I am a cultural landscape ecologist with a design background. My focus is optimizing conservation strategies for nature and people using citizen engagement, landscape scenarios, and robust geospatial analyses. Fostering bioregional place attachment and stewardship are core to my work. I have designed innovative ‘spatial narrative’ geotools for mapping cultural landscape values, which have been piloted in the Upper Great Lakes region, and are planned for the Swiss Landscape Monitoring program. In another study, my lab is capturing water management practices in China to protect waterbird habitat and local fishing livelihoods under changing hydrology.
More widely, I am President of the US Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, and co-editor of the Springer Landscape Series. I also designed and directed (2014-2018) the Professional graduate programs in Environmental Conservation and Environmental Observation and Informatics within the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, training conservation leaders through professional experiences. For those programs I teach several blended and online GIS modules, am writing a Conservation GIS e-book, and am active in the Geodesign community.
This integrated expertise and scholarly practice stems from an education in forest and cultural ecology and landscape architecture. I have an established career beginning in forest management, applied landscape ecology, and design with the US Forest Service, followed by over 20 years of academic teaching and research in GIS, conservation, and ecological design. Through these roles and research, I travel between the Great Lakes, Europe, and China.
Previously I served on the faculty of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture at Washington State University (1995-1999), and was employed by the U.S. Forest Service in Pennsylvania and Upper Michigan as a landscape architect (1987-1993), and as a landscape ecologist (1993-1995). I have a B.S. in landscape architecture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and an M.S. and Ph.D. from Michigan Technological University, with emphases on cultural ecology, landscape history, and landscape ecology.