Graduate Students

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.

Cole Cremen

I graduated with a B.A. 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.  

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.

Zuri Garcia

Zuri Garcia hails from the Lone Star State, where she graduated from The University of Texas with a B.A. in Applied Learning and Development. After her undergraduate degree, Zuri became an organizer for low-wage workers and then went on to become a second-grade Dual Language teacher in a Spanish immersion program. Though she will miss the opportunities being in a classroom afforded her, she is eager to embark on earning her M.A. in Geography and Planning at Appalachian State University. Zuri’s focus is on Disaster Response and Hazard Mitigation. She believes that, as a nation, we have begun to empower urban communities of color, yet we have not given the same attention to our rural counterparts who face the same marginalization. Zuri looks forward to better understanding the disenfranchised agricultural workers and their resiliency in the aftermath of natural disasters. Her objective is to couple Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) with computer science as a means to improve and contribute to rural spaces.

When she is not studying, you will find Zuri gardening at home, dabbling with woodworking, reading, or searching for more Talavera to add to her collection.

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.

Stella Harden

I am an Accelerated Admissions student graduating in December 2018 with a B.S. in Geography and a minor in Political Science.

Research Interests: Human Migration, Politics, Climate Change, Health, GIScience

Personal Interests: Running, Volunteering, Animals, and Cooking

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

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.

Tatiana Magee

Tatiana Magee double-majored in Geography and Community and Regional Planning with a certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) at Appalachian State University and is currently working towards her M.A. in Geography. During her time as an undergraduate she studied abroad to the Cordillera Vilcanota with Dr. Baker Perry in 2018 and then returned with Dr. Derek Martin and Dr. Mark Spond in 2019 as a translator and student instructor. When she’s not in the Geography lab, she can be found climbing around the High Country, hiking in the Blue Ridge, and enjoying the various outdoor opportunities that Western North Carolina has to offer.

During her internship at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy as the Southeastern Community Research Coordinator, Tatiana was responsible for researching outdoor recreation economic development project initiatives and related economic analyses of A.T. Communities to promote geotourism. As a latinx in both the outdoor community and environmental realm, individuals like herself are rarely along the trail, at the crag, or in the boulder field. With society continuing to separate itself from the natural environment, the promotion, protection, and potential of its influence is more critical than ever. 

Katie Miller

I received my B.S. in Geography from ASU in May of 2019 with a minor in Geology. I am a graduate assistant at ASU with Appalachian and the Community Together.

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

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

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.

Kayla Mounce

I have a B.S. degree in Sustainable Development with a concentration in Environmental Studies and a minor in Geography from Appalachian State University (Accelerated Admissions Program). I have a Soil Science certificate from NC State University. I am currently working at Wilkes Soil & Water Conservation District as a Natural Resource Conservationist.

Research Interests: Natural Resource Management, Agriculture, Conservation Planning, Unmanned Aircraft Systems and their Application in Agriculture, No-till Gardening

Personal Interests: Hiking, Snowboarding, Gardening, Cooking

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.