I earned my BA in biology with an emphasis on field botany from New College of Florida in 2002. After completing my BA I worked for a year as a Research Technician for Sakata Seed America in Fort Myers, FL then moved to Viroqua, WI where I worked for two years at Harmony Valley Farm. Harmony Valley Farm is a relatively large diversified organic vegetable farm located in the hills of SW Wisconsin. This was a wonderful experience and a great introduction into Wisconsin’s diverse and thriving agricultural sector. I then moved to Madison and obtained my MS in Agronomy from the UW-Madison in 2007. My MS work focused on overcoming some of the agronomic constraints to re-integrating livestock and grain farming practices on the Wisconsin landscape via nutrient and feed transfers between neighboring farms.
I currently work at the UW-Madison as a Assistant Scientist with the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC). The GLBRC is a DOE funded research center dedicated to overcoming the bottlenecks in producing liquid transportation fuels (primarily ethanol) from biomass feed stocks (primarily cellulose/hemi-cellulose). I have managed a 40 acre biofuel trial in which we are evaluating the environmental and economic sustainability of dedicated biomass cropping systems in the Upper Midwest. In addition to this position I have a number of ongoing research projects looking at the long term impacts (>20 years) of Upper Midwestern cropping systems on soil organic carbon. I am using a combination of chemical and biological assays to evaluate both total carbon trends and carbon pool dynamics within both managed (agricultural) and unmanaged (e.g. prairie) systems in Southern Wisconsin.