Graduate Students

Lauren Andersen

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


Elizabeth Bailey

I received my B.A. in Political Science from Queens University of Charlotte in 2017.

Research interests: Conservation, National Resource Management, Mountain Geography, Climate Change, Geopolitics

Personal interests: Backpacking, hiking, mountain biking, traveling


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.


Abie Bonevac

I will graduate in Spring 2018 with a B.S. in Geography GIS, and in Community & Regional Planning from Appalachian State University (Accelerated Admissions Program)

Research Interests: Transportation Planning, Policy, Mountain Geography, and Water Vulnerability.

Personal Interests: Knitting, Cooking, Baking, Reading, and Collecting Mini Paintings.


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.


Elizabeth Goughnour

Received my BS in Criminal Justice with a concentration in International Studies from Appalachian State University in 2016.

Research interests: GIScience, Remote Sensing, Wildlife Conservation, and Geopolitics.

Personal Interest: Hiking, traveling, surfing, sea kayaking, running, reading, and anything at the beach.


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.


Drew Harris

BA History Winthrop University 2014

Academic Interests: GIScience, Sustainable Planning, Programming

Personal Interests: Soccer, college football, hiking, and running


Joe Jonaitis

I'm working in a team under Dr. Baker Perry focusing on precipitation in the Andes. Some of my professional interests include programming, GIScience, weather phenomena, and social justice.

My prior experiences include teaching in Spain, working as a federal labor investigator, and serving in the Peace Corps in Guatemala. I earned a BS in physiology from Michigan State University.

In my spare time, I enjoy reading, dune climbing in Michigan, biking, eating Lithuanian food, watching lake effect snow bands, and playing ultimate Frisbee.


April Kaiser

I received my B.A. in Biology and double minor in Chemistry and Geography from Appalachian State University in 2016.

My research interests include climate change, biogeography, conservation, and human geography.

Personal Interests: I enjoy horseback riding, hiking, loving my four canine fur children, traveling, and enjoying nearly anything outdoors.


Elisa MacGoun

I received my B.A. of Philosophy from University of North Carolina at Charlotte- 2016.

My research interests include Green ecosystems, ecosystem advocacy/ protection, non-profit environmental, Phycology, and human geography.

Personal Interests: hiking, tennis, rock climbing, dancing, singing, cooking, bowling, Ukulele.


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.


Zebulon Sanders

B.A. in Geography with a minor in Recreation Management at Appalachian State University (2012)

My research interests include watershed science, climate change, conservation, and GIS.

I spend my free moments eating, sleeping and exploring the wild parts of western North Carolina.


Whitney Spagnolo

B.S. in Environmental Science with a minor in Geology, Appalachian State University, 2013

Research Interests: Remote Sensing, Hydrology, Ecotoxicology, Freshwater stewardship, Philosophy

Personal Interests: Kayaking, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, craft beer, live music, gardening, cooking, and spending time with my husband and fur family


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.


Matthew Wilson

B.S. in Geography with a concentration in GIS from Appalachian State University in 2018 (Accelerated Admissions Program)

Research interests: GIScience, Human/Cultural Geography, Political Ecology, Understanding and Defining Place, Historical Geography and GeoPolitics  Personal interests: Reading, writing, philosophy, soccer, hiking, and coffe