Area of Expertise: Effects of natural and human disturbances on wildlife and biodiversity
I have been a faculty at Michigan State University (MSU) in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife since 2005. Prior to MSU, I worked for 11 years as a Wildlife Management Specialist for Boise Cascade Corporation. Boise Cascade Corporation, at the time I was hired, was a wood and paper products company that owned approximately 3.2 million acres in the United States. My primary responsibilities were focused on the timberlands that were “integrated” with the mills (i.e., the mills relied on wood fiber from the timberlands). My responsibilities included incorporating wildlife and biodiversity into the strategic planning process of the company, threatened and endangered species management and planning, research in support of wildlife and forest management, and forest stewardship certification. I was lucky enough to work in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Minnesota, Alabama, Louisiana, and Maine, working with some outstanding colleagues and learning about a variety of ecosystems.
Given my 11 years experience working in the timber and paper products industry, I brought many practical experiences and contacts to MSU. My research laboratory focuses on applied questions with direct relevance to on-the-ground conservation. I work closely with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) – Wildlife Division and serve as a forest stewardship certification internal auditor for the MDNR – Forest Resources Division. I also maintain close ties to the forest products and paper industry, continuing to do research that better positions the industry to meet the challenges and consumer demands for conserving wildlife while staying globally competitive.
I expect students entering my lab to work hard and ethically, serve as engaged citizens in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at MSU, professionally represent my lab to our external partners, and to work collaboratively with the lab team. I have a hands-off management style, but I like to stay informed and engaged in lab projects as they develop and are implemented. Once we agree on a task or assignment, I expect it to be completed to the best of your professional abilities; I have limited tolerance for excuses and simply expect that the work gets done. I fully encourage and support the involvement of students in my lab with The Wildlife Society or other professional organizations that are relevant to the student or the project. Although I tend to hire students to work on specific projects, I also recognize that graduate school is a professional development opportunity for students and will work with each student to build the skill set that will make you marketable and successful in your careers.