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 the words 'Montana State University Team Members' with the MSU logo above

 

 

  

Principal Investigator


photo of paul stoy

Paul Stoy

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Paul Stoy, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He has his Ph.D., 2006, from Duke University; and a B.A. 2001, from University of Wisconsin.

Pau
l's area of focus is surface-atmosphere exchange of water, energy, and trace gases with an emphasis on plot scale measurements and regional and global scale synthesis. Specific interests including quantifying the impacts of land use change and climate change on the surface energy balance, the carbon cycle, and hydrology in temperate, boreal, and arctic ecosystems.

Recent publications can be found here.

 

 

 

 Co-Principal Investigator


photo of selena ahmed

Selena Ahmed

Department of Health and Human Development

Selena Ahmed, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Montana State University researching sustainable food and bioenergy systems. Her research, teaching, and outreach interests are at the intersection of the ecological, cultural, and health aspects of food systems with a focus on food security and food environments in health disparate communities. Since joining the faculty of Montana State University in Fall 2013, she jointly initiated The Food and Health Lab in collaboration with Dr. Carmen Byker Shanks with the objective to carry out and provide training on basic, behavioral, and applied research to explore agricultural-nutrition-health linkages.

As the Principle Investigator of the Agroecology and Phytochemistry Group of the Food and Health Lab, she is particularly interested in identifying the socio-ecological determinants of environmental and human well being in the food system.

 

 

 

 Senior Personnel


photos of jack brookshire

Jack Brookshire

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Jack Brookshire, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Biogeochemistry and ecosystem analysis with emphasis on nutrient cycling and limitation at Montana State University. His interests include: ecosystem response and feedback to atmosphere and climate variation; watershed biogeochemistry; plant-soil interactions; natural abundance isotope analysis; ecosystem modeling; global change. 
 
He graduated in 2000 with a Masters in Science from Oregon State University and received his Ph.D. in 2006 from Virginia Polytechnic Institute. 
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Julia Haggerty

Department of Earth Sciences and Institute on Ecosystems

Julia Hobson Haggerty is an Assistant Professor of Geography in Montana State University's Earth Science Department and holds a joint appointment with the Montana Institute on Ecosystems. Haggerty’s research focuses on interactions between natural resource use and the social and economic well being of rural communities. Her specific research interests include underserved and tribal communities, metrics and theories of community resilience, participatory research, and longitudinal impact assessment. Haggerty currently directs “Escaping the Resource Curse,” a multi-institutional research project funded by the USDA to assess local costs and benefits of unconventional oil and gas development in the Bakken, Powder River Basin, and Marcellus shale regions. She is co-Director of energyimpacts.org, an NSF-funded Research Coordination Network focused on cross-disciplinary social science research on energy development.  Haggerty is an appointed member of the National Academies of Sciences Roundtable on Unconventional Hydrocarbon

For WAFERx Haggerty leads policy analysis focused on implications of a BECCS economy for rural community well-being. With her students, she has a policy brief and academic manuscript focused on policy development to address local impacts of the coal transition.

Prior to joining Montana State University in 2013, Haggerty worked for five years as a policy analyst for the regional non-profit research group Headwaters Economics. There she gained extensive experience working directly with decision-makers in local, state and regional contexts. Haggerty is a native of Boston, MA and a graduate of Colorado College. She received her PhD in History from the University of Colorado-Boulder in 2004 and was a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for the Study of Agriculture, Food and Environment at the University of Otago (New Zealand) from 2005-2007.

photo of perry miller

Perry R. Miller

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Perry Miller is a professor at Montana State University investigating the development of diversified cropping systems under water-limited conditions to maintain or improve soil quality, economic returns and sustainable practices. He also researches resource-use-efficiency in no-till and organic systems, spring and winter pulse crop agronomy, annual pea forage and green manure systems, and farming strategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

He has a Ph.D. from University of Minnesota; an M.S. 1989, University of Guelph, Canada; and a B.S. 1984, University of Saskatchewan, Canada.

