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!
Analysis of the spatial patterns of biotic systems and species. The course examines their past and present distribution patterns in the context of biological and ecological processes and human impacts. The course employs several methods of analysis, including geographic information systems. Prerequisite: AUBIO 253. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUBIO 351 and AUGEO 351. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section of the Calendar.Fall Term 2020
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.Fall Term 2020 Winter Term 2021
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 2021
Advanced study of a selected topic in environmental studies. Focus and content of each course are determined by student and faculty interests, and vary from year to year. Prerequisites: Third-year standing or consent of the instructor; previous course(s) in Environmental Studies and other disciplines as determined by the instructor.Winter Term 2021
Analysis of the spatial patterns of biotic systems and species. The course examines their past and present distribution patterns in the context of biological and ecological processes and human impacts. The course employs several methods of analysis, including geographic information systems. Prerequisite: AUBIO 253. Note: Credit may be obtained for only one of AUGEO 351 and AUBIO 351. Requires payment of additional student instructional support fees. Refer to the Fees Payment Guide in the University Regulations and Information for Students section of the Calendar.Fall Term 2020