Research

Current Work

I am currently a forester for the Bureau of Land Management in Humboldt County, California.

Past Work

I’ve been with the BLM since September 2018. I started as a Forestry Technician for the Mother Lode Field Office and then a Plant Technician focused on the Pine Hill Preserve. I moved to the Arcata Field Office in December 2019. Throughout my time with the BLM, I’ve worked on forest health and fuels reduction projects, developed and implemented monitoring protocols, and started working in wildland fire and prescribed fire.

Between graduate school and my time with the BLM, I worked as a field technician for a terrestrial Li-DAR study out of the University of Nevada, Reno with Dr. Johnathan Greenberg. This was a pioneering project on utilizing terrestrial Li-DAR in forestry and fuels research.

Other past work experience includes post-fire regeneration and plant surveys on the King Fire in the central Sierra Nevada with the intention of developing a study on the effects of salvage logging at different intensities on regeneration, plant communities, and fuels. I also worked as a Plant Technician for the Forest Service as my first field job back in 2014 on the Stanislaus Tuolumne Experimental forest (where I would later conduct my graduate research). During my summer at STEF, I was part of a crew that conducted plant surveys and collected overstory data to identify differences across units with different types of thinning and prescribed fire. This project solidified my passion for field work and the role of fire in forest ecosystems and would later begin my interest in public land management.

Master’s Research

FOREST DENSIFICATION OVER 85 YEARS IN A SIERRA NEVADA MIXED-CONIFER: CONIFER REGENERATION AND SURVIVAL

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Forest densification in response to a century of fire suppression in Sierra Nevada mixed conifer forests has decreased conifer regeneration and survival. Increases in overstory biomass and decreases in canopy heterogeneity, along with decreases in shrub cover in the understory, has created unfavorable establishment site conditions for conifer species. Establishment site conditions are key in promoting germination and establishment of conifers seeds and in determining the survival of these seedlings into the overstory. These changes in establishment site suitability resulting from the removal of disturbance from these forests has decreased conifer regeneration and survival into other age classes.

In Sierra Nevada mixed-conifer forests, the relationship between establishment site conditions and conifer regeneration is multifaceted, and changes to microsite conditions as a result of fire suppression further confounds our understanding of conifer regeneration requirements and survival probability. Additionally, the relationship between Sierra Nevada shrubs and conifer seedlings is complex and not clearly understood, as these studies have been over relatively short time frames, and no research has examined the relationship between shrub cover and conifer seedlings throughout time in the Sierra Nevada. Using a historic dataset beginning 85 years ago and a re-measurement of the same plots, I examined changes to conifer regeneration dynamics from historic to current forests in response to forest densification following a century of fire suppression. I also analyzed the importance of establishment conditions on seedling survival into the canopy and how these factors have changed throughout time. The relationships between seedlings and their establishment site conditions will influence regeneration and survival, which will ultimately determine the structure and composition of future forests.