Skip to main content

People

Core Faculty

  • Rebecca Som Castellano

    Rebecca Som Castellano

    Interim Director, HES and Professor, School of Environment and Sociology

    Rebecca is a rural studies and agrifood system scholar. Using a range of methodological approaches, she examines how experiences with environmental and agrifood system change are shaped by inequality and marginalization.

    Rebecca is a rural studies and agrifood system scholar. Using a range of methodological approaches, she examines how experiences with environmental and agrifood system change are shaped by inequality and marginalization.

  • Jodi Brandt

    Jodi Brandt

    Associate Professor

    Jodi is the leader of LUL@BSU — the Land Use Lab at Boise State University. She is a land-use scientist who studies landscape change and its drivers, and the impacts of landscape change on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

    Jodi is the leader of LUL@BSU — the Land Use Lab at Boise State University. She is a land-use scientist who studies landscape change and its drivers, and the impacts of landscape change on biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  • Megan Cattau

    Megan Cattau

    Assistant Professor

    Megan is interested in how interacting anthropogenic and biophysical factors alter disturbance regimes and subsequent recovery, and in evaluating the efficacy of intervention options in increasing social-ecological resilience.

    Megan is interested in how interacting anthropogenic and biophysical factors alter disturbance regimes and subsequent recovery, and in evaluating the efficacy of intervention options in increasing social-ecological resilience.

  • Vicken Hillis

    Vicken Hillis

    Assistant Professor

    Vicken studies human behavioral and institutional change in environmental contexts, using quantitative surveys, behavioral experiments, computational modeling, and social-ecological network analysis.

    Vicken studies human behavioral and institutional change in environmental contexts, using quantitative surveys, behavioral experiments, computational modeling, and social-ecological network analysis.

  • Kelly Hopping

    Kelly Hopping

    Assistant Professor

    Kelly studies how environmental and social changes are affecting ecosystems and rural livelihoods, particularly in mountain and pastoral regions.

    Kelly studies how environmental and social changes are affecting ecosystems and rural livelihoods, particularly in mountain and pastoral regions.

  • Matt Williamson

    Matt Williamson

    Assistant Professor

    Matt is a conservation scientist interested in understanding how the interactions between people, their environment, and the institutions that govern them inspire (or inhibit) conservation action and how that impacts their effectiveness.

    Matt is a conservation scientist interested in understanding how the interactions between people, their environment, and the institutions that govern them inspire (or inhibit) conservation action and how that impacts their effectiveness.

Students

  • Gwénaëlle d’Aumale

    Gwénaëlle d’Aumale

    Sky’s interests include land management, ecosystem restoration, ecological resilience, and remote sensing. Sky’s current research involves using UAS remote sensing to address questions about resilience of western U.S. forests. Sky is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Committee: Megan Cattau, Allison Simler-Williamson, and Jennifer Forbey

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

    Sky’s interests include land management, ecosystem restoration, ecological resilience, and remote sensing. Sky’s current research involves using UAS remote sensing to address questions about resilience of western U.S. forests. Sky is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Committee: Megan Cattau, Allison Simler-Williamson, and Jennifer Forbey

  • Clara Buchholtz

    Clara Buchholtz

    Clara researches the conservation of desert ecosystems and rare and endemic plants. She uses remote sensing and GIS, fieldwork, and a social-ecological-systems framework to think about how climate adaptation can give ecosystems a resilient future with climate change.
    Advised by Dr. Hopping.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Clara researches the conservation of desert ecosystems and rare and endemic plants. She uses remote sensing and GIS, fieldwork, and a social-ecological-systems framework to think about how climate adaptation can give ecosystems a resilient future with climate change.
    Advised by Dr. Hopping.

  • Matt Clark portrait

    Matt Clark

    Matt studies community adoption of conservation behaviors and the associated environmental outcomes, particularly in developing, natural resource-dependent economies.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Matt studies community adoption of conservation behaviors and the associated environmental outcomes, particularly in developing, natural resource-dependent economies.

  • Megan Dolman

    Meg is interested in human-environment interactions. Her current research involves understanding the spatio-temporal dimensions of human development and wildfire in sagebrush ecosystems.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

    Meg is interested in human-environment interactions. Her current research involves understanding the spatio-temporal dimensions of human development and wildfire in sagebrush ecosystems.

  • Human Environmental Systems, Sarah Halperin, photo Patrick Sweeney

    Sarah Halperin

    Sarah examines questions related to large-scale conservation of socioecological systems. She develops tools for local stakeholders and the public to make informed policy decisions regarding farmland preservation. She is advised by Dr. Brandt.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Sarah examines questions related to large-scale conservation of socioecological systems. She develops tools for local stakeholders and the public to make informed policy decisions regarding farmland preservation. She is advised by Dr. Brandt.

