Graduate Students

Hannah Bagli

I graduated from Appalachian State in Spring 2020 with a B.S. in Community and Regional Planning. I was a 4+1 student, so I completed half of my graduate degree as a senior.

My previous research experience includes CAVs (Connected and Automated Vehicles) or self-driving cars and community development and accessible recreation in Southeast Tennessee, North Georgia, and East Alabama. Continuing at Appalachian, my research interests include CAVs, community and economic development, and transportation planning.

My personal interests include: hanging out with my cat, riding horses, biking, and finding the best iced coffee.

Harrison Brown

I graduated from Appalachian State University in Spring 2020 with a B.A. in Geography and Planning and a B.A. in German Language, Literature, and Culture.

My research involves remote sensing, human geography, and linguistics. I intend to further research the connections between climate change and human/political geography, specifically, how to connect with people in order to effectively communicate the need for climate change policy and climate justice reform.

My personal interests are listening to music and playing my guitar and bass, as well as learning about different languages and cultures.

Ben Capell

I graduated with a B.S. in Outdoor Leadership and Biology minor from North Greenville University in December of 2017.

My research experience primarily comes from employment opportunities. As an environmental intern at a public utility, I contributed to a feasibility study of large-scale solar panel power generation. My most recent position as a materials testing technician gave me the opportunity to evaluate the performance of geosynthetics used to improve roadway longevity. My interests in this graduate program are: Planning, Conservation Ecology, Hydrology, and GIScience.

My personal interests include: biking, rock climbing, woodworking, and working on bikes.

Bailey Chavis

I graduated from Appalachian State University in May of 2020 with my B.S. in ecology, evolutionary and environmental biology and a minor in geography as well as a GIS certificate. I am currently pursuing my M.A. in Geography with a focus on GIS and GIScience.

My research interests include climate change, GIS technology and advancements, remote sensing imagery, and biological species conservation and ecology. Previously I have been involved in pollinator research which focused on the geographical distribution of bumble bees along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I hope to direct my future research towards species preservation and conservation using GIS technology.

My personal interests include fungi foraging, hiking, listening to music, and anime.

Amy Cox Harrelson

I graduated with an A.A.S. in Civil Engineering Technology from Gaston College in August of 1990, and a B.S. in Business Administration from Gardner-Webb University in May of 2012. Upon completion of NCBELS required field time and state examinations, I obtained my Professional Land Surveyor licensure in January of 1994. I have been a practicing land surveyor and small business owner for over 26 years, with additional intermittent employment experience at the senior project management level.

Research interests: Urban Planning, Policy, GIScience, Appalachian Culture

Personal interests: Family, Baking, Banjo Picking, Violin

Heather Dulaney

I graduated with a B.S. in Meteorology from Virginia Tech in December of 2018.

My prior research includes: urban heat and flood mapping, marsh migration mapping, and climate modeling of the alteration of hydrological and energy fluxes due afforestation. Here at Appalachian State, I am interested in the study of climate change's affects to high latitudes and mountains, snow and ice, and hydrology.

I enjoy music, hiking, and cooking during my free time.

Nick Gastelle

I graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a B.S. degree in Urban and Regional Planning in December 2019.

My research interests are in Urban Density, Demographic Mapping, Political Geography, and Global Urbanization. I am currently researching cross-professional collaboration potential between Social Workers and Urban Planners at the community level.

My personal interests are Skiing, playing Basketball and Soccer, Yoga, and I am also learning German and Swedish. 

Leah Handwerger

I graduated with a B.S in Sustainable Development and a minor in Nonprofit Management from Appalachian State University in 2015.

My prior research includes aquatic ecology, land conservation, and watershed management. At Appalachian, I'd like to explore the impacts climate change has on humans and aquatic ecosystems, particularly in the Southern Appalachian region.

In my spare time, I enjoy anything outdoors, seeing live music, and playing the violin.

Jon Maurer

I graduated with dual degrees in Climatology and Oceanography from the University of Maine in May of 2020.

My prior research includes paleoclimate, paleoceanography, glaciology, satellite oceanography, and geophysics.  The focus of this research has been monitoring and understanding the climate as it has evolved over Earth’s history and how it continues to change today. At App State I hope to study the effects of climate change on high mountain regions and how that change will affect populations that rely on those regions for water.

My personal interests include running, rock climbing, skiing or anything outdoors.

Camila Moreno

I graduated from Appalachian State in 2018 with a B.A in Spanish and a double minor in political science and geography. I have a broad range of interests such as GIScience and politics, but I am hoping to study more about climatology and understanding how current changing weather patterns will affect, and are affecting resource availability for marginalized populations in places such as Latin America.

Personal Interests: I love to make my own bread, spend time outside kayaking on the lake or river, hiking, walking my dogs, snowboarding, etc.

Alex ONeill

I graduated from Appalachian State in December of 2018 with a B.S. in Geography GIS. I am currently working on my masters thesis.

My research interests include glaciology, high mountain geography, climate change, water vulnerability, and human-environment interactions.

My personal interests include downhill skiing, ice and rock climbing, backpacking and film photography.

Quincy Williams

I graduated from the University of Wisconsin–Platteville in May of 2020 with a B.S. in Geography and minor in GIS. During my time at UW-Platteville my research focuses were rooted in dendrochronology though spanned across remote sensing, historical preservation, and human-environment interactions. I began focusing on issues in water science in the spring of 2020 while conducting research which attempted to reconstruct Lake Superior water supplies through Eastern Hemlock tree rings.

At Appalachian State, I am working with Dr. Derek Martin on a project which has the objective of providing insight to the impacts of dam removal on the fluvial geomorphology of the Watauga River. Ward's Mill Dam is the subject of this project and is a dam which has impounded the Watauga River since 1890 and represents a complex intersection of local history and ecological restoration.

In my free time I like to read about aviation and go outdoors for Nordic skiing, backpacking, sea kayaking, sailing, and canoeing.

Personal Website

Continuity in Research during COVID-19