Humboldt State University (2012-2015) - B.S. in Forestry with a Minor in Geospatial Analysis
Montana State University (2016-Present) - Ph.D in Ecology & Environmental Science
Title of Research Project:
Evaluating Whitebark Pine (Pinus albicaulis) Resistance and Resilience to Fire and Insect Outbreaks in Northwestern Montana
The primary goal of my dissertation research is to assist the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) in assembling and analyzing demographic information for mixed-conifer forests across six sites on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana. The study sites span a range of elevation (high to low), which reflect historic land use by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, with more frequent (higher impact) land use at low elevation sites and less frequent (lower impact) land use at high elevation sites. This research will assist CSKT resource managers in quantifying the impacts of disturbance (predominately fire, insects, and pathogens) in relation to stand age, structure, and species diversity. In addition, whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) is a keystone species that is found at three of the high elevation sites in this study. Another aspect of my research is to assess the allocation of resources to tree growth and the development of defensive features (e.g. resin ducts and the chemical composition of resinous tissues). I am currently investigating trends in whitebark pine growth and defense and how these vary across spatially explicit disturbance types (e.g. low-, mixed-, and high-severity fire regimes, as well as insect and pathogen activity).
Dr. David McWethy
Course Instructor for GPHY 411 (Biogeography), Montana State University (2018). Primary instructor for the undergraduate Biogeography course. Developed and implemented over 16 lesson plans covering 30+ hours of instruction. Adapted teaching methods and instructional materials to meet students' varying needs, abilities, and interests. Created exams, quizzes, and class projects and assigned and graded class work. Coordinated with faculty and graduate students on guest lectures and lecture enhancement modules.
Graduate Teaching Assistant, Montana State University (2016 / 2017). Teaching assistant for ERTH 212 – Yellowstone: A Scientific Laboratory. Led weekly lab sessions and coordinated with course instructor and undergraduate teaching assistants in the administration, collection and grading of lab assignments, course homework, and exams. Helped organize field trips to Yellowstone National Park and worked intimately with students in the completion of research projects related to ongoing social, economic, and ecological issues in the Park.
Instructional Student Assistant, Humboldt State University (2015). Served as instructional resource for students enrolled in Geospatial Studies courses, including introductory and intermediate GIS, cartography, and remote sensing. Worked primarily with ESRI’s ArcGIS software suite as well as QGIS.
Instructional Student Assistant, Humboldt State University (2012-2015). Teaching assistant for SOILS 260 - Introduction to Soil Science. Organized and led weekly study sessions over the course of six semesters for individual students as well as for groups of up to 40 students.
USFS Student Ambassador (Partnership for Public Service), Humboldt State University (2015). Utilized experience as Forest Service Intern to help motivate and inspire an extensive network of over 150 students to find and apply for positions within federal agencies. Actively interfaced with this community to keep members apprised of employment opportunities and strategies for success in state and federal occupations.
Wildland Fire Lab Assistant, Humboldt State University (2014-2015). Worked as a lab assistant for a variety of projects related to wildland fire behavior and fuels management. Assisted with data collection, processing, and analysis of sugar pine data to assess environmental influences on growth and development of defense features. Also processed and analyzed data for longleaf pine trees sampled across a variety of fire treatments to assess how fire influences tree physiology.
Forestry Technician, U.S.F.S. Shasta-Trinity National Forest (2015). Integral member of inter-agency (CalFIRE / USFS) Redding Air Attack Base crew, stationed in Redding, California. Provided support in radio operations and timekeeping, which involved rigorous tracking of fuel, retardant, aircraft response times, as well as new incident and diversion requests.
Forestry Technician, U.S.F.S. Custer National Forest (2013). Engaged in initial attack activities on BLM Engine 2605. Wildfires were suppressed using hand tools and engine resources when applicable. Participated in fuel reduction treatments and utilized variety of equipment such as chainsaws, Pulaskis, McLeods, fire rakes / flappers, shovels, Adze hoes, and drip torches.
Journals Director, Berkeley Electronic Press (2007-2012). Directly supervised team of 7 individuals in production of 68 academic journals. Worked with editors and editorial boards to formulate and implement plans for strategic journal development. Oversaw creation and scheduling of feature requests and implementation strategies for journals collection. Managed departmental budget and allocated revenue for events and special promotions. Interfaced with development, support, sales, and marketing teams to promote and improve journal presence within respective academic communities
Kichas NE, Hood SM, Pederson GT, Everett RG, McWethy DB (2019) Characteristics of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) growth and defense in response to mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Northwestern Montana. Forest Ecology and Management (in review).
Brown SR, Baysinger A, Brown PM, Cheek JL, Diez JM, Grant TA, Grissino-Mayer HD, St. Jacques JM, Jordan DA, Leef ML, Rourke MK, Speer JH, Spradlin CE, Stevens JT, Stone JR, Van Winkle B, Zeibig-Kichas NE (2019). Fire history across forest types in the southern Beartooth Mountains, Wyoming. Journal of Tree-Ring Research (accepted - to be published in Spring 2020).
Zeibig-Kichas NE, Ardis CW, Berrill JP, King JP (2016) Bark thickness equations for mixed-conifer forest type in Klamath and Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. International Journal of Forestry Research 2016(1864039): 1-10. doi: 10.1155/2016/1864039
Slack AW, Zeibig-Kichas NE, Kane JM, Varner JM (2016) Contingent resistance in longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) growth and defense 10 years following smoldering fires. Forest Ecology and Management 364(15): 130-138. doi: 10.1016/j.foreco.2016.01.014
Conferences and Presentations:
Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation Annual Conference (September 2019). Talk: "Characteristics of whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis) growth and defense in response to disturbance on the Flathead Indian Reservation in northwestern Montana."
Humboldt State University, CNRS & INRSEP Undergraduate Research Symposium (October 2015). Poster Presentation: “The importance of resin duct production on increased sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) resin flow in an old-growth forest in the Sierra Nevada”
Humboldt State University, IDEA Fest (April 2015). Poster Presentation: “The importance of resin duct production on increased sugar pine (Pinus lambertiana) resin flow in an old-growth forest in the Sierra Nevada”
Humboldt State University, CNRS & INRSEP Undergraduate Research Symposium (October 2014). Poster Presentation: “Smoldering duff fire impacts on longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) growth and defense”
Ecological Society of American, 99th Annual Conference (August 2014). Poster Presentation: “Smoldering duff fire impacts on longleaf pine (Pinus palustris) growth and defense”
Grants, Scholarships, and Awards:
Joint Fire Science Program - Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) Grant (2017) - Award Value: $25,000
Donald L. Smith Memorial Scholarship, Montana State University (2016) - Award Value: $1,000
HSU Forestry Alumni Scholarship, Humboldt State University (2015) - Award Value: $1,000
Xi Sigma Pi Western Regional Scholarship, Humboldt State University (2014) - Award Value: $1,000
Dillard/Bailey Undergraduate Forestry Scholarship, Humboldt State University (2014) - Award Value: $1,000
Humboldt State University Presidential Scholar (2012-2015)
Professional Affiliations and Honors Societies:
Association of Fire Ecology (AFE), Student Member
Student Association for Fire Ecology (SAFE) – Secretary for HSU Chapter (2013-2015)
Ecological Society of America (ESA), Student Member
Society for American Foresters (SAF), Student Member
Phi Kappa Phi – Honor Society
Xi Sigma Pi – Honor Society – President for HSU Chapter (2014-2015)