  • Richie Holder portrait, Biological Sciences, Graduate Student.

    Richie Holder

    Richie’s research interests include land management, restoration ecology, and how to increase soil carbon sequestration on public lands. He studies soil carbon storage and its connection to plant functional groups at seven of Boise’s Open Space Reserves. Richie is co-advised by Dr. Marie-Anne de Graaff (Biology) and Dr. Kelly Hopping.

    Richie’s research interests include land management, restoration ecology, and how to increase soil carbon sequestration on public lands. He studies soil carbon storage and its connection to plant functional groups at seven of Boise’s Open Space Reserves. Richie is co-advised by Dr. Marie-Anne de Graaff (Biology) and Dr. Kelly Hopping.

  • Human Environmental Systems,Lauren Hunt photo Patrick Sweeney

    Lauren Hunt

    Lauren investigates how social systems shift in the context of climate change and how individuals and the environment intersect. Agriculture is the primary lens through which she views this intersection, but the current economic, political, and cultural climate also structures her work. Lauren is advised by Dr. Vicken Hillis.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Lauren investigates how social systems shift in the context of climate change and how individuals and the environment intersect. Agriculture is the primary lens through which she views this intersection, but the current economic, political, and cultural climate also structures her work. Lauren is advised by Dr. Vicken Hillis.

  • Human Environmental Systems, Louis Jochems, photo Patrick Sweeney

    Louis Jochems

    Louis is interested in utilizing data from remotely sensed imagery, field observations, and human activity to predict the spread of invasive plant species throughout wetlands in the Great Lakes region. Ultimately, he hopes to incorporate this information into a decision support tool for land managers to better protect vulnerable wetlands. Louis is advised by Dr. Jodi Brandt.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Louis is interested in utilizing data from remotely sensed imagery, field observations, and human activity to predict the spread of invasive plant species throughout wetlands in the Great Lakes region. Ultimately, he hopes to incorporate this information into a decision support tool for land managers to better protect vulnerable wetlands. Louis is advised by Dr. Jodi Brandt.

  • Carolyn Koehn

    Carolyn Koehn

    Carolyn is broadly interested in land cover change and nature’s benefits to people. Her current research examines agricultural lands and farmland loss using an ecosystem services framework. Carolyn is advised by Dr. Jodi Brandt.

    Carolyn is broadly interested in land cover change and nature’s benefits to people. Her current research examines agricultural lands and farmland loss using an ecosystem services framework. Carolyn is advised by Dr. Jodi Brandt.

  • Nick Kolarik

    Nick’s focus is on using remote sensing techniques to evaluate human-environment interactions. Land systems often have measurable effects on the landscape key to issues surrounding resource use, human welfare, and conservation efforts. He aims to contribute to interdisciplinary research that helps guide decision-making at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Nick is advised by Dr. Brandt.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Nick’s focus is on using remote sensing techniques to evaluate human-environment interactions. Land systems often have measurable effects on the landscape key to issues surrounding resource use, human welfare, and conservation efforts. He aims to contribute to interdisciplinary research that helps guide decision-making at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Nick is advised by Dr. Brandt.

  • Molly Levy portrait

    Molly Levy

    Molly is interested in the social dynamics that influence the management of socio-ecological systems over space and time. She is particularly interested in the processes of collaboration and conflict, and how these processes are impacted by ecological disturbance. Molly is advised by Dr. Vicken Hillis.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Molly is interested in the social dynamics that influence the management of socio-ecological systems over space and time. She is particularly interested in the processes of collaboration and conflict, and how these processes are impacted by ecological disturbance. Molly is advised by Dr. Vicken Hillis.

  • Haley Netherton portrait

    Haley Netherton-Morrison

    Haley focuses on the application of social science theory to natural resource issues. Specifically, she currently seeks to understand public perceptions of landscapes and wildlife, how and why they differ, and their role in natural resource management. Haley is advised by Dr. Kelly Hopping.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Haley focuses on the application of social science theory to natural resource issues. Specifically, she currently seeks to understand public perceptions of landscapes and wildlife, how and why they differ, and their role in natural resource management. Haley is advised by Dr. Kelly Hopping.

  • Madelyn Sorrentino portrait, Biological Sciences, Graduate Student, Photo by Chris Cohen

    Madelyn Sorrentino

    Maddi’s research interests include sustainable land management, managing for multiple objectives, and how changing environmental and social conditions affect the relationship between humans and the environment. She currently studies sheep grazing to target invasive vegetation in Idaho’s Wood River Valley region. Maddi is advised by Dr. Kelly Hopping.

