Ph.D. Climate Sciences, Universität Bern (Switzerland)
M.Sc. Physical Geography, Carleton University
B.Sc. Environmental Science, Carleton University
Although born on the west coast of Canada (Victoria, BC), I consider myself Nova Scotia grown and call Cole Harbour home. I moved to Ottawa for my undergraduate degree (Carleton University) in environmental science and was able to pursue summer research opportunities investigating paleoecology and forest disturbance ecology in northern Canada. This led to studying for a master's degree at Carleton in geography and research on biogeography in the Northwest Territories. At this point my love for northern environments was well established, but with an opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. in Switzerland, it was an offer (and a lot of chocolate) I couldn’t turn down. I spent three and a half years in Zürich investigating tree growth dynamics in stunning alpine Swiss valleys. Upon returning to Canada I taught for two semesters as a part-time faculty member at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick. In 2015 I joined the Department of Geography & Planning at Queen’s University as the Robert Gilbert Postdoctoral Fellow and called Kingston home. In this position I was able to re-establish work on vegetation change in northern Canada, continue collaboration with European colleagues and develop some new interests in urban forests. In January 2018 I started as an assistant professor of environmental science at Augustana and am very much looking forward to the opportunity to teaching at a liberal arts institution and calling another Canadian province home. Outside of the university you might catch me in my garden, on the ski trails, paddling a river or playing ultimate.
I have a broad set of research interests based around the topic of forest response to ecosystem change both contemporary and historical and within natural and urban environments. I am interested in combining different methods (crossing temporal scales from minutes to millennia) to bridge knowledge gaps and more completely understand forest response.
I am continuing to pursue several projects from previous positions that involve annual ring development (xylogenesis) and the response of northern forests across ecotones. Having worked at latitudinal treeline during my MSc and elevational treeline during my PhD, I am interested in investigating possible similarities and/or differences in response between these systems. These projects have been expanded to look at wider networks of species-specific responses to environmental change and to think about wider ecosystem implications of vegetation change.
I am currently exploring possibilities for different research topics at Augustana.
"And live in fascination...fascination forever"
- Draw Us Lines, Constantines
My teaching philosophy is closely linked to my own experiences as a lifelong learner who wakes each day with a sense of fascination for the world. I have a desire to use my role as an occasion to connect with students and increase awareness of the world around them. My teaching experience has primarily involved environmental and physical science courses. I view natural science as a fundamentally hands-on, exploratory pursuit and I am excited to develop courses related to my own background in biogeography and forest ecology. I'm very interested in taking advantage of Augustana's new 3-11 semester structure to develop ideas for a field course that would provide an immersive, experiential learning opportunity.
I have taught several geography and environmental studies courses at Mount Allison University and Queen's University. Courses that I have taught at Augustana include the following:
AUENV 233 - Soil Science and Soil Resources (W11 2018, W11 2020)
AUENV 220 - Solutions in Sustainability (F3 2018, W3 2019, W3 2020, next offering W3 2021)
AUGEO 351 - Biogeography (F11 2018)
AUGEO 251 - Climatology (W11 2019)
I will be leading two new courses in 2020/21! In the Fall 3-week I will be teaching a Dendrochronology field course (AUIDS 387) based at the newly expanded Augustana Miquelon Lake Research Station and in the Winter 11-week I will be leading a 4th year seminar course on the Scientific Basis of Climate Change. If you have any questions about either course, please get in touch!
If you are interested in potential directed reading projects or RA positions with the Augustana Tree-Ring Lab, please get in touch!
Supervised laboratory or field research project. Prerequisites: Consent of the instructor. Notes: Admission to the course normally requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Biology. An Application for Individual Study must be completed and approved before registration in the course.Fall Term 2021
Introductory analysis of the interrelationships between society and the natural world, environmental consequences, and human perceptions. The characteristics and interactions of physical environmental systems and various facets of resource management (including forestry, agriculture, fisheries, protected areas, endangered species, and pollution) are described and analyzed. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUENV 120 and AUGEO 120 (2021).Winter Term 2022 Fall Term 2022
An introductory course in the theoretical and applied aspects of sustainability as it relates to key categories of energy, food, water, pollution, waste and their impacts on the environment. Current technological advances and emerging initiatives based on lowering our ecological footprint provide a basis for examining sustainability science as it relates to environmental challenges in a changing world.Winter Term 2022 Winter Term 2023
Soil characteristics, formation, processes, occurrence, classification, and management in the natural and modified environment. Prerequisites: *3 course in AUBIO, AUCHE, AUENV, or AUPHY. Notes: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUENV 233 and AUGEO 233 (2021).Fall Term 2021
An introductory methods-based course to establish and develop methods and skills of the environmental science discipline while applying the scientific method in various ecosystems of Alberta. Prerequisite: AUENV 120.Fall Term 2022
Supervised research project and intensive study of a specific area in environmental science as defined by the student and supervising instructor. Prerequisites: *6 in Environmental Studies. Notes: Admission to the course normally requires a minimum GPA of 3.0 in Environmental Studies/Science. An Application for Individual Study must be completed and approved before registration in the course. AUENV 401 is classified as a science courses.Fall Term 2021
Overview of the historical developments, past and current impacts, and changing roles of the field of environmental science. Prerequisites: One of AUBIO 350, AUENV 320, 324, 350, 420, AUGEO 320 (2021), 324 (2021), 420 (2021) and at least fourth-year standing. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUENV 421 and AUGEO 421 (2021).Winter Term 2022
The Community Partnership Project is a project-based course in the Augustana Core. With the support of a faculty advisor, students will work in small multidisciplinary groups on a specific issue raised by a community partner. This course introduces students to the skills and knowledge they need to work professionally with community partners, while reinforcing their ability to work collaboratively on a project. Prerequisite: AUIDS 201.Winter Term 2023