Education and Research Interests
Currently, I am a PhD Candidate in Archaeology working with Dr. Tim Kohler in the Department of Anthropology at Washington State University. My research interests include modeling, agriculture, paleoclimate, computational archaeology, environmental archaeology, and research that surrounds how humans respond to environmental change. I am currently a research assistant on a grant called Synthesizing Knowledge of Past Environments (SKOPE), which is an “is an online resource for paleoenvironmental data and models.”
My dissertation research focuses on experimenting with paleoecological data (e.g., pollen) to assess whether or not different approaches are feasible for paleoclimatic field reconstructions. In addition, I will also use pollen data to generate vegetation (biome) reconstructions. By using tree-ring and pollen data, we can gain a better understanding of the paleoclimate and the spatial distribution of vegetation communities and how those changed over time. These data can be used to better understand changes in demography and how people responded to environmental change.
I received a MS in Applied Geography, specializing in Environmental Archaeology, in August 2016 from the University of North Texas. My Master’s thesis research, under the direction of Dr. Lisa Nagaoka, was focused on developing a new static geospatial soil moisture model to determine potential prehistoric farming locations and to understand the farmer to agricultural field relationship, and how that relationship may have changed over time. I focused on soil moisture (a key point for pinpointing drought) as water is the limiting factor for agriculture in semiarid climatic regions. This allowed me to look at farmable land around the archaeological sites, and understand how people interacted with the landscape when they walked out of their front doors.
I completed an associates degree in Pre-Engineering at Wallace State Community College 2005. I completed a bachelors degree in Mathematics and Natural Sciences and another in Biblical Studies (focus on old testament and language) at Freed-Hardeman University in 2008. I completed my final undergraduate degree (B.S.) in Anthropology/Archaeology with a Minor in Music at Middle Tennessee State University in December 2011. My primary research focus was on Zooarchaeology and Turtle Shell Rattles in the Southeastern United States.
In the summer of 2012, I started my post-undergraduate career working for the Center for the Study of the First Americans. Next, I began working for several different CRM firms doing both field and lab work for different Cultural Resource Management projects. I started full time with TRC Environmental, INC. in August 2013; I worked as a full-time crew chief and the senior field/lab technician until beginning graduate school in August 2014.
In addition, I am also an Editorial Assistant for Ethnobiology Letters (EBL) of the Society for Ethnobiology. In addition, I served as an Executive Board Member for the Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology (TCPA) from 2014–2018. You can also check out and like the Facebook page HERE. However, I currently serve on the TCPA Legislative Committee and am a Government Affairs Network State Representative for the Society for American Archaeology.
I present at academic conferences and pursue writing in my spare time. I also really enjoy interacting with and giving presentations to the public.
When I am not doing my best to conquer the world of Academia, I am a keen cook. My partner, Bailey, and I built a raised bed garden, so we have been harvesting a lot of vegetables to cook and eat from our own garden. We have been growing spinach, lettuce, kale, garlic, scallions, green onions, parsley, tomatoes, potatoes, jalapeños, serrano peppers, strawberries, and mint. I also enjoy hiking and doing anything outdoors.