What do you enjoy most/what do you find most interesting about your research topic?
I enjoy new and developing ideas on the edges of existing scientific disciplines that have importance to the sustainability of forest ecosystems. Ecosystem science gives me a view of how complex assemblages of plants and animals function within their biophysical surroundings. This sets the stage to identify and explore the most important processes that control ecosystem responses. By considering people as part of the ecosystem, I also get to work on integrating social and biophysical sciences.
How does citizen science support your research?
Environmental policy has been far too slow to change as administrators, managers, and scientists tend to have a quite narrow focus. Citizen participation in both decision-making and science is critical to mobilize decision-makers fast enough to respond to dynamic ecosystems.
What is one of your favorite moments in the field?
My favorite memory is of watching humpback whales catching small fish right next to the floating barge that was serving as my and my team’s housing and science lab in Hawk Inlet on Admiralty Island in southeast Alaska.