Geography Undergraduate Student
The Department of Geography at the University of Idaho has provided me numerous exciting and educational experiences, not only through classwork and projects, but also through undergraduate research. I have worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Applied Climate Science Laboratory under the advisement of Dr. John Abatzoglou to understand observed changes in phenology across the United States over the last 60 years by analyzing climate records. My work has shown that there has been a significant advance in the onset date of spring green-up as modeled using climate data. However, we also show that the date of the last spring freeze event has changed at a different pace, thereby altering the potential for cold-damage to vegetation. I have had the opportunity to present my work at both the College of Science Student Expo, where I was awarded the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Award, and at the 2012 International Phenology Conference for which I received a fellowship. I was also fortunate to participate in an National Science Foundation sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) through Texas A&M that brought a group of students from across the country to work on hydroecology in the tropical forests of Costa Rica. Whether it be hiking Moscow Mountain to find fungus, presenting at an international conference or collecting precipitation from a tropical rainforest, UI has left a profound impact on both me and my future.