Kate is a Postdoctroal Research Associate in the University of Utah Anthropology Department. Her research examines how human economic decisions contribute to ecological disturbance regimes, primarly via the human use of fire. Specifically, she studies how landscape and cooking fires influence human subsistence decisions and create ecological consequences. Her current research is focused on understanding the contemporary social and ecological drivers and impacts of Tribal firewood harvesting on the Colorado Plateau. Additionally, Kate is a has long conducted research and education on dark skies and light pollution, which she frames as an important contemporary dimension of human ecology. As a Dark Sky Scholar, she will be teaching a course as part of the new Dark Sky Studies minor at the University of Utah.
Kate believes that powerful course curricula utilizes research as a teaching tool. Always looking for new ways to engage with science outreach, Kate frequently gives public talks and hosts visitors at field sites, such as at the Bonderman Field Station at Rio Mesa.
Kate earned her PhD in 2019. Previously, she earned her MS in Anthropology at UU in 2014 and a BA in Anthropology at University of Arizona, Tucson in 2004. She spent the intervening years working for the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management. Issues in public land management and traditional lands heavily inform her research interests.