Who I am

My research, teaching, and leadership is focused on the sustainability of natural systems and the development of solutions to difficult problems at the interface of humans and the environment.  With a background in hydrology and ecology, my early career focused on testing hypotheses derived from fundamental ecological theory in marine and stream ecosystems.  Given dramatic declines in the health of these, by the late 1990’s I began working closely with natural resource managers to better understand how my research could contribute to the conservation and restoration of running-water systems. This ultimately led me in 2010 to propose creation of a National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) which now serves the broad community of social, natural, and computational scholars, policy makers, business leaders, and other stakeholders in co-developing solutions to difficult problems at the interface of humans and nature.  At SESYNC, I am leading efforts to: use novel approaches for accelerating progress by the highly heterogeneous, transdisciplinary teams we serve; advance the science of team science; and, enhance the computational and cyber skills of scholars.

Aside from my current work with the SESYNC community and my lab’s research, I remain very active in working with nonprofits to provide scientific input on the impact of coal mining on running-water systems in the Appalachians and in Alaska.  and, most recently how to restore mined lands and their streams.