“I came to Western University for a number of reasons: to take advantage of the opportunity to study with one of the pre-eminent researchers in my field, to experience life in another country, and to work collaboratively with other world-class researchers both inside and outside of my department.”
Supervisor: Dr. James Voogt
Where is “home” for you?
Where did you complete your undergraduate degree?
I did my undergraduate degree in Environmental Science at the University of Portland in sunny Portland, Oregon.
What’s the best advice you could give to someone considering applying to your graduate program?
Talk to professors and read their papers. Don’t be shy – professors love to talk about their research with students (prospective or otherwise).
Describe your research in 100 words or less.
Broadly, I study urban climatology. My research focuses on developing long-term assessments of the surface urban heat island effect – the notion that surface temperatures within cities tend to be warmer when compared to their non-urbanized surroundings. Walls, rooftops, and roads in cities store a significant amount of heat energy which has an overall warming effect on urban spaces. Surface temperatures regulate air temperatures, humidity, and winds in near-ground climates. Thus, a better understanding of urban surface temperature patterns over long time periods (i.e. seasonal and beyond) can help city planners, engineers, and policymakers develop more sustainable, energy-efficient, and comfortable cities.
What are you most passionate about?
Everyone has the capacity to have an impactful voice in the scientific dialogue, not just professors and researchers. I’d like to make a contribution myself, and foster confidence in others so they may do the same.
What is it about your grad program that enables you to thrive and be successful?
Geography is a massively diverse field, and Western’s geography program absolutely reflects that range of inquiry. Talking with students and professors who have vastly different research goals/topics yields a lot of insight and cross-pollination.
What is your “dream” career?
I’m living it! I set my own schedule, work where I want to, have great colleagues, and there’s free coffee (most) Fridays. Looking to the future, I’d like to end up somewhere where I can try new things, make countless mistakes, and learn every day.
What one thing would you like people to know about you?
I was runner up in the Covington Middle School 4th grade geography bee … I peaked early in life. In all seriousness, I’d like to be remembered as an animated, intense, and persistent learner, teacher, and colleague.