Current Grad Students


Lauren Andersen

B.S. Geography, GIS, and Community & Regional Planning from Appalachian State University in 2017 (Accelerated Admissions Program)

Research Interests: GIScience, Remote Sensing, Conservation, Sustainability, Environmental Justice

Personal Interests: Photography, Graphic Design, Traveling, Hiking, Tennis


Jesse Andrews

B.A. in History from the University of North Carolina Greensboro 2013

Research Interests: Medical Geography, Population Geography, Historical Geography

Hobbies: Cooking, Eating, Drinking, Poker, Scrabble, Hiking


Josh Billings

I received my B.S. in Recreation Management from Appalachian State University (2013).

My research interests include natural resource management, public land management, conservation, and green spaces in cities.

I personally enjoy backpacking, exercise, fishing, hunting, and reading.


William Cottrell

I received my B.S. in Biology/Ecology, Evolution, Environmental Biology at Appalachian State University in 2016.

My research interests include fluvial geomorphology, hydrology, watershed modelling, and ecohydrology.

My personal interests include competing on the ASU Cycling and Triathlon teams, backpacking, kayaking, surfing, travelling, coffee, reading, and cooking.


Montana Eck

I graduated with a B.A. in History from UNC Asheville in 2015.

Research Interests: Snowfall in Appalachia, Mountain Geography, Severe Weather, Paleoclimatology.

Personal Interests: College football, hiking, gem mining, traveling.


Christopher Ely

B.A.  Geology with an Economics Minor, Southern Illinois University 2015

Research interests: Hydrology and Fluvial Geomorphology

Personal Interests: I enjoy hiking, paddling, camping, fishing, and traveling. Minerals and magnets are pretty neat too.


Jason Endries

I graduated from NC State University with a B.S. in Meteorology in 2015.

Research interests: cloud and precipitation patterns, snowflake structure, meteorological processes in the Andes

Personal interests: running, watching the weather, traveling, Spanish


Carly Everhart 

B.A. in Geography and Archaeology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2016.

Research Interests: GIScience, Cartography, Archaeology, Anthropology

Personal Interests: Music, Computers, Video Games, Reading, Traveling and my beautiful girlfriend Katie.

Heather Guy

MSci Natural Sciences (Physics & environmental science with a focus on climate modelling), Lancaster University, UK, 2015

Research interests: Meteorological processes in the Andes

Personal interests: Trail running, swimming, hiking, skiing, climbing, surfing, weather, mountains, beaches & anything outdoors.

Sean Ledbetter 


Undergraduate: Virginia tech, studying statistics and international development. I did my research as an undergrad with a focus in the housing market, and food deserts.  Along with work in acceptance rates of the LGBTQ community.  

As a grad, I would like to focus more on the physical geography with a focus on human movement in respect to migration and refugee status.  

Megan Maloney 

My research is focused on the remote sensing of vegetation, spectral analysis, and predictive modeling. 

My interests include the ecology of forests and drylands, restoration and sustainable management, remote sensing using hyperspectral and LiDAR, geospatial analysis for landscape level assessment, and biodiversity conservation.

I graduated from Sweet Briar College with a B.A. in Environmental Studies in 2008. I previously worked at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, conducting geospatial analyses of climate risks such as storm surge.



Burke McDade

B.S. in Biology (ecology, evolution and environment) from Appalachian State 2015

Research Interests:  GIScience, Remote sensing, forest succession, wildlife and fisheries conservation, and mountain ecosystems

Personal Interests: Running, hiking, camping, fly fishing, kayaking, traveling, playing sports for recreation  


Evan Montpellier 

B.S. in Geography with a Geology Minor from Appalachian State University in 2017 (Accelerated Admissions Program) 

My research interests include Paleoclimatology, Dendrochronology, Tree Ecology, Ice Cores, and Mountain Geography. 

In my free time I enjoy biking, camping, hiking, running and fly fishing.


Garry Raynor

B.S. Geography/GIS concentration from Appalachian State (2014).

Research Interests: remote sensing, social and environmental justice issues.

Hobbies: running, hiking, geocaching, reading, and travelling.


Will Stine

B.S. in Geography with Concentration in GIS from App State (2016).

Research Interests: GIScience, Crime Analysis, as well as Predictive and Statistical Modeling.

Personal Interests/Hobbies: Traveling, Hiking, Kali/Arnis Stick Fighting, and History (especially Ancient European/Mediterranean).


Hayley Thompson 

I graduated with my Bachelors in Geography and a minor in Community and Regional Planning from Appalachian State University in 2016. I plan on graduating with a Master's in Geography (GIS Concentration) in 2017. I have spent the last summer working with both USGS and WWF. This has allowed me to further develop my GIS skills and explore two of the various facets of geography.

My research interests include: environmental issues in mountain regions, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), environmental conservation, climatology, natural hazards, sustainability, and conservation geography.

My personal interests include: hiking with my dog, travelling and exploring new places, photography, reading, and cooking.

Laura Thompson 

I received my B.A. in Anthropology and Studio Art from the University of Tennessee in 2011.

My research interests include human geography, mountain geography, food geography, cartography, information design, and community outreach and development.

My other interests include hiking, running, backpacking, mountain biking, art, and baking.


David Vines

I received my B.A. in Cultural Anthropology and a minor in French from North Carolina State University (2012). 

My research interests include Human Geography, Political Ecology, Historical Geography and Geopolitics.  

In my spare time I enjoy fly fishing for wild and native trout, trail running, backcountry skiing and working on old cars and motorcycles.


Jacqueline Walczak 

I graduated from Appstate with a BS in Environmental Biology in 2016.

Research Interests: Medical Geography, Environmental Health, Biogeography, Conservation, and Climate Change Impacts.

Personal Interests: I enjoy most any outside activity including hiking, camping, horseback riding, running, kayaking, etc. I also enjoy traveling, exploring new places and Netflix.