Date of graduation: December 2005
Major advisor: Robert Walker
My dissertation addressed the forest fragmentation patterns that emerge as a result of roads built by loggers in the Brazilian Amazon. In particular, I studied how social and behavioral processes translated into spatial decisions about road routing and ultimately into GIS-based simulations that mimicked road network construction in the forest. I combined theoretical models of economic behavior with graph theory and GIS algorithms to model different types of roads.
Dissertation-based articles were published in the Annals of the AAG and Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing and also led to an NSF project. After leaving MSU, I got a tenure-track position in the department of Environmental Studies at a liberal arts college in upstate NY called Hobart and William Smith Colleges. I taught courses on GIS, Climate Change, and Human Geography. One of the best experiences I had there was to co-direct a semester abroad program in Peru-Ecuador. This year, I accepted a tenure-track position in the department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas, Austin and am now a Long-horned Spartan.