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Brent M. Peyton

Chemical and Biological Engineering Department

Dr. Brent Peyton is a full Professor on the faculty of the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, the Director of the Thermal Biology Institute, and in the NSF Center for Biofilm Engineering at Montana State University. His research focus is on extremophilic bioprocessing, in situ biocatalyzed heavy metal biotransformations (Se, Cr, U), and growth of algae and fungi for biodiesel production in natural and engineered biological systems. 

Before returning to MSU in 2005, Dr. Peyton was a tenured faculty member at Washington State University for 8 years. Prior to WSU, he was in the Bioprocessing/Bioremediation Research Group at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory for 5 years.

He has authored and co-authored over 100 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and holds four patents in environmental biotechnology.

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Lee H. Spangler

Energy Research Institute

Dr. Lee H. Spangler is the associate vice president of research at MSU. His academic training and experience include a bachelor's degree in physics and chemistry from Washington and Jefferson College, where he graduated summa cum laude. He then earned his doctorate in physical chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, where his work was nationally recognized with the Proctor & Gamble Award, before accepting the Director's Funded Postdoctoral Fellowship at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Spangler was first employed at MSU as an assistant professor of physical chemistry and later co-founded and directed MSU's Optical Technology Center. Upon moving into the Office of Research, Creativity and Technology Transfer, he began developing research collaborations, such as MSU's High Temperature Electrochemistry Center.

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Suzi Taylor

Extended University

Suzi Taylor is a member of the outreach team for the WAFERx project. She is assistant director for Outreach and Communications with MSU’s Extended University and is also co-leader of the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative. Taylor has served on the outreach team for Montana’s NSF EPSCoR Track 1 awards as well as other projects funded by NASA, the U.S. Department of Energy and other agencies. She has been instrumental in developing many education/outreach programs for youth and adults, including Climate In My Backyard (CLIMB), Everest Education Expedition and NanoDays/MicroDays. Taylor also developed and teaches Communicating Ecosystem Science, a non-credit program for MSU graduate students.

 

 

 

 Affiliated Researcher


photo of tobias gerken

Tobias Gerken

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Tobias Gerken is a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Montana State University, investigating land-atmosphere interactions and specifically the surface-atmosphere exchange of water, sensible and latent heat as well as carbon dioxide using measurements and numerical models. His current research focuses on climate trends in the northern Great Plains and their effect on the surface energy balance as well as convective development and precipitation. 

He received his Ph.D. (2013) in atmospheric science (2013) from the University of Bayreuth after completing an undergraduate degree in environmental science (2009) at the University of Bayreuth.

 

 

 

Post Doctoral Researcher


photos of katelyn dolan

Katelyn Dolan

Montana Institute of Ecosystems

Katelyn Dolan, PhD, is a Post Doctoral Researcher with the Montana Institute of Ecosystems at Montana State University, and visiting researcher at NASA Goddard, Maryland.  She will be helping to lead modeling activities looking at the biophysical impacts of future biofuel and land-use scenarios across the upper Missouri river basin using the LPJml dynamic global vegetation model.

Prior to joining our team Katelyn worked on a NASA Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) project researching high resolution forest carbon mapping and monitoring capabilities in the Mid-Atlantic U.S. by integrating  high resolution lidar, imagery, field data and modeling. She completed her PhD from the University of Maryland’s Geographical Sciences Department in Dec 2015, which was in part supported by a NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship and the Joint Global Carbon Cycle Center. Her PhD research was focused on assessing the spatial and temporal dynamics of forest disturbance across the US using annual Landsat time series data and an advanced mechanistic ecosystem model.

Born and raised in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Katelyn pursed both an undergraduate degree in an Environmental Conservation and Masters in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire. Her Masters thesis explored the capabilities of using space born lidar to detect and quantify forest disturbance using Hurricane Katrina as a case study.    

