New projects getting under way

Horshoe Bend, Colorado River, AZ, USA - I have no idea who that guy is.
So, I recently commented on the difficulty, and importance, of finishing projects... especially when juggling multiple projects...and amid recreational ambitions and aspirations for a fulfilling personal life. One of the most exciting things about the research lifestyle is starting a new collaboration or undertaking a big new project. This year, I'm finally carving out my dissertation chapters, starting with two projects that model the responses of functional plant diversity to fluvial disturbance, watershed management and climate variability. Specifically, we're going to use several disparate monitoring data sets to decouple how climate changes stream hydrology and how hydroclimatic effects shape guilds, or groups of plant species with similar life history strategies across several river basins of the Pacific Northwest. To be able to start new projects with my current group in the Fluvial Habitat Center and Ecogeomorphology and Topographic Analysis Lab is a privilege and I'm excited to collaborate with my committee members and federal and state agency partners.

Lake Powell, UT, USA
This work will benefit hugely from the work that Dave Merritt, Mike Scott et al. have done on riparian flow guilds, suggesting workflows that assess how riparian plants with similar physiological and morphological attributes respond to hydrologic modification in regulated rivers. Dave, although not on my committee has helped to shape how I think about riparian ecology and conservation, and his productivity, approachability, and vision are truly motivating to a junior scientist such as myself. Mike, who is on my committee has shared his expertise and positivity since I cold-called him back in 2012. I hope to stand on these giants' shoulders by taking a broad, landscape-scale approach to riparian community ecology.

Alpenglow in the Bear Rivers

I caught a break this past year, a break that probably made these new projects and chapters possible, when I was awarded an EPA STAR fellowship for the remainder of my time at USU. Following the sequester of the 2012-13 award year and delays in funding the 2014-16 cycle, I wasn't sure they were even going to make awards, but I had never received reviews or a rejection, so it remained in the corner of my mind. This award will allow me to pursue these new projects, building on my previous work with the US Forest Service, the Columbia Habitat Monitoring Program and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. I have an abundance of thanks for my splitboarding, running, research and professional society friends and colleagues who constantly keep me grounded with their feats of excellence, creativity and positivity, and big hearts and ideas. Y'all know who you are - keep grinding day-to-day. You're my team and I'm stoked to wear the same jersey.

Speaking of people who are perpetually stoked on their team. Meek Mill is always up on that teamwork:

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