Denise has been at IAE since 2008 and works as a Research Ecologist and Naturalist for the Conservation Research program contributing a diverse skill set to the organization. Some of her many duties include analyzing data, designing and implementing restoration experiments on rare and invasive species, mentoring seasonal staff and interns, leading field crews, and writing reports and grants. Some of her favorite work include projects contributing to the recover of two of her favorite species – Willamette Daisy (Erigeron decumbens), and pink sand verbena (Abronia umbellata ssp. breviflora).
She received an M.S. in Geology from Oregon State University in 2009, where she focused on the evolution of a long-lived volcanic system in northern Chile. She received a B.A. in Earth Sciences-Geology and Spanish from Western Oregon University in 2003, where her research interests included the development of a relative dating scheme of the 400+ volcanic cinder cones surrounding Newberry Volcano.
Some of her past field experience includes a project in northern Arizona studying the distribution of tephra from Sunset Crater; two dives in the deep-sea submersible Alvin in the Gulf of Alaska where she directed the collection of rock samples from a small porthole at the bottom of the ocean; and adventures on horseback to visit fresh lava flows in Chile.
Whether it is how to distinguish grasses from each other vegetatively, (–her favorite grass is Danthonia californica), where to stop for coffee, or your license plate number, Denise is your lady. Away from IAE she spends time playing the piano, gardening, meditating, mushrooming, telling bad jokes, and watching her son grow. Raised in her family’s homestead south of Corvallis, Denise has been using her on the ground experience gained at IAE to help maintain and restore the lands she will steward.