I am a marine ecologist who strives to maintain a balance between traditional field work and cutting-edge computer modeling. I am particularly interested in studying how estuaries, like Chesapeake Bay, respond to environmental stressors (i.e., excess nutrients, hypoxia, and climate change) and in developing new methods to understand how they might respond to state and federal management plans. My current research focuses on developing ecosystem models that simulate important biological, chemical, and physical processes in the York River in order to develop a better understanding of the factors that lead to the formation, spread, and disruption of dead zones (hypoxia). Additionally, I am employing a series of these models from multiple systems along the U.S. east coast to gain insight into how these marine ecosystems will respond to climate change and sea level rise.
As someone who has been fortunate enough to interact with both middle and high school science students through outreach programs in the past, I understand that the GK12 program offers an incredible opportunity for not only the high school students and teachers, but also the graduate fellows. I applied for this GK12 program so that I could help teach and hopefully inspire the students, and also refine my own teaching skills, which I believe extends well beyond that age group and up to even the graduate level.