Synopsis of Graduate Research: For my Master’s thesis I studied two loess sheets in the Upper Great Lakes region; one in the western Upper Peninsula of Michigan and one in north-central Wisconsin. The goal of my research was to determine the source area(s) of the two loess sheets. To determine the likely source areas, I established soil sampling transects away from several prominent Late Wisconsin end moraines bordering the loess sheets. My research provided evidence that landscapes that have previously been overlooked as loess sources may, in fact, have provided substantial amounts of eolian sediment to stable, upland landscapes in immediate post-glacial times.
Since leaving MSU I have been working for Tetra Tech, an environmental consulting company. The particular office I belong to specializes in investigation and remediation of polluted streams throughout the US. The scope of my work with Tetra Tech mostly involves fluvial geomorphology, soil geomorphology, and GIS. My tasks included collecting sediment samples from rivers and the adjoining floodplains and examining those samples for soil and sediment characterization. Using my knowledge of fluvial systems, I help determine the geomorphic areas in a stream that are most likely to contain pollutants and the best way to clean-up the stream. My current project is working on the Kalamazoo River oil spill that occurred in July, 2010 in southwest Michigan.