SEAL Research in the United States of America
I began working on my Master’s project at Western Kentucky University in August 2004 under the direct supervision of Dr. Steve Kenworthy. The aim of my research was to contribute to basin-wide assessments of non-source point water quality pollution in the Green River Basin. Siltation was recognized as the primary water quality concern in agricultural watersheds in Kentucky and I worked on implementing a landscape-scale, physically distributed model of soil erosion and deposition and assessing the effectiveness of riparian buffers in reducing sediment loads to streams. My fluvial geomorphology work at WKU also included installation of water quality probes in several streams, including underground streams in the Mammoth Cave system. I had the pleasant responsibility of descending into the incredible cave system with colleagues on a regular basis to ensure the proper functioning of our instruments and downloading the data. Some of my work at WKU was published in the Journal of Spatial Hydrology and other USDA/EPA reports. My time at WKU also included volunteer work as a cave mapper on the Isla Mona cave in Puerto Rico, applied fieldwork in the Death Vallery and Mojave Desert and a geology field course in the Bahamas. During my IGERT PhD training at University of Florida, I was also exposed to the management and scientific issues of the complex Everglades system of southern Florida, spending three weeks during an intensive field course throughout the south Florida region in meetings with stakeholders, scientists, and the different management agencies.
Upon taking my first tenure-track job at Southern Oregon University in 2010, I began learning about the geomorphology and water resources of the Pacific Northwest region. Ashland, Oregon is a small town in the watershed of the Bear Creek, a tributary of the Rogue River and, working with undergraduate students on different capstone projects, we investigated issues of sediment transport in the Ashland Creek (Aleece Richter thesis), geomorphological change along the Bear Creek floodplain (Amanda Twitchell, Mitchell Boyd, and Eric Smith capstone project), or issues such as slope stability assessments in the Natural Research Area of the Ashland Creek (Shane Stiles and Melody Thueson capstone thesis). My involvement with the Ashland Forestry Resilience Project was a fruitful collaboration that allowed me to explore collaborative relationship building and problem-based research in the southern Oregon region.
Currently, upon my relocation to UNCW and the Wilmington coast, I am working on developing collaborative coastal work with my colleagues and I am hoping to become involved with the Sea Grant community to pursue applied work that builds on my land change science and water resources background. I am interested in pursuing work with interested and motivated graduate students who wish to develop local and regional applied research projects.
On-going research and education projects in the United States
Through a recently-awarded University of North Carolina Wilmington Community Engagement Grant for the proposal entitled "Assessment of Critical Infrastructure and Key Resources in New Hanover County, NC, under Various Sea Level Rise and Storm Surge Scenarios", PI Narcisa G. Pricope and undergraduate students Sydney Bohn and Evan Hill are working with the City of Wilmington Planning Division on modeling the effects of sea level rise and indundation associated with storm surges on critical infrastructure in New Hanover County, NC.
Another on-going education project in the US is our National Science Foundation HRD Award No. 1533592: “Targeted Infusion Project: Building an interdisciplinary geosciences and geospatial intelligence curricula through applied training in mapping and spatial reasoning”. PIs: Camelia Kantor, Narcisa G. Pricope, Hicks Bettie and Camelia Knapp. In response to an increased emphasis on geospatial literacy in many career fields thanks to rapid rise of consumer-use mobile devices and Geographic Information Systems’ growing utilization, the proposed project will contribute to the development of a more integrated, innovative, and project-based learning environment at Claflin University, a Historically Black College and University in South Carolina. This will be achieved by congruently offering interdisciplinary and synergistic human-physical geography pilot training to a group of thirty students majoring in STEM, social sciences, or education, and by designing a new special topics course in Applied Mapping and Spatial Reasoning. Therefore, the proposed project’s overall goal is to foster, advance, and strengthen interdisciplinary development and applied training in geosciences and geospatial intelligence of a diverse workforce. The goal will be reached by achieving the following cognitive, affective, and behavioral objectives: learn principles and methods for describing physical and human earth features; decode, comprehend, analyze and place maps in their proper spatial and chronological contexts; utilize modern technologies to collect web-based and field data and; create and interpret discipline specific maps; be sensitive and aware of a map’s spatial, chronological, and cultural context to identify possible bias; value the role of geospatial literacy in today’s job market; understand and appreciate the relevance of minority involvement in geospatial decision-making and; have positive feelings toward geoscience and geospatial intelligence; interact with geospatial phenomena in their natural state; incorporate geospatial concepts and skills into one’s career and; utilize acquired know-how for community decision-making.