Originally from Portland, OR, I went to Beaverton High School. Then I earned a B.A. from Pomona College in Claremont, CA where I double-majored in Geology and Mathematics. After skiing for a year in Steamboat Springs, CO, and working at the coffee shop at Off the Beaten Path Bookstore, I went to the University of Washington, Seattle to earn a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences. After finishing my PhD, I decided it was okay to move off the west coast and east of the Mississippi River and have been at Vanderbilt University since 2009.
Here at Vanderbilt, I’m an Associate Dean in the College of Arts & Science and a Principal Senior Lecturer in Earth and Environmental Sciences. As an associate dean, I have oversight of the College Scholars Program, Merit Scholarships, Departmental Honors programs, am the Faculty Director of Immersion, the Faculty Director of Internships, and the Chair of the Study Abroad Committee. I also serve as the Arts & Science liaison with Undergraduate Admissions, the Athletics Department, and counsel undergraduate students on a whole range of issues.
I have also had the pleasure of being the faculty head of Memorial House from 2018-2020. My family and I lived in an apartment in the house, with about 80 first-year students. This is all part of the Martha Rivers Ingram Commons first-year living-learning environment. Additionally, I have served as a faculty VUceptor for first-year students for 11 years
As a geomorphologist, I like all landscapes, and my research is primarily in glacial geology. I focus mostly on the glacial history of Antarctica, but I’ve worked in mountains all over the world: the Rockies (CO), the Sierra Nevada (CA), the Brooks Range (AK), the Alps (Italy), the Southern Alps (New Zealand), the Himalaya (Nepal), the Andes (Peru), and Iceland. I utilize a variety of geochronologic techniques, including exposure dating with cosmogenic nuclides (such as 10Be, 26Al, and 21Ne) and lichenometry, to study questions about the timing of glaciations and the rates at which geomorphic processes occur. My work involves a balance of field-based studies, laboratory analysis, and numerical modeling. Increasingly, I am using additional geochemical techniques such as Chemical Index of Alteration (CIA) and U-Pb ages of detrital zircons in glacial tills to look at the provenance of tills and the flow patterns glaciers through time.