    Maddi’s research interests include sustainable land management, managing for multiple objectives, and how changing environmental and social conditions affect the relationship between humans and the environment. She currently studies sheep grazing to target invasive vegetation in Idaho’s Wood River Valley region. Maddi is advised by Dr. Kelly Hopping.

  • Kloe Walter

    Kloe Walter

    Kloe’s research interests include plant ecology, invasive species management, and sustainable multiple-use land management practices. Kloe is an incoming graduate student studying the relationship between targeted sheep grazing and plant species composition. Kloe is advised by Dr. Kelly Hopping.

    Kloe’s research interests include plant ecology, invasive species management, and sustainable multiple-use land management practices. Kloe is an incoming graduate student studying the relationship between targeted sheep grazing and plant species composition. Kloe is advised by Dr. Kelly Hopping.

  • Brittanie L. Loftin

    Brittanie’s research interests include population ecology and generating usable science . Their current research involves working with multiple stakeholders from non-profit organizations, universities, and state and federal agencies to generate usable science with the goal of aiding the conservation of a rare Idaho native species. Brittanie is advised by Dr. Jay Carlisle and Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Brittanie’s research interests include population ecology and generating usable science . Their current research involves working with multiple stakeholders from non-profit organizations, universities, and state and federal agencies to generate usable science with the goal of aiding the conservation of a rare Idaho native species. Brittanie is advised by Dr. Jay Carlisle and Dr. Megan Cattau.

  • Sky Gennette

    Sky’s interests include land management, ecosystem restoration, ecological resilience, and remote sensing. Sky’s current research involves using UAS remote sensing to address questions about resilience of western U.S. forests. Sky is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Committee: Megan Cattau, Allison Simler-Williamson, and Jennifer Forbey

    Sky’s interests include land management, ecosystem restoration, ecological resilience, and remote sensing. Sky’s current research involves using UAS remote sensing to address questions about resilience of western U.S. forests. Sky is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Committee: Megan Cattau, Allison Simler-Williamson, and Jennifer Forbey

  • Juan Camilo Rojas Lucero

    Juan’s interests include remote sensing techniques, machine learning, and deep learning to investigate carbon sequestration dynamics across various land coverings. Juan is advised by Dr. Brandt.

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering, Universidad del Cauca, Colombia; MS Geomatics, Universidad del Cauca, Colombia

    Ph.D. Student, Data Science

    Juan’s interests include remote sensing techniques, machine learning, and deep learning to investigate carbon sequestration dynamics across various land coverings. Juan is advised by Dr. Brandt.

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Engineering, Universidad del Cauca, Colombia; MS Geomatics, Universidad del Cauca, Colombia

  • Erik Nati-Johnson

    Erik is interested in applied science for climate adaptation, and is researching the benefits of mesic restoration on agricultural lands. He uses spatial analysis with remotely sensed data to answer questions regarding carbon sequestration.

    Erik is interested in applied science for climate adaptation, and is researching the benefits of mesic restoration on agricultural lands. He uses spatial analysis with remotely sensed data to answer questions regarding carbon sequestration.

  • Mallory Picl

    Mallory’s research interests include land management, geomorphology, dendrochronology, and climate change. She is currently engaged in researching the connections between disturbance and the expansion of western juniper. Mallory is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau and Dr. Jen Pierce. 

    Education: BS Geology with minors in Forestry and Sustainability, Iowa State University

    Committee: Megan Cattau, Jen Pierce, David Wilkins, and Dave Huber

    MS Geoscience Student

    Mallory’s research interests include land management, geomorphology, dendrochronology, and climate change. She is currently engaged in researching the connections between disturbance and the expansion of western juniper. Mallory is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau and Dr. Jen Pierce. 

    Education: BS Geology with minors in Forestry and Sustainability, Iowa State University

    Committee: Megan Cattau, Jen Pierce, David Wilkins, and Dave Huber

  • Teuku Zaldiansyah

    Zaldi’s interest revolves around Spatial Analysis, Remote Sensing, Mapping, Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS), and Invasive Species. Align with the interest mentioned, his current research is about mapping the invasive species using UAS which incorporates spatiotemporal analysis which ultimately helps us to predict and classify the invasive species occurrence on the landscape. Zaldi is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Education: Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM), University of Rhode Island; Graduate Certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing, University of Rhode Island; BS Agriculture Product Technology, Syiah Kuala University

