I am a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst pursuing a PhD in geology, working with Dr. Isaac Larsen. My current research is on the effect of catastrophic floods on bedrock landscapes through hydraulic modeling and dating of flood sediment.
I am interested in geomorphology, the study of planetary surface processes. Many features–rivers, hillslopes, coastlines, and more–form patterns in response to the nature of the processes that formed them. I love thinking about this link between shape and process, and the challenge of geomorphology is to learn about one from studying the other. The methods of detecting these patterns are fascinatingly sneaky, and tweaking the parameters of landscape evolution can help us understand how regions may have looked in the past or how they will change in the future.
The Channeled Scablands of eastern Washington is a perfect location to see how surface processes have changed the appearance of the landscape. Huge glacial outburst floods during the last ice age carved impressive canyons into the basalt bedrock, and the ice, water, and deposited sediment have left a complicated trail to decipher. I am performing cosmogenic nuclide exposure dating on flood-transported boulders to determine what path the floods took at different points in time. Additionally, I am simulating individual flood events by hydraulic modeling over various topographic reconstructions, to constrain the discharges of these floods. My previous work has focused on river network geometry, using the shapes of fluvial networks on Mars to understand how volcanic activity influenced the movement of water during episodic meltwater floods.