About Alicia

The evidence supporting the need for an interdisciplinary, adaptive, systems approach to natural resource management throughout Latin America, is mounting. From majestic Andean glaciers to fertile Amazonian basins to ecologically diverse beaches, Latin America continues to invite fantasies of adventure and scientific exploration, beckoning visitors from around the world. Eco-tourism mixes with heritage tourism exploiting cultural and archaeological wonders, the remains of ancient, mysterious civilizations. These idealized, Indiana Jones-esque descriptions sharply contrast with the realities of community life and management of these natural and social systems pushed to their thresholds. The Central Andes region continues to experience greater anthropogenic change than nearly any other high mountain system on Earth (Harden 2006). Inclusion of and participation by underrepresented, marginalized, and indigenous populations in the process of developing sustainable natural resource approaches addresses the historic suppression and control of indigenous science, rights, and responsibilities as necessary partners if not owners in the development of sustainable watershed management efforts. In addition, privatization of water and land resources dominated policy development for the last couple of decades following alternating periods of decentralization and questionable democratization of water and land use rights. Without bridging between the highly segregated, disconnected set of stakeholders and users of natural resources, the physical landscape and social systems will continue to face steep obstacles to resiliency (Crawford & Bell 2012; Walker et al. 2004). My dissertation research examines landscape and water resource vulnerability utilizing a mixed-methods framework that includes remote sensing, participatory mapping, and a social assessment of watershed health in Cuzco, Peru. The decision support tools and framework for assessing watershed health developed seek to enhance sustainable, integrative, and inclusive collaboration and communication, accommodate ownership of knowledge and solution generation, empower underrepresented populations, and generate an atmosphere of learning.



  • Interests: Traveling; Hiking/Backpacking/Camping; Snowshoeing; Sport climbing/Bouldering; Cooking; Soccer, Community Service Projects Topical Study Interests: Indigenous Science; Natural Hazards and Disaster Response; Watershed Science, Trans and Inter-disciplinary research methods; GIS & Remote Sensing; Community-Based Natural Resource Management; Collaborative and Adaptive Management; Climate Change Science


M.S., Geographic Information Systems - University of Denver
Denver, CO, 2013

M.A., Broadcast Journalism - University of Colorado-Boulder
Boulder, CO, 2002

B.A., Communication Arts/Spanish - University of Alabama-Huntsville
Huntsville, AL, 1999

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • Recipient, RM URISA PhD Scholarship, 2016
  • Recipient, National Science Foundation IGERT Fellowship, I-WATER (Integrated Water, Atmosphere, Ecosystems, Education and Research) Program, Colorado State University, 2015
  • Presenter, University of Denver Pioneer Ambassador Science Careers Dinner. University of Denver, 2014
  • Finalist, Association of American Geographers (AAG), Geographic Information Science & Systems Paper Competition. AAG Conference – Los Angeles, 2013
  • Recipient, Laurance C. Herold Fund for Student Field Research. Funding supported completion of field work in Peru conducted to meet degree requirements of the MS, G.I.S. degree program. University of Denver, Department of Geography, 2012
  • 1st Place, Poster Session, Poster: Modeling landslide susceptibility and risk perception in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru. GIS in the Rockies, 2012
  • Recipient, Graduate Fellowship. University of Colorado-Boulder, 2000


Exploratory approach to addressing challenges of natural hazards management in Machu Picchu Pueblo, Peru – GIS prototype modeling of landslide susceptibility and risk perception

Paper Session, Climate Risk Management, Association of American Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting, Tampa, FL, March 2014

Geography in the Americas: Making the most of student exchanges for research and study abroad

Panel Session, AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, April 2013

GIS modeling of landslide susceptibility and risk perception – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru

Paper Session, Geographic Information Science & Systems, AAG Annual Meeting, Los Angeles, CA, April 2013

GIS prototype modeling of landslide susceptibility and risk perception – Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru: An exploratory approach

Presentation, GIS in the Rockies, Denver, CO, October 2013

Modeling landslide susceptibility and risk perception in Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo), Peru

Poster Session, GIS in the Rockies, Denver, CO, September 2012


  • UCAR COMET Program course, “Sedimentation Impacts Under Climate Change” by University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, 2015
  • ESRI Data Transformation with ArcGIS Data Interoperability Spatial ETL Tools by ESRI, 2013
  • ESRI Creating and Maintaining Metadata Using ArcGIS Desktop by ESRI, 2013


  • 2011 - Present, Association of American Geographers
  • 2015 - Present, American Geophysical Union