iñupiat communities. This research was an examination of the landscape based semiotics in developing cultural narratives and social identities, and their role in present day governance. His graduate work included a broad set of studies across geography and economics along with public administration to include marine policy issues and ecosystem services into his M.PA.

As an ESUR IGERT trainee, Paul seeks to explore the methods and tools communities can engage to better manage shared conflicted resources and to discover dependencies to resources not currently part of decisions. Of particular interest are the ways policy makers and individuals mediate their relationships with the environment through policies or social action. Problems include managing collective action problems around common or pool resources, and transfer of impacts or benefits across landscapes and communities. Paul hopes to participate in co-production of analyses and research with the communities involved.

Matsler

Marissa Matsler
E-mail: a.marissa.matsler@pdx.edu
Research: Perspectives/influence of the human-nature dichotomy on urban systems; green infrastructure planning and efficacy; socio-ecological systems; STS; urban metabolism; wastewater treatment systems.
Advisor: Dr. Vivek Shandas
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Marissa (IGERT FELLOW) is a marine biologist and budding urban ecologist interested in how urban communities interact with water, and the ecological, political and social drivers and consequences of these interactions. This research passion was forged by the dichotomy of her experiences in both wet, coastal worlds and brilliant deserts. Her pursuit of a multidisciplinary career fusing biology and architecture began with a focus on symbiosis as an undergraduate, where layers of symbiotic relationships became apparent, not only in the sea anemones she was working on in the lab, but also in the structure of the city she interacted with daily. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology at Oregon State University (OSU), Marissa studied green architecture in Arizona, receiving a certificate in Sustainable Design. Marissa became interested in management implications of ecological research throughout her time as a research assistant with OSU’S Partnership for Interdisciplinary Studies of Coastal Oceans (PISCO) and in desert rivers collecting aquatic bio‐indicators for the Lytle lab. Slowly, her interests in biology and architecture were scaling up to the fields of ecology and urban planning. As an environmental educator on Long Island Sound and student contractor, designing and implementing a recreational use survey on the Oregon coast, Marissa finally integrated the human element. She graduated from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies last spring with her Masters of Environmental Management.

 In the fall of 2011, Marissa will begin the Urban Studies Ph.D. program at PSU. As a part of the ESUR IGERT Program, she will examine modern infrastructure’s efficacy as an aquatic ecosystem service provider. Specifically, she plans to delve into the interaction of social, economic and ecological factors influencing the development and success of decentralized water infrastructure. Portland offers a wonderful opportunity to analyze the policy structure, as well as the ecological and social effects, of extensive decentralized storm water infrastructure created by the Grey to Green Initiative. Eco‐city development around the globe will offer an important juxtaposition of decentralized water infrastructure in rapidly urbanizing and post‐industrial urban areas. This opportunity propels Marissa towards her goal of becoming an interdisciplinarian working towards triple‐bottom‐line management of aquatic resources worldwide.

Mohammad

Basma Mohammad
E-mail: basma.mohammad@pdx.edu
Research:  Environmental science and policy interface; coastal/aquatic resources; multi-species/habitat conservation planning.
Advisor: Dr. Alan Yeakley
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Basma (IGERT FELLOW) is a marine ecologist whose interests in climate change, applied ecology, biological diversity and resource conservation stem from her interdisciplinary undergraduate studies at Tufts University and the Williams-Mystic Maritime Studies Program. While a research technician for the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center on the Pacific Coast, she was a project leader for descriptive population and community ecology surveys for marine invasive species across a range of human-influenced habitats in northern California. SERC’s collaborative research with universities—University of California-Davis, San Francisco State University and PSU—introduced Basma to research on nutrient pollution and climate change impacts to organism-level processes.  Her interests broadened towards research into the role of contaminants transported by storm water—such as heavy metals, agricultural and pesticide residues, or endocrine disrupters (EDCs) from wastewater treatment facilities—in shaping the diversity and resiliency of marine/estuarine and aquatic communities. Basma’s field ecology experience, combined with volunteer work in oyster habitat restoration, renewed her interests in environmental policy and management for urbanizing coastal areas.  In 2009, she obtained her Master of Environmental Management degree from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University. 

Basma's graduate work will investigate environmentally-induced stresses for biotic populations—such as fish, crabs or mollusks. She plans to conduct research which investigates these broad questions: How might EDCs or other ‘contaminants of emerging concern’ (CECs) differentially affect biota providing ecosystem services in estuaries and near-shore systems? Could warmer water temperatures or ocean acidification (climate change) synergistically interact with pollutant impacts to biota? Ultimately, Basma is compelled by these questions towards such ‘wicked’ problems because research at the organism and population levels can inform environmental policy development and resource management as well as conservation actions at local and regional scales.

