Alumni

Nick Wilgruber was an EPA NNEMS Fellow and MA student in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability at OU (MA, 2014). Nick’s research addresses land use effects on stream ecosystems. He investigated (1) how best management practices (BMP) can be used to mitigate negative effects of urban land use on streams, and (2) developing a decision support tool that identifies high priority areas for BMP placement in central Oklahoma.

Chelsea Mikle was an EPA NNEMS Fellow working towards her M.A. in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability at OU (MA, 2014). Her research used Remote sensing and GIS to investigate relationships between land use and environmental resource management. Chelsea created a decision support tool that prioritizes the type and location of low impact development (LID) and best management practices (BMP) to improve water quality/quantity in urban watersheds. Chelsea currently works with Glacier National Park and the Browning School District in Montana to help with the development of a partnership between the school district and the park.

Dong Yan was a PhD student in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability at OU (PhD, 2014). His dissertation research focused on the impacts of land use and climatic changes on grassland ecosystems, particularly (1) How has large-scale vegetation restoration influenced grassland dynamics in China’s Loess Plateau? and (2) Is Cheatgrass (Bromus Tectorum L.) invasion into mixed-grass prairie of Oklahoma facilitated by drought? He is currently working as a postdoc in South Dakota State University.

Trung Tran (PhD, 2013) was a student in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability at OU. His research uses advanced geospatial tools to understand land-use/land-cover change and its relationship with environmental change. His dissertation focused on (1) the impact of landscape heterogeneity on land cover classification and (2) the spatiotemporal pattern of forest disturbance in southeast Oklahoma.

Anthony Ryan was an undergraduate in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability at OU pursuing a B.S. in Geography (BS, 2014). His interests involve biogeography and GIS applications pertaining to flora, fauna, aquatic, and invasive species. Anthony previously developed a Least-Cost Path prediction model in ArcGIS to show the path of growth of the Kudzu Vine (Pueraria lobata) in the United States. He also worked with the Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory to map and document Oklahoma’s private and state conservation lands for a GAP Analysis that is run by the USGS. Anthony is currently self-employed.

Jessica Walker was a PhD student in the Geospatial and Environmental Analysis Doctoral Program at Virginia Tech. Jess successfully defended her dissertation in the fall of 2012. Her research focuses on the use of Landsat and MODIS for the analysis of dryland vegetation phenology. She is currently a postdoc at South Dakota State University focussing on land surface phenology changes around urban areas. Jessica currently works as a Mendenhall Fellow for the USGS Western Geographic Science Center in Tucson (AZ).

Allisyn Hudson – Dunn was a MSc student in the Department of Geography at Virginia Tech working with Dr. Kirsten de Beurs. Allisyn is a field researcher at heart with a strong motivation for the conservation of Earth’s biodiversity. Her thesis focused on the analysis of land surface phenology in mountainous regions and was published in Remote Sensing of Environment in 2011. Allisyn is currently employed at USGS’s Eastern Geographic Science Center.

Rana Jawarneh (PhD, 2012) was a student in the Dept of Geography & Environmental Sustainability at OU. Her dissertation focused on physiographic influences on urban growth patterns across the South-Central United States. She is now an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Geography at Yarmouk University (Jordan), where she investigates landscape changes in semi-arid regions with a focus on drivers/impacts of urbanization and land degradation. Rana is currently an assistant professor at Yarmouk University in Jordan.

Madeline Dillner (BS in Environmental Sustainability, 2013) was an undergraduate in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sustainability. Her Honors Thesis, titled Historical Development in Southeast Oklahoma, used primary and secondary data sources to identify historical drivers of development in the region. Her other research interests include urban planning and green architecture.