Tom Gorman
College of Natural Resources
Ph: 208.885.7402

Taylor Joyal

Teaching Assistant, Semester In The Wild

Researching rivers for over a decade, I am drawn to the complexity that underlies the simple beauty of running water. I received a MS from Northern Arizona University focused on Fluvial Geomorphology and stayed to teach Environmental Science, Field Geology and Geomorphology at NAU, always requiring my students to experience fundamental concepts outdoors. During this time I also investigated the impacts of wildfire on stream channel shape and aquatic habitat along the southern edge of the Colorado Plateau and in the canyons of Mesa Verde National Park. After several years of teaching and research, I joined the Peace Corps and worked hand-in-hand with Dominicans to resolve pressing environmental and human health issues including toxic pesticide use, the impacts of dam construction on rural communities, and coral reef degradation. Following two years in the Peace Corps, I joined a team of natural and social science PhD students at the University of Idaho. Our ongoing team-based research in Costa Rica is aimed at providing ideas for effective management of springwater sources in rural areas. I am also currently studying impacts of human land use on watershed hydrology, channel shape, and habitat condition within the central mountains of Costa Rica.

My experiences have taught me that untangling difficult concepts in natural science is best done while seeing natural processes unfold in front of you, and I love seeing students make these discoveries. Our upcoming Semester In The Wild will allow us to see first-hand the connections that make river systems the core of our wildlands.