Professor and Department Head, Conservation Social Sciences
I worked as a wilderness ranger with the US Forest Service for thirteen seasons, while I studied anthropology (Pomona College, Duke University) and later forestry (Oregon State University) in college and graduate school. As a core member of the Forest Service’s Wilderness Information Management Steering Team, I helped create the national program for monitoring wilderness character. I have taught courses on wilderness management, wilderness monitoring, and wilderness education at university and for the Arthur Carhart National Wilderness Training Center for more than 15 years.
My wilderness-related research spans topics from monitoring trends in recreational impacts to vegetation, to understanding the nature of wilderness experiences, to developing innovative collaborative processes to engage stakeholders in making decisions regarding management of recreation in wilderness. I have conducted studies across the country, helping establish wilderness direction for Shenandoah National Park, refine the permit system for boating on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon, monitor campsite impacts in the Eagle Cap Wilderness, and inform the wilderness management plan for Yosemite National Park. My research earned me the national Excellence in Wilderness Stewardship Research from the US Forest Service in 2009.