 

 

 

 

PhD Students


photo of katie bills walsh

Katie Bills Walsh

Department of Earth Sciences

Katie grew up in north central Connecticut, and studied geography and secondary education as an undergrad at Keene State College in Keene, NH. Upon completion of her degree she immediately re-located to Victoria, BC, Canada to pursue a Master’s degree in Geography. At UVic Katie researched public park spaces established and designed for use by older adults. There her interest in landscape developed which has now inspired her work as a doctoral student in the Earth Sciences Department at Montana State University. Katie is presently working towards an integrated human geography PhD focusing on energy development, landscape and reclamation in the U.S. West. Prior to beginning her PhD she was an adjunct faculty member in the Geography Department at Keene State College teaching multiple courses including Geography of the U.S. and Canada, Environmental Geography, the Geography of Aging, and a field studies course in the U.S. desert southwest.

Katie is currently pursuing her PhD in Energy and Resource Geography. Nested within the Earth Sciences Department, in Dr. Julia Haggerty’s Resources and Communities Research Group.

Katie's work on theWAFERx project concerns the regulatory space surrounding existing coal plants located in the Upper Missouri River Basin, specifically Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota and South Dakota. She created an inventory of all active coal-fired power plants in the region, including their source mines and generation capacity, with their approximate decommissioning dates. She researched the existing federal and state-level policies surrounding coal plant decommissioning and remediation requirements to understand the current state of the regulatory environment. Additionally, Katie I followed legislative developments concerning the Colstrip Generating Station, the second largest coal-fired power plant west of the Mississippi River, located in southeastern Montana, to understand the political rhetoric that informed policy decisions in Montana's 2017 Legislative Session.

photo of justin gay

Justin Gay

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Justin Gay is a Ph.D. student in Ecology and Environmental Sciences at Montana State University. He comes to Montana from the Northeast where he spent the last 3 years teaching high school AP environmental science in Middlebury, Vermont. In addition to teaching he has spent the last two summers working as a researcher at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2, and the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. He has most recently worked on two projects respectively titled, The Effect of Drought on Stomatal Conductance in the B2 Rainforest and Analyzing Accuracy of the Lufft WS600 in Remotely Measuring Precipitation Events. This work inspired his love for terrestrial ecosystem ecology; his research interests now focus on exploring the link between plant communities and shifts in ecosystem level fluxes of water, nitrogen, and carbon in relation to changing climate. Justin received his B.S. in Environmental Science from Endicott College, and holds an M.A.T from the University of Vermont.

For the WAFERx project, Justin will be working with Dr.Jack Brookshire and focusing on the quantification of biogeochemical cycles in the agricultural field plots. Specifically, they are interested in following changes in dissolved nitrogen concentration from soil leaching, and gaseous N2O fluxes. They also hope to use the findings from their fieldwork to illuminate new benchmarks to be incorporated in current global LPJml nitrogen cycling models.

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Hannah Goemann

Chemical and Biological Engineering Department

Hannah is from Wells, Minnesota and received her BA in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota Morris (UMM). While at Morris she conducted several studies on microalgae for biofuel applications including investigating carbon partitioning under bicarbonate-induced lipid production, viral interactions, and local isolate identification and characterization. She also worked for the UMM Office of Sustainability and conducted a study involving making biodiesel from campus waste oils.

Now at MSU, Hannah is working in Dr. Brent Peyton’s lab while pursuing a Ph.D. in the Microbiology and & Immunology Department. Her part of the WAFERx project includes tracking nutrient cycling in crops with the application of a cyanobacterial biofertilizer as well as monitoring changes in the soil microbial community. In the future she plans to pursue a career that combines her passions for environmental sustainability and scientific research.

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Kelli Roemer

Department of Earth Sciences

Kelli Roemer is a Ph.D. student in Earth Sciences at Montana State University. She has served two AmeriCorps member terms in Helena, Montana and Lakeview, Oregon. This work inspired her research interests in natural resource management, energy planning, and rural community development.