Schoenen

Jodi Schoenen
E-mail:
schoenen@pdx.edu
Research:  Biophysical and social drivers of landscape change; landscape ecology, effects of land ownership patterns and management in forested ecosystems.
Advisor:  Dr. Darrell Brown
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Jodi (IGERT FELLOW) is a scientist and landscape architect with a wide range of experience in ecological restoration, site assessment, ecological risk assessment, and natural resource damage valuation. She holds a B.S. in Biology (Systematics and Ecology) from the University of Kansas – Lawrence. Jodi completed graduate work in International Agriculture and Rural Development at Cornell University, and holds a Masters of Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington – Seattle. Her interests in the sciences have repeatedly involved an interdisciplinary approach – from building a charter high school on an urban farm in New Haven, Connecticut, to developing experiential education methodology in an agricultural school in Guatemala as part of Peace Corps service. During the past 10 years, her work has integrated concepts of landscape ecology in severely contaminated aquatic sites into models of restoration that attempt to merge key ecological service elements biologically, economically, and from a policy perspective. Jodi’s recent project experience includes community analysis in riparian and coastal environments, the development of priority sites for aquatic restoration activities, as well as experience conducting ecological risk assessments for ports, agencies, and industrial clients. Jodi has developed shoreline habitat restoration designs for selected sites along the Lower Duwamish River, the Willamette River, and the Columbia River.

Jodi has deepened her interest in how ecological services might be quantified and then translated into changes in environmental management. Specifically, she is involved in the development of wider-ranging models for quantifying ecosystem services in urban aquatic systems, and is interested in collaborating with local and regional partners who are fostering conversations at the intersection of ecosystem services valuation, economics, and environmental management/policy. 

Watters

Roy Watters
E-mail: wattersr@pdx.edu
Research:
Advisor:  Dr. Virginia Butler
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Roy (IGERT FELLOW) is a cultural anthropologist working on cultural and natural resource management issues. He has worked extensively as a consultant for a cultural resource management firm that works with private companies, federal and state agencies, and Indian Tribes to identify and protect cultural resources under federal and state historic preservation laws. Working closely with Tribes, he has helped develop a Traditional Cultural Property (TCP) Management Plan for a hydroelectric project, led an interdisciplinary team to identify and map cultural plant locations on Tribal lands, and researched historic and Treaty Fishing Access Sites along the Columbia River. He has also contributed to National Park Service research projects in history and ethnography through the PSU Department of Anthropology and the Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit. Roy has designed and conducted ethnographic research in Mexico and the United States in urban, suburban and rural settings.  His field-based research has examined religious experience, technological adoption (Intel), ethnobotany, and Native American cultural and environmental history. Roy has a B.A. from The Evergreen State College and a M.A. in Anthropology from PSU.

Roy plans to work with government agencies and Tribes to identify new avenues for linking the scientific management of ecosystems with Tribal efforts to preserve and restore these same ecosystems. Increasingly, Tribes are seeking opportunities for linking cultural continuity with undertakings to preserve the natural environment and the many species therein that have been sustainably exploited for millennia. Place-based research that integrates scientific natural resource management and Native American traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), and that is informed by a larger research framework such as ecosystem services management, may provide a model for co-management that can be applied in other settings. Roy’s research will be grounded in solving critical, real-world problems by engaging natural resource managers and Tribal organizations to develop collaborative management approaches addressing both natural and cultural resources.

 

2012 Cohort

 

Amy K Coplen
E-mail: acoplen@pdx.edu
Research: Community-based participatory methods, food justice and environmental justice, food systems, urban agriculture.
Advisor:
Dr. Mellie Pullman
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies 

Amy (IGERT FELLOW) is a social ecologist working at the intersection of food studies, policy, sustainability, and environmental education to understand the relationship between communities and urban environments. Amy holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in American Studies from the University of New Mexico. Her undergraduate work focused on the acequia irrigation communities of Northern New Mexico, where ancient agricultural traditions compete with development for scarce water resources. Amy recognized the absence of the environmental, social, and cultural values in resource allocation while contributing to systems dynamics models at Sandia National Laboratories. She believes that an ecosystem services approach to measuring community, social, and environmental health, can account for complex dependencies on natural resources that have traditionally been left out of the equation.

Amy’s master’s work at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies included an ethnography of community gardens utilized by both conservation and public health organizations in New Haven. This work allowed Amy to experiment with creative methods of data collection, including audio recording and photography, and sharing research with broad audiences, through radio, community exhibits, and web-based multimedia. Her project captured the role of community gardens in engaging urban populations, immigrants, people of color, children and youth, and the elderly in both conservation and disease prevention efforts. Amy believes that education is critical to creating sustainable community food systems. After two years of managing food and farm-based curriculum, she has been excited to see the effects of this programming on hundreds of New Haven children and nearly a hundred trained volunteers.

Through a food systems lens, Amy plans to use interdisciplinary, whole systems, and community-based research to promote equitable management of urban spaces. She will explore how urban farms and community gardens contribute to food provisioning, social cohesion, cultural expression, environmental and public health, quality of life, and the strengthening of local food systems.

