Research Interests: Paleoecology, Biogeography, GIS Applications in Landscape Modeling, Predictive Models, Environmental Archaeology and Climate Change, Mobile Devices as Geographic Tools
Dissertation Title: Paleoenvironmental reconstruction of Native American impacts on the forests of the southern Sierra Nevada, California, USA
Dissertation Description: That Native Americans used fire to modify the landscape is now generally accepted; however, the extent of that modification is unknown. Using pollen, charcoal, and climate reconstructions, Anna seeks to determine whether Native American influences on the landscape can be seen on the paleolandscape. She is using predictive modeling to generate scenarios of potential past Native American land practices to create the environmental signal witnessed in the paleoenvironmental record.
Biography: While other kids thumbed through their parent's National Geographics or looked at the pictures, Anna went straight for the maps. She loved the artistry inherent in maps, and the stories a single map could tell. She would look at the photos and wonder what the land might have looked like before people had altered the landscape. Assuming the world would be completely mapped by the time she was grown, Anna followed other interests, leading to over 18 years experience as a programmer and graphic designer -- skills readily transferable to her interests in Geography. Renewed interests in landscape change and archaeology led to a career change away from the Internet. Her Master's thesis focused on determining appropriate accuracy assessments for traige-level ecosystem degradation models derived from remotely-sensed imagery, geomorphology, and expert knowledge. She believes strongly in generating appropriate baseline data sets, especially in regards to climate, anthropogenic effects, and environmental conditions.
Anna is currently focusing on paleoecology, environmental archaeology, and predictive landscape modeling. She is developing a novel approach in examining paleolandscape change through potential anthropogenic vs. climate scenarios.
Anna is the Web Manager for the Paleoenvironmental Change and the Applied Geography (AGSG) Specialty Groups of the Association of American Geographers. Anna also serves as the Newsletter Editor for the AGSG and as the UNR Campus Representative for the Society for California Archaeology. She is actively involved in promoting the field of geography in primary schools and through raising geographic visibility during Geography Awareness Week.