I grew up in southern Illinois and got my undergrad at Greenville College, in Illinois. After college I worked in various land management and backcountry leadership positions both in the midwest and western US. I began my MS project during the fall of 2011 in the Restoration Ecology Lab, which is directed by Dr. Mark Paschke and housed under the Forest and Range Stewardship Department. My project, which is in collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife, is looking at the understory responses to mechanical thinning of pinyon-juniper woodlands of western Colorado. The research area serves as winter range for mule deer and this project seeks to find ways of improving forage establishment.