About Kevin

Prior to beginning my PhD, I worked for two years as the grant manager of the New York Farm Viability Institute, a non-profit grant funding organization in New York State that funds agricultural research and education projects that aim to improve the bottom line for farmers in NY. As grant manager, I was responsible for overseeing a yearly grant program, from solicitation of proposals to evaluation by reviewers to board decisions, and managed an active projects portfolio of several million dollars, among other duties. From 2008-2013 I worked in various capacities as a livestock producer, including 2010-2013 as the manager of a large beef operation in upstate New York that markets grain- and grass-fed beef in the New York City farmers market system. Simultaneously, beginning in 2007 and finally finishing in 2012, I worked on an MS in Conservation Biology at SUNY ESF, studying the habitat requirements and associations of a group of rare lowland boreal bird species in the Adirondack Park. The years prior to 2007 are a blur of ornithological field jobs, vegetable farming, travels, and general penury, with longer stops in Washington, California, British Columbia, Montana, Panama, and Martinique. I enjoy reading, hiking, skiing, basketball, and travel, and live outside town with my wife, Becca, who is a faculty member in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, our daughter, Lila, our dog Caleb, and 4 chickens.

CV

Interests

  • My PhD research focuses on larkspur, a genus of native perennial plants that are toxic to cattle and present numerous challenges to grazing management in the Western US. The work is aimed at identifying alternatives to traditional avoidance-based grazing management strategies, utilizing a complex systems approach to better understand the full range of potential strategies and challenges. Specifically, we are incorporating experimental field research, larkspur surveys, agent-based modeling, and producer knowledge in order to generate an adaptable and usable new framework for grazing management in larkspur habitat