Graduate Students


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


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.

Cole Cremen

I graduated with a BA in Architecture from University of Maryland in spring of 2018

My prior research includes Affordable Housing, Sustainable Building, and Building Technology. At Appalachian State my research interests are Planning, GIScience, and Climate Change.

My personal interests are downhill skateboarding, hiking, and playing music.  


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.


Drew Harris

BA History Winthrop University 2014

Academic Interests: GIScience, Sustainable Planning, Programming

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

Katherine Hart

I graduated from the Honors Program at Coastal Carolina University with a B.S. in Marine Science focusing in physical oceanography. I also completed a minor in Business Administration at École Supérieure du Commerce Extérieur in Paris.

My previous research focused on hurricane landfall site prediction. At Appalachian State, my research interests include climate change and atmospheric studies.

My personal interests include relaxing on the beach, skiing, longboarding, and rooting for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates.

Will Hutchinson

I received my B.S. in Environmental Science from Appalachian State University in 2016. 

The focus of my undergraduate research was on plant physiology and stomatal reactivity.

Research interests: Climate change, plants, hyperspectral data analysis, GIS

Personal interests: Music, hiking, nature


Tania Ita Vargas

I received my B.S. in Meteorology from Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina (Lima, Peru) in 2013. I have also worked for 5 years as a weather forecaster in the National Weather Service of Peru.

Research interests: Synoptic Climatology of South America, Mountain Geography, Climate Change, Cryosphere, El Niño Southern Oscillation.

Personal interests: Reading, hiking, cooking, traveling


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.

Timothy Kinlaw

I graduated from Appalachian State University in Spring 2018 with a B.S. in Geography and a certificate in GIS (Accelerated Admissions Program).

Research interests include: Hydroclimatology, Mountain Geography, and GIScience.

Personal interests: Hiking, Running, Bouldering, Mountain Biking, Coffee and Tea, Reading, Volunteering, and most other things outdoors.

Nick Kuntz

I received my B.A. in Biology, Environmental Science and a minor in Chemistry from Central College in 2017.  Research Interests:GIScience, Spatial Analysis, Hydrology, Biogeography, Natural Resource Management and Conservation. Personal Interests:Hiking, kayaking, hunting, fishing, gardening, exercising, and sports.


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.

Katie Miller


I will graduate in Spring of 2019 with a B.S. in Geography (4 plus 1 program).

Research Interests: GIScience, Remote Sensing, Geology and Climate Change

Personal Interests: Volunteering, Pizza, Mentoring Youth and Fly Fishing

Kayla Mounce

I will graduate in December 2018 with a B.S. in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Geography from Appalachian State University. (Accelerated Admissions Program)

Research Interests: Food Insecurity, Natural Resource Management, Agriculture, Conservation Planning

Personal Interests: Hiking, Snowboarding, Gardening, Cooking


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

Alan Toney

I graduated from Gardner-Webb with a B.S. in Business Administration in 2016 

 My research and professional interests include rural and small town planning, rural and small town land use, rural and small town economic development, and policy.  I am also a huge soccer fan and history buff. I also enjoy fishing, traveling, and hunting. 

Frances Tucker

I received my B.S. in Geography with a Concentration in GIS in 2017 from Appalachian State University. 

Some of my research interests include GIS applications within Hydrology, Agriculture, and Wildlife. 

Personal Interests: Farming, pumpkins, hunting, fishing, kayaking, and my dogs.


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