    Committee: Trevor Caughlin, Jodi Brandt, and Peter Olsoy

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Zaldi’s interest revolves around Spatial Analysis, Remote Sensing, Mapping, Unoccupied Aerial Systems (UAS), and Invasive Species. Align with the interest mentioned, his current research is about mapping the invasive species using UAS which incorporates spatiotemporal analysis which ultimately helps us to predict and classify the invasive species occurrence on the landscape. Zaldi is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Education: Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM), University of Rhode Island; Graduate Certificate in GIS and Remote Sensing, University of Rhode Island; BS Agriculture Product Technology, Syiah Kuala University

    Committee: Trevor Caughlin, Jodi Brandt, and Peter Olsoy

  • Megan Dolman

    Meg’s research interests include social-ecological systems and disturbance ecology. Her current research focuses on understanding the spatio-temporal dimensions of human built infrastructure development and wildfire in sagebrush ecosystems. Meg is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Education: Graduate Certificate in Human-Environment Systems, Boise State University; Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Analysis, Boise State University; Sc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford; BSc (Honors) Physical Geography, Royal Holloway University of London

    Committee: Rebecca Som Castellano

    Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior

    Meg’s research interests include social-ecological systems and disturbance ecology. Her current research focuses on understanding the spatio-temporal dimensions of human built infrastructure development and wildfire in sagebrush ecosystems. Meg is advised by Dr. Megan Cattau.

    Education: Graduate Certificate in Human-Environment Systems, Boise State University; Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Analysis, Boise State University; Sc Biodiversity, Conservation and Management, University of Oxford; BSc (Honors) Physical Geography, Royal Holloway University of London

    Committee: Rebecca Som Castellano

Post-Doctoral Researchers

  • Emily Iskin

    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    Emily is a fluvial geomorphologist who uses field data and remote sensing to investigate the structure and function of river corridors. She is interested in characterizing natural environments to inform and improve restoration and management practices. She has her PhD and MS in Geosciences from Colorado State University, and her BS in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

    Environmental Research Building (ERB) 4131

    Emily is a fluvial geomorphologist who uses field data and remote sensing to investigate the structure and function of river corridors. She is interested in characterizing natural environments to inform and improve restoration and management practices. She has her PhD and MS in Geosciences from Colorado State University, and her BS in Biological Systems Engineering from the University of California, Davis.

  • Kelsey Johnson

    Kelsey Johnson

    Kelsey is a natural resource and environmental economist working on research at the intersection of forest and land management, climate change adaptation, and ecosystem service provision.

    Kelsey is a natural resource and environmental economist working on research at the intersection of forest and land management, climate change adaptation, and ecosystem service provision.

  • Holly Nesbitt

    Holly K. Nesbitt

    Post-Doctoral researcher

    Holly K. Nesbitt is an environmental social scientist studying how people collectively adapt to large-scale environmental change. She focuses her research on interactions within social-ecological systems, socio-cognitions that motivate collective behavior, and how social relations and networks influence conservation. She uses interdisciplinary quantitative social science methods and works in several different contexts including community resilience to wildfire, rangeland management, and human-wildlife coexistence.

    Environmental Research Building (ERB), Room 4123

    Holly K. Nesbitt is an environmental social scientist studying how people collectively adapt to large-scale environmental change. She focuses her research on interactions within social-ecological systems, socio-cognitions that motivate collective behavior, and how social relations and networks influence conservation. She uses interdisciplinary quantitative social science methods and works in several different contexts including community resilience to wildfire, rangeland management, and human-wildlife coexistence.

  • Nawaraj Shrestha

    Nawaraj Shrestha

    My background is in environmental and geoinformation sciences. My research uses remote sensing and spatial analysis to measure and monitor natural resources especially water resources. 

    Post-Doctoral Researcher

    My background is in environmental and geoinformation sciences. My research uses remote sensing and spatial analysis to measure and monitor natural resources especially water resources. 

  • Briana Swette

    Briana Swette

    Briana is a social-ecological systems scientist that studies how land is governed and the consequences for rural communities and ecosystems. She integrates methods from geography, ecology, and the social sciences to understand and promote sustainable land management.

    Briana is a social-ecological systems scientist that studies how land is governed and the consequences for rural communities and ecosystems. She integrates methods from geography, ecology, and the social sciences to understand and promote sustainable land management.

Alumni

  • Jamie Faselt

    MS Biology 2022
  • Shannon Spragg

    MS Biology 2022
  • Fiona Noonan

    MS Geosciences 2022
  • Callie Puntenney

    MS Biology 2022
  • Tara Pozzi

    MS Biology 2021
  • Edward Trout

    MS Biology 2021
  • Savannah Canova

    Research Mentor, Human-Environment Systems
  • Tara Easter

    MS Biology 2018
  • Jenna Narducci

    MS Geoscience 2018
  • Matt Unitis

    MS Biology 2018
  • Sarah Halperin

    Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior 2023
  • Nawaraj Shrestha