 

Erin Goodling
E-mail: erin.goodling@pdx.edu
Research: Urban political ecology; social/environmental justice; political economy of cities.
Advisor: Dr. Thad Miller and Dr. Nathan McClintock
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Erin (IGERT FELLOW) is a third-year student in the Urban Studies PhD program at PSU, with field area concentrations in urban environmental politics and community development. Erin combines ten years of teaching and youth development experience with an interest in the politics surrounding urban socioenvironmental issues, especially where environmental and sustainability initiatives intersect with housing and food justice activism. Current research projects investigate the limits and potential for city officials to advance social and environmental justice agendas in the 'sustainability era'; anti-displacement activism in the context of green-themed gentrification; and historical-geographic factors contributing to spatial concentrations of poverty in East Portland. She is also co-facilitating a handful of youth-led participant action research projects around these topics. In addition, Erin is interested in the various ways in which ecosystem services frameworks are deployed and to what end, particularly in urban contexts.

Prior to starting at PSU in 2011, Erin worked as a teacher in social service agencies catering to homeless youth, as well as traditional middle and high schools in Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA, and Ewa Beach, HI. She has led youth excursions focused on human-environment relations in urban and back-country settings in Oregon, Washington, California, Hawaii, Ecuador, and British Columbia. She has co-written two arts-based interdisciplinary curriculum guides for use with middle/high school and undergraduate students, focused on social and environmental justice issues. Erin has a graduate certificate in English Language Learning from Stanford University (2009), an MA in teaching from Lewis & Clark College (2005), and a BA in Spanish from the University of Portland (2003), and is the recipient of a Fund for Teachers Fellowship, two World Savvy Global Educator Fellowships, and the Plank Fellowship Award for Teachers, PSU’s Laurels Fellowship, the Ernie Bonner Equity Planning Scholarship, and PSU’s Student Leadership Award. She recently co-wrote a chapter that will appear in Incomplete Streets: Processes, Practices and Possibilities, (eds. Stephen Zavestoski and Julian Agyeman, forthcoming August 2014).

 

Zbigniew Grabowski
E-mail: z.j.grabowski@pdx.edu
Research:
Advisor:  Dr. Elise Granek and Dr. Heejun Chang
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Zbigniew (IGERT FELLOW) is a free thinking ecologist interested in a wide range of environmental problems stemming from lack of creative vision regarding human-environmental relationships. He will be working on better articulating this vision this summer as a Fellow at the Oakland Based Breakthrough Institute. For the past two years he has lived in London, England, working as an independent consultant with the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community, and as a Co-Investigator on a Valuing Nature Network (Funded by the UK Natural Environment Research Council) Project ‘Stocks and Flows.' His main work has focused on developing conceptual frameworks for investigating the scale dependency of ecosystem attributes in supplying ecosystem services in urban and agro-ecosystems. Previously at the University of Connecticut he worked on a wide range of research questions; spanning plant genetics, food web characterization with isotope techniques (as a summer stint at Yale), and the impacts of beavers on hydro-geomorphology in New England. During his Masters work he spent two months in Panama on a socio-ecological feasibility study for a UN sponsored Reducing Emissions From Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) program. His experiences in Central America went on to inform his work on the relationship between markets for single ecosystem services (in particular carbon) and the multiple outputs and attributes of socio-ecological agro-forest systems. His broad interests span the use of models and environmental inventories in decision-making processes, energy and material flows in ecosystems, traditional and contemporary ecological knowledge, organic farming, and the relationship between the appreciation of nature and human behavior.

As an IGERT Fellow, Zbigniew will be working with Drs. Elise Granek and Heejun Chang to study how different patterns of land use and infrastructural development impact ecological processes and ecosystem services across terrestrial-marine gradients. Using a hydrological lens Zbigniew hopes to refine existing models for ecosystem service valuation and better understand the relationship between cultural drivers of land use and the resultant supply and demand of ecosystem services.

 

Jamaal Green
E-mail: jamgreen@pdx.edu
Research: Sustainable development; economic development; urban planning; equity planning.
Advisor:  Dr. Vivek Shandas 
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Jamaal (IGERT FELLOW) is a planner by training with a masters degree from UNC-Chapel Hill, specializing in economic development. Jamaal, currently a PSU student in Urban Studies and Planning, is studying the spatial and physical aspects of climate change adaptation and mitigation. In addition, he has become increasingly interested in examining the links between sustainability, social equity, racism, and the dichotomous of man's relationship to nature and how these play into what is considered "sustainable" and how that is manifested in a city like Portland. There are situations in all cities, Portland included, that expose the tense relationship between what is commonly understood as "sustainable" (the construction of bike lanes, for example) that run headlong into issues of institutional and cultural racism. In response, many sustainably-minded individuals and organizations risk in perpetuating the very racist institutions and approaches that they should be fighting against because the view of what is "sustainable" is often defined in a sexist, heternormative, and racist fashion. One of my goals is to continually expose these tendencies and to attempt to re-orient sustainability around concepts of social justice and economic opportunity, as well as ecological preservation.

