I grew up on a farm in central Virginia with lots of dogs, horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens. My family moved to Columbus, Ohio when I was almost finished with high school, and to protest, I went as far away as I could think of (and could get scholarships to afford) for college. I went to the University of Miami and started as a marine biology major (so did everyone else, it seemed). I bounced around to biology, then chemistry before discovering geography as the result of an inspiring honors ’World Geography’ course with Harm de Blij. Desktop Arc/Info sparked a lasting interest in GIS and spatial modeling which I had the great fortune to continue to pursue through graduate work in Spatial Analysis Methods at Ohio State with Duane Marble.

Around this time I read Janet Franklin’s 1995 review article on what is now referred to as species distribution modeling and decided this combination of GIS and biogeography was exactly what I wanted to focus on for my dissertation, so I headed to the joint doctoral program at San Diego State & UC-Santa Barbara to work with her. After six short years at SDSU (and 9 months of required residence in Santa Barbara), I moved to Morgantown, WV for my first job at West Virginia University. After four years, I left my log cabin on the top of a hill  for the ’browner pastures’ of UT-Austin. In the four years that I’ve been in Austin, I’ve developed an addiction to queso, a fondness for shiner, and a renewed enthusiasm for Willie Nelson. I have three dogs, two pygmy goats, and I lease a horse. I also take pub trivia a little too seriously.


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