Thesis Title: “Two millennia of change: the dynamics of the forest tension zone in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan U.S.A
This research examined changes in the forest tension zone, an ecotone located in the central Lower Peninsula of Michigan, between the deciduous forests in the southern Lower Peninsula and the mixed coniferous-deciduous forests in the northern Lower Peninsula. First, a quantitative baseline of forest composition was developed through statistical analysis of the Public Land Survey (PLS) data. Then, forest change was reconstructed through high resolution fossil pollen analysis conducted on sediments from three lakes straddling the tension zone. The fossil pollen analysis documented significant changes in the forests around the three lakes and within the tension zone itself over the last 2000 years. Three major ecotone transitions were identified during this time period.
Since 2007, both my husband, Joseph Hupy (MSU Geog Alumni 2005) and I have been Assistant Professors at the University of Wisconsin Eau Claire. We have two kids, Katya Hupy (4) and Annika Hupy (6mths). At UWEC, I teach both introductory and advanced courses in GIS as well as conservation of the environment and biogeography. While I no longer conduct fossil pollen research, I have continued research within the realm of biogeography. Recent projects include applying Randy Schaetzl’s Soil Drainage Index to examine relationships between tree species distribution and soil moisture in Central Michigan, and investigating the drivers of floodplain oak savanna using historical geospatial data as well as dendrochronological data .Conducting research with undergraduates here at UWEC has lead me on numerous other research endeavors including using LiDAR data to identify geomorphic features, crime mapping and pattern analysis, and most recently the development of a GIS-based habitat model for the Cayos Cochinos Boa Constrictor on the island of Cayos Cochinos in Honduras. In 2010, I led a group of 9 students to the island of Cayos Cochinos in Honduras, to collect data for the habitat model. This research is ongoing and will hopefully aid in the conservation of the this threatened and rare species. Life in a two child, two tenure-tract faculty family has certainly been busy. While we are not engaged in academic pursuits, Joe and I love to garden and visit the Upper Peninsula with our girls.