Jamaal’s current research projects include a study examining food insecurity in East Portland, a look at municipal climate action and sustainability plans in order to see if they incorporate equity aspects. Jamaal is also currently performing a preliminary literature review to examine connections between land valuation, ecosystem services, and conservation. While an ESUR IGERT student, he hopes to pursue this land valuation question as part of his dissertation work and to continue to write and research on the intersections of race, privilege, class, and sustainability.

 

Samantha Hamlin
E-mail: shamlin@pdx.edu
Research:
Advisor:  Dr. Heejun Chang
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources 

Samantha (IGERT FELLOW) is a marine biologist and budding environmental economist and policy researcher. Samantha earned her bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in biology, and went on to Western Washington University to earn her M.S. in Marine and Estuarine Science, studying the possible effects of predation on the bleaching response in corals. In order to have a better foundation for conservation work, she then went on to earn her M.B.A., also from Western Washington University. It was during her M.B.A. internship that she discovered an interest in environmental economics and the application of ecosystem services to environmental management. During her internship, Samantha worked with the Natural Resources Marketplace Working Group in Whatcom County, Washington, performing a financial and economic analysis of ecosystem services in the Fishtrap Watershed, a watershed in heavy agricultural production straddling the Washington/British Columbia border. She collaborated with the Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Ecology, local dairy farmers, and biologists and economists from Western Washington University. Specifically, this analysis focused on the costs and benefits to both farmers and the community of agricultural production, salmonid and shellfish production, water flow, flood mitigation, and pollination. The initial financial analysis was expanded to include a spatial and economic analysis to help drive the selection of a pilot site for trading marketplace credits.

Her continuing interest in environmental policy and management has led Samantha to work with the Chair of the Scientific and Technical Review Panel of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, an international, intergovernmental treaty providing a framework for the conservation and wise use of wetlands. Her work for Ramsar has been wide-ranging: benchmarking convention bylaws, researching extractive industry threats in Africa, and analyzing reporting of mining hotspots in Africa.

Samantha is looking forward to integrating her previous research and internship experience with her future ESUR IGERT graduate work with Dr. Heejun Chang. She is interested in the use of environmental economics, spatial analysis, and the quantification of ecosystem services to drive development and environmental management decisions, especially related to water policy and watershed management.

 

Andy Harwood
E-mail: andrew.harwood@pdx.edu
Research:  Marine ecology, conservation genetics, and exploring how shoreline ecosystem's shift in response to urbanization and invasive species pressures.
Advisor: Dr. Elise Granek
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Andy (ISS FELLOW) is a marine ecologist working with Dr. Elise Granek at Portland State University towards his Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Management.  His current research focuses on how non-native species affect coastal ecosystem services and processes. Specifically, he is studying the spread of non-native mangrove trees along the coastlines of Hawai’i and other Pacific Islands.  His interdisciplinary approach combines traditional ecological research with molecular, geochemical, and social science techniques to examine larger suites of ecosystem services and the trade-offs following mangrove colonization and removal efforts.  Participation in the ESUR IGERT Program will help strengthen his communication and collaboration skills while working with this multidisciplinary cohort at PSU. The ESUR Program will also provide additional training in how to improve communication between scientists and managers; a critical component in the development of adaptive management plans to address invasive species challenges.

Before coming to PSU, Andy worked in the Salmonid Genetics Lab at Washington State University where he received a Masters degree studying conservation genetics and hybridization between native and introduced fish species in the Pacific Northwest. He has nearly a decade of experience working on various salmon and habitat restoration efforts in the Columbia River Basin for state and federal agencies including the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, and tribal organizations such as the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. As an American Academy of Underwater Sciences scientific SCUBA diver, he worked for the Marine Ecology Lab at WSU assisting them in monitoring the Marine Protected Areas in Hawai’i. 

As a science educator, Andy participated in the National Science Foundation GK-12 program where he co-taught life science in both 7th and 9th grade classrooms.  Andy’s extreme enthusiasm for science and native wildlife has made him a favorite repeat guest lecturer at over a dozen middle and high schools in the greater Portland metro area.

 

2013 Cohort

 

Diana Denham
E-mail: diana.denham@pdx.edu
Research:  Urban and regional planning; food systems and their relationship to agro-biodiversity, nutrition, livelihoods; communal land management; community-based conservation.
Advisor:  Dr. Nathan McClintock
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Diana (IGERT FELLOW) is a planner by training, with Masters’ degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Latin American Studies from the University of California-Los Angeles. She has lived in Oaxaca, Mexico during the last six years, most recently conducting research on regional food systems in collaboration with a team from the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on Integral Regional Development (CIIDIR, by its Spanish acronym). Working alongside a botanist specializing in agro-biodiversity and an engineer trained in natural resource management, Diana studies the basis of local food security and vulnerabilities related to macro-economic policies, climate and changing government programs in rural communities. Along similar lines, she collaborates closely with a group of youth researchers from the Chinantla, one of the most biologically diverse regions in Mexico, to study their own food system and develop a series of proposals to protect agro-biodiversity and improve nutrition.

