I earned my B.S. and Ph.D. in Biochemistry (from Northern Michigan University and Michigan State University, respectively).
Before becoming dean of the School of Natural and Health Sciences at Moravian College, I served as chair of Biological Sciences at Moravian College and chair of Chemistry at East Stroudsburg University. I am also currently serving as the interim director for the Environmental programs at Moravian and teach courses on biochemistry, environmental science, conservation biology, sustainability, environmental health, and climate change.
Trained as a plant biochemist, my research focuses on the ecological restoration of a contaminated site (the Palmerton Superfund site) and examining heavy metal impacts on plants. I am involved with ecological monitoring along mountain landscapes in the portion of the Appalachian Mountains in Pennsylvania, in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem/Rocky Mountains, and the Peruvian Andes. Of key interest is how forest habitats, birds, and pollinators are responding to climate change and other environmental threats. These projects, including the Eastern Pennsylvania Phenology Project, involve citizen scientists and provide an opportunity to better understand STEM learning in informal settings.
I have authored over 50 publications and contributed to several reports – including a 200-page ecological assessment for a Superfund site and the 2011 PA Climate Change Adaptation report. Since 2009, I have attended international meetings as a credentialed observer for the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC and serve as a member of the steering committee for the international Research and Independent NGOs constituency group and on the Adaptation Taskforce of the UNFCCC Technology Executive Committee.
In Pennsylvania, I work with nature centers and non-profits to develop informal education programming on a wide range of environmental and sustainability issues and finding unique ways to effectively communicate science to general audiences and engage the public in science and policy.