For the WAFERx, Kelli will be working with Dr. Julia Haggerty to investigate the human dimensions of rural land use change and the land use-energy policy nexus. She has received her M.S. (2017) in natural resources from University of Idaho; and her B.S. (2012) in resource conservation from University of Montana.

photo of skylar williams

Skylar Williams

Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Originally, from St. Louis, MO, Skylar studied meteorology at the University of Oklahoma.  During her time in Oklahoma, she worked at the National Severe Storms Laboratory on the SHAVE (Severe Hazards Analysis and Verification Experiment) and MYRORSS (Multi-Year Reanalysis of Remotely Sensed Storms) projects.  In addition to these projects, she studied extreme rainfall events in the Arkansas-Red River Basin.

After graduating in 2015, she moved north to work on a Master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences where her focus was on validating commercial aircraft moisture observations.

At Montana State University, Skylar will be pursuing her PhD in Ecology and Environmental Sciences.  On the WAFERx project, she will be studying climate extremes and the climate consequences of land management in the Upper- Missouri River Basin.

 

 

 

Graduate Students


photo of erin smith

Erin Smith

Department of Health and Human Development

Erin Smith is a graduate student working towards her master's degree in Sustainable Food Systems at Montana State University. Erin received her bachelor's degree in Environmental Science at the University of Arizona where she spent the last two years of her undergraduate career diverting food waste from landfills to promote food security and sustainable soil amendments in her community.

Her thesis work and contributions to the WAFERx project utilize social research methods to explore the role of wild food biodiversity on food security and cultural value among members of the Flathead Reservation in Montana within the context of local environmental change.

photo of teresa warne

Teresa Warne

Department of Health and Human Development

Teresa Warne is a new graduate student working toward a Master's of Science in Sustainable Food Systems through the Department of Health and Human Development. She Received her BS in Environmental Science at Montana State University in 2005.

Teresa’s project research will include the characterization of current community and household food security, quantification of effects of climate change scenarios on food security, and development of adaption strategies and management plans to mitigate climate risk and health disparities in food systems among rural and Native American communities in the Upper Missouri River Basin.

 

 

 

Undergraduate Student


photo of natalie sturm

Natalie Sturm

Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems Program

Natalie Sturm is an undergraduate student at Montana State University.  Her lifelong interests in agriculture and environmental issues led her to the Sustainable Food and Bioenergy Systems program at MSU.  Sturm's interests include grazing and rangeland management, soil carbon sequestration, agroecology, agricultural policy, and community resilience. Sturm is a summer research intern working with the Resources & Communities Research Group.  She is involved in a project on sustainability and land use transitions in the Northern Great Plains.

The Resources & Communities Research Group has a number of related projects that tackle questions of community resilience in the context of these wrenching changes in the NGP region. These include studies of the impacts of buffalo restoration for Native American nations of the Fort Peck reservation; documenting trends in ranch ownership and management; examining the institution context shaping reclamation and transition policies for coal and oil; and working directly with communities to assess strategies that build resilience.

 Sturm's work involves contributing to all of these research efforts while gaining a range of critical skills for a social-ecological systems researcher. Specifically, Sturm’s project involves the following activities:

  • Expanding and refining a literature database on agricultural sustainability, community development, water quality and energy development in the Powder River Basin;
  • Provide organizational and research support to (and attend) the June 6-9 workshop “Restoration and Resilience in the Grassland-Energy Overlay";
  • Develop an independent research project focused on agricultural communities;
  • Assist in field research as a note taker, observer and coordinator as needed;
  • Participate in other lab activities on an ongoing basis, including field trips and lab meetings

 


 

Contact Us

WAFERx
Montana State University
P.O. Box 1234
Bozeman, MT 59717-1234
 
Director:
Paul Stoy
paul.stoy@montana.edu
 
Outreach Coordinator:
Selena Gerace
sgerace@uwyo.edu