At PSU, Diana will broaden the focus of this research to study how these rural indigenous food systems, which are rapidly changing, interact with the urban food system of Oaxaca City. She is interested in the effects of these changes on local economies, landscapes, biodiversity, indigenous cultures and nutrition in both urban and rural areas as well as ways that better planning could produce better outcomes in all of these spheres. By integrating a deeper understanding of ecosystem services, Diana hopes to contribute to a more complete evaluation of traditional food systems.

 

Ashlie Denton
E-mail: adenton@pdx.edu
Research:  Sustainable development's influence on identity creation within government and nonprofits.
Advisor:  Dr. Jennifer Allen and Dr. Veronica Dujon
Degree: Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Policy 

Ashlie was an ISS FELLOW in 2013 and is now an IGERT FELLOW in 2014. Please find her current bio below.  

 

Nicholas Hamilton
E-mail: nichoh@pdx.edu
Research: Wind turbine wake interaction, coherent structure analysis, wind farm optimization, experimental turbulence, low-order modeling, modal analysis.
Advisor:  Dr. Raul Cal and Dr. Vivek Shandas
Degree: Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering

Nicholas (IGERT FELLOW) is a research engineer with focus in fluid mechanics and turbulence. He received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering (PSU) and a M.S. in Turbulence (\'{E}cole Centrale de Lille and ENSMA, France).  Nicholas’ research centers around wind energy and wake interaction within canopies including vegetation, urban canopies, and wind turbine arrays. To date his projects have been focused on wind tunnel experiments with emphasis on scaleability and laser-based measurement techniques such as particle image velocimetry. Publications include several forms of decomposition of turbulent stresses in canopies and statistical analysis of complex flows. This work is leading to low-order representations of wakes for numerical simulations and wind farm design software. As shown in his research, the combined effects of strategic turbine deployment and the entrainment of high-speed wind throughout wake regions play a key role in optimization of future array designs.

Results from Nicholas’ work tie in to many aspects of the design and optimization of wind farms and urban canopies from a flow field perspective. Land usage, canopy density, and atmospheric turbulence have significant implications for local climate exchanges between terrain and atmosphere. These include moisture transport and the fluxes of heavy particles and non-buoyant contaminants, which are known to spread and mix more effectively in turbulent flow regimes. 

Many challenges facing wind energy are not constrained to the physical sciences. As renewable energy becomes a cultural imperative it will be integrated more fully into the new phase of sustainable urban design. As an IGERT fellow, Nicholas' research will focus on the viability of incorporating optimized wind power into rural and urbanizing regions. Findings from these studies will be gathered into recommendations for policy and planning decisions in order to most effectively deploy clean energy for human use.

 

Alicia Imbody
E-mail: aimbody@pdx.edu
Research:  Design and evaluation of sustainable international development programs in post-conflict settings.
Advisor:  Dr. Craig Shinn and Dr. Jennifer Allen
Degree: Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Policy

Alicia (ISS FELLOW) is an international development project manager and evaluator focusing on sustainable international development in post-conflict settings. Alicia completed undergraduate and graduate studies in international relations and economic development at the American and George Washington Universities in Washington, DC. Prior to moving to Portland, she spent 7 years based in the nation’s capital with frequent travel to the Middle East and Central Asia. Her professional background includes a broad range of work in the international development field, with a focus on post-conflict governance and community-based sustainability solutions. Alicia has presented on evaluation methodology and theory at multiple evaluation conferences such as the State Department on Program Evaluation Conference, to audiences ranging across government employees, academia, and industry practitioners. Her academic and professional experiences in complex transitioning settings have exposed her to unique challenges for measuring impact and instituting sustainable program designs. Her most recent work on a stabilization project in southern Afghanistan prompted her to come to Portland to begin a PhD focusing on measurable sustainable solutions for urbanizing post-conflict environments.

As an ESUR IGERT trainee, Alicia is interested in exploring how the unique challenges of post-conflict reconstruction in rapidly urbanizing and transitioning environments affect environmental governance and sustainability measures. She is also interested in how policy makers evaluate whether or not their programs are directly responsible for smaller ecological footprints, land restoration, improved ecosystem services management, and increased public approval of these measures. Alicia hopes to contribute to the institutionalization of empirical evaluation methods into development program design, to ensure environmental sustainability and accountability. Her ongoing research reflects a cross-cultural comparative case study using geographic information system (GIS) technology to ascertain statistically significant correlation and causality between sustainability efforts and quantifiable impact.

 

Melanie Malone
E-mail: melanie.malone@pdx.edu
Research:  Land-systems mapping; geospatial analysis; soil and groundwater contamination.
Advisor:  Dr. Angela Strecker and Dr. Heejun Chang
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Melanie (IGERT FELLOW) is a soil scientist who enjoys using geospatial analyses and field data collection techniques to analyze natural resource systems and anthropogenic impacts. As an undergraduate, Melanie studied Geology and English, and graduated with a double major in both disciplines from Williams College. Melanie obtained her M.S. degree in Soil Science at Oregon State University. Her thesis focused on providing an accurate and useful Land Type Association Map (LTA) of the Fremont-Winema National Forests of South-Central Oregon for the U.S Forest Service. The LTA map was produced by combining geospatial data with the basic predictors of soil formation to predict soil types in her study area. This approach to mapping soils resulted in a more productive and accurate way to map soil types compared to using traditional mapping methods. After graduating from Oregon State University, Melanie worked as a geologist at a private consulting firm. During her time there, she learned much about the history of soil and groundwater contamination in numerous sites around the Portland Metro area and surrounding Northwest states. Melanie became particularly interested in studying the spatial relationships and effects of contamination in water systems in places experiencing increasing urbanization.

