Executive Committee

The Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Reseach (MPCER) Executive Committee is made up of NAU faculty members from a wide array of disciplines, including biology, ecology, environmental sciences, engineering, forestry, and geology. In guiding the MPCER, the diverse training and perspectives of the executive committee members fosters the cross-disciplinary approach that MPCER seeks to advance in both research and education. The exceptional scientists and faculty members that make the executive committee include the following people:

R. Scott Anderson

Scott Anderson is an Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Quaternary Studies and the Director of the Center for Environmental Sciences and Education. His research interests include disturbance ecology, paleoecology, and global change issues.

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Tina Ayers

Tina Ayers

Tina Ayers is an Associate Professor of Biological Sciences and the Curator of NAU’s Deaver Herbarium. Her research interests are in plant systematics, biogeography, and floristics. Her current research uses morphological and molecular datasets to reconstruct the evolutionary history of lobelioids from Mexico to Andean South America.

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Paul Beier

Paul Beier is a Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Biology. His current work focuses on design of wildlife corridors, with an emphasis on collaborative, science-based procedures. Paul also investigates the dynamics of plague and rodent communities with emphasis on Gunnison prairie dogs, genetic patterns of wildlife in landscapes fragmented by natural and human-caused barriers, and the ecological role of birds in forest ecosystems.

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Paul Flikkema

Paul Flikkema is a Professor of Electrical Engineering. His research interests include areas of networked communication and computation systems, with applications to networked embedded systems, wireless sensor networks, and genomic information networks.

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George Koch

George Koch is a Professor of Biology. George’s research interests include plant ecological physiology, effects of climate change on plant biogeography, and ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and primary productivity.

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Stephen M. Shuster

Stephen Shuster is a Professor of Invertebrate Zoology in the Department of Biological Sciences. His research interests are in the evolution of animal mating systems, male and female reproductive strategies, and population biology of marine organisms.

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Paul Umhoefer

Paul Umhoefer is a Professor in the Department of Geology. His research is focused on tectonics, especially active and young tectonics of Late Cenozoic time. In particular, Paul is interested in the tectonic evolution of and processes that form oblique plate boundaries, including the study of the basins and related faults that form there (as well as the processes and evolution of areas with mixed strike-slip and dip-slip faulting).

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Thomas Whitham

Thomas G. Whitham

Thomas Whitham is the Executive Director of the Merriam-Powell Center for Environmental Research and Regents' Professor. His research is focused on cottonwood riparian communities and pinyon-juniper woodlands. These studies emphasize plant-herbivore interactions and a community-level understanding of the consequences of plant genetics and environmental stress on keystone species.

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