For her Ph.D. research, Melanie plans to apply her previous environmental education and background in consulting to explore the effects that pesticide, herbicide, and fertilizer use has on water bodies or stream systems within the Willamette Valley. Through this research, she hopes to enhance our understanding of the consequences of these substances over time and space within water systems of the Willamette Valley, an area with an abundance of agricultural use and increased urbanization.

 

Charles Maxwell
E-mail: cjm23@pdx.edu
Research:  Ecosystem Service Markets, Quantitative Ecology.
Advisor:  Dr. Robert Scheller
Degree: Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Resources

Charles Maxwell (IGERT Fellow) is a forester interested in pairing ecosystem modeling with economic evaluation to assess ecosystem services on the landscape level. Charles is a graduate of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, with Masters degrees in Forestry (MF) and Environmental Management (MEM). Charles also holds a Bachelors degree in Economics from Wake Forest University. While at Duke, Charles developed an interest in the impact of the environment on population health. This interest was further cultivated through a project at the landscape level linking spatial, economic, and health data to evaluate the impact of poor air quality on the health of a population and the subsequent economic impact. It was through this analysis that Charles became interested in further exploring novel approaches of utilizing ecology and economics to investigate ways to realign incentives to address such problems.

As an IGERT Fellow, Charles will be working with Dr. Robert Scheller in the Dynamic Ecosystems and Landscape Lab to integrate landscape level modeling with bio-economic production models. The wide variety of forest issues investigated by the lab and the interdisciplinary approach of the ESUR program is why he applied, and he is excited to help find solutions to environmental problems.

 

Mary Ann Rozance
E-mail: rozance@pdx.edu
Research:  Land use policy and planning; social-ecological systems; landowner behavior in urbanizing regions; examining landowner responses to policies.
Advisor:  Dr. Vivek Shandas
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Mary Ann (IGERT FELLOW) is an environmental social science researcher exploring the seemingly impenetrable land use questions characteristic of social-ecological systems. Her research interests center on the desire to move toward solutions in land use planning and policy. Over the past several years, her areas of focus have included the role of private landowners in shaping our landscape, understanding how social sciences can be applied to ecosystem recovery efforts, examining factors that affect how people interact with the environment and how they respond to policies. Both during and after completing her Bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of British Columbia, Mary Ann worked in landowner incentive and education programs in Lake Tahoe and Southern California, providing various “carrots and sticks” to motivate environmental practices. This experience helped her recognize the heterogeneity of landowner values, perceptions and attitudes and how these differences reflect across the landscape. Between 2008 and 2010 she attended University of Washington to pursue a Master’s degree from the School of Environment and Forest Science studying forest landowners in Washington State and their likelihood of anticipating development on their property. Since then, she has continued to work on social science research within the Puget Sound region and has served as the Program Coordinator for the Washington State University Extension North Puget Sound Forest Stewardship Program.

As a Ph.D. student in the Urban Studies program and as an IGERT Fellow, Mary Ann will continue her research in examining landowner behavior in urbanizing regions. One of the challenges facing policy makers is to motivate private landowners to implement practices that will mitigate harmful effects of land and resource use. Solutions for implementing behavior change on private lands will require an understanding of landowner behavior related to social and economic factors; her doctoral work will be to examine, define and test these solutions. By untangling the inherent complexities in land use in urbanizing systems, she hopes her research will help identify potential solutions, aiding leaders and policy makers who are faced with challenging environmental problems. 

 

2014 Cohort

 

Ariana Chiapella
E-mail: ac23@pdx.edu
Research: Aquatic ecology, community response to anthropogenic stressors in aquatic environments, high-elevation lakes.
Advisor: Dr. Angela Strecker
Degree: Ph.D. in Earth, Environment, and Society

Ariana (ISS Fellow) is an aquatic ecologist interested in the effects of anthropogenic stressors on aquatic environments. Ariana graduated from the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. While attending MCLA, she helped write a successful grant proposal that funded an E. coli source tracking project. As an undergrad, she also worked as a research assistant at Williams College as part of a polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) biomonitoring project, where she developed and tested methods for PCB analysis in crayfish tissue.

After graduating, Ariana worked as the Director of the Massachusetts Audubon’s Leaders-In-Training program at the Boston Nature Center, which sought to inspire environmental stewardship and education in teens through leadership-based curriculum. She then completed a year-long term of AmeriCorps service with the Watershed Stewards Project, where she was involved with salmonid lifecycle monitoring and restoration projects, and taught watershed-based science in an underprivileged elementary school.

For her Ph.D. studies, Ariana plans to investigate the effects of trout stocking on the distribution of contaminants (namely PCBs) in high elevation lakes of North Cascades National Park. Her research will contribute critical information about the fate of contaminates in montane lake systems and inform park management decisions and policy. Her overarching goal is to illuminate the connection between urban practices and their effects on wilderness areas.

 

Katie Conlon
E-mail:
Research: 
Advisor: Dr. Veronica Dujon
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Katie (IGERT Fellow) specializes in international development and peacebuilding.  She has a curiosity and love for the world, environment, and cultures, which has led her to live, work and study around the globe.  She recently finished a Masters of International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame where her thesis focused on the intersection of climate change response and peacebuilding. For her Masters she also spent 6 months with the government of Bhutan as an intern in the Gross National Happiness Commission, where she worked with their policy department and researched sustainable development and climate change effects in the Himalayas. In the years leading up to her Masters, Katie spent over two years in Mali working in the Sahara in the Peace Corps; a year in Guinea working for Peace Corps Response; a year in Trinidad & Tobago instigating environmental education; a year in Japan teaching English through the JET Program; some time working on permaculture farms in Hawaii; and several other volunteer positions.  These diverse experiences have given her much to reflect upon.

As an IGERT Fellow, Katie hopes to explore sustainable solutions for urban environments in the developing world. In 2007, the world became predominantly urban for the first time in human history and in 2015 the world is projected to be 70% urban, and the population is estimated to grow by 2.3 billion over the next 40 years, with this growth concentrated in the urban centers of Asia, Africa, and South America. This is a crucial time to be focusing on sustainability, and creating sustainable and resilient urban communities is a huge opportunity to change the way the world develops, from an unbalanced, rapid-growth driven model to a holistic, cross-sector balanced sustainable model of modern development. Katie is energetically committed in her research to finding solutions that relieve both social and environmental pressures. Particular areas of research she plans to synthesize are community engagement, alternative energy sources, and the localization movement (of the economy & our food systems). She looks forward to the diverse learning environment and expertise at PSU and working with her peers. 

 

Ashlie Denton
E-mail: adenton@pdx.edu
Research:  Sustainable development's influence on identity creation within government and nonprofits.
Advisor:  Dr. Jennifer Allen and Dr. Veronica Dujon
Degree: Ph.D. in Public Affairs and Policy

Ashlie (IGERT Fellow) is a second-year student in PSU’s Public Affairs and Policy Ph.D. Program. Through her education, she has gained a desire to develop research and implementation opportunities that work to address interwoven issues, such as environmental sustainability, poverty, justice, health, and assets, as bound instead of easily separated. She sees these interconnected issues as needing to be thoroughly explored when considering person- and place-based strategies for creating more connected, equitable communities. Ashlie’s research will be focused on multidisciplinary collaboration looking at distribution of resources, environmental best practices, and civic engagement as they relate to effectiveness and identity-creation of various policies related to the urban environment.

Ashlie has a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Taylor University in Indiana. Through these degrees, she has had the opportunity to engage in a broad range of research opportunities, each of which has provided a unique perspective, increasing the scope of her personal research. As an ESUR IGERT Fellow, she looks forward to working with community partners and continuing to engage in multidisciplinary collaboration in her work.

 

Cody Evers
E-mail:
Research: Coupled human and natural systems; environmental systems modeling; geospatial analysis; agent-based modeling; wildfire
Advisor: Dr. Max Nielsen-Pincus
Degree: Ph.D. in Earth, Environment, and Society

Cody (IGERT Fellow) is an environmental social scientist pursuing his doctorate in the Earth Ecosystems and Society program at PSU, beginning Fall 2014. He is interested in researching the interaction of coupled natural and human ecosystems at a regional scale. His work is conducted by linking social and physical models to GIS systems, either using ‘off-the-shelf’ packages or as ‘developed-from-scratch’ for a specific need.

Cody graduated from the University of Oregon with dual masters degrees in Environmental Studies as well as Community and Regional Planning. His thesis considered the impact of rural development on water quality by mapping hydrologically active soils. Previous to his Masters work, he was a middle school science teacher in Colorado. His undergraduate degree was obtained in Molecular Biology from Colorado College.

Much of Cody’s recent work has centered on understanding wildfires in response to changing landscapes and changing climates, including: a NSF study looking at the emergence of wildfire in the southern Willamette Valley through the interactions of climate change, forest management, and an expanding wildland urban interface; an USFS project that assessed the risk of wildfire within the contaminated forests surrounding Chernobyl, Ukraine; and, a JFS study that examined the economic impact of large wildfires on rural communities. He has also worked as an analyst on a NIH study looking at the effects of neighborhood and family on childhood obesity.

As an IGERT fellow, Cody and his advisor, Dr. Nielsen-Pincus, are interested in using agent-based modeling (ABM) to explore and communicate dynamics of ecosystem services, particularly with regards to 'regulatory services' and climate change resiliency. Initial lines of research may include: examining the potential of ABM to communicate complexity and uncertainty to a wider public, and; employing ABM to assess how 'service pathways' moderate the provision of ecosystem regulatory services.

 

Daniel Larson
E-mail: dlar2@pdx.edu
Research: Ecosystem service appraisal, hydrologic modeling, watershed restoration, geospatial analysis
Advisor: Dr. Heejun Chang
Degree: Ph.D. in Earth, Environment, and Society

Daniel (IGERT Fellow) is a geographer with an interest in how urban areas utilize freshwater ecosystem services. As an undergraduate, Daniel studied archaeology at University of California, Santa Barbara. Daniel worked at a few environmental consulting firms in Sacramento, California before returning to pursue a Masters degree in Geography with an emphasis in Environmental Policy and Planning at California State University, Chico. While at Chico, Daniel worked as a GIS Research Assistant at the CSU Chico Research Foundation Geographical Information Center. He also performed restoration research at the Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve. In graduate school Daniel developed a keen interest in the emerging ecosystem service paradigm. Daniel's thesis research used the InVEST model to assess how a large wildfire influenced freshwater ecosystem services for urban consumers. The research evolved into a sensitivity analysis of the model itself. Daniel learned that an increased emphasis must be placed on the methodological rigor for ecosystem service tools and research. After finishing at CSU Chico, Daniel held a summer research position at the University of California Bren School of Environmental Science. Daniel designed urban development scenarios for the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board and modeled how different growth patterns would affect water quality in the Malibu Creek Watershed. Daniel has a passion for researching the linkages between rural ecosystems and urban centers.

As an IGERT Fellow, Daniel will be working with Dr. Heejun Chang to investigate the benefits and trade-offs of one watershed restoration treatment versus the other. Are the spatial and temporal scales different from one treatment to the next? Which is the most cost-effective? The inter-disciplinary approach of the ESUR program is a good fit for addressing these complex issues. Daniel hopes his research will enable metropolitan areas to improve damaged habitats through restoration projects, and use their water resources more effectively.

 

Anandi van Diepen-Hedayat
E-mail: av5@pdx.edu
Research:
environmental quality, health disparities, food systems, housing & community development
Advisor: Dr. Vivek Shandas
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Anandi (IGERT Fellow) is an interdisciplinary social scientist and policy researcher. She has previously conducted independent environmental justice research on the intersections of environmental policy and ethnic studies: one on herbicide pollution in Native American homelands and another on farmworkers' exposure to heat hazards through the lens of climate change adaptation planning. Environmental anthropologists and scholars in Latin American & Latina/o studies figure prominently among her academic mentors. Anandi's background includes teaching, program evaluation, editing, and writing.

In 2014, she was graduated from Yale University with a Master of Environmental Science degree--focusing on anthropology and public health--and in 2011 from the University of California (Santa Cruz) with a BA in Environmental Studies, minoring in ethnic and area studies. She is also an alum of Labor Summer, an internship with UC Berkeley's Institute for Research on Labor & Employment, as well as the journalism and public affairs summer internship with the UC Center in Sacramento. Other interests include Spanish and statistics.

At PSU, Anandi's plan is a) to collaborate on examining the environmental health outcomes of urban and regional planning policy, and b) to inquire of affordable housing strategies that promote environmental welfare-that is, simultaneous environmental quality and human well-being.

 

Michael Weisdorf
E-mail: weisdorf@pdx.edu
Research:
Ecological economics; socio-ecological systems; multi-scale modeling.
Advisors: Dr. Vivek Shandas and Dr. Wayne Wakeland
Degree: Ph.D. in Urban Studies

Michael (IGERT Fellow) is a third degree scholar at Portland State University, where he has pursued degrees in Social Science (B.S.), Systems Science (M.S.), and now Urban Studies (Ph.D.) Focused on the intersection of ecological and economic systems, his work throughout has aspired to a broader understanding of the economic life process as a complex of forms of human ecological behavior. His transdisciplinary approach emphasizes the application of natural science methods and perspectives to subjects typically associated with social science and economics. His work at the School of the Environment concerns modeling the interface between terrestrial ecology and political economy, drawing insight from such fields as ecological economics, political psychology, theory of games, and complex systems. His PhD project will build on that foundation by developing empirical methods for applying the model to the study of the urban superorganism and its behavioral ecology.

Employing computer modeling and simulation techniques, Michael has applied his perspective to projects in both civic and public sectors in Oregon over the last decade, in areas including alternative econometrics, intergenerational financial policy studies, conventional resource management, and public interest research. He is also a contributor to an international community of interdisciplinary researchers working to further the development of the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI), a compound statistical index of sustainable economic welfare. In the last century, the prevailing allocation mechanisms vastly overcapitalized the combustion industries, altering the global climate under the weight of excess (uneconomic) throughput. In the coming century, policy must consider the optimal scale of economic activity, subject to definite limits of geospatial ecology. In that light, GPI analyses at subnational, national, and international levels are designed to help distinguish between beneficial growth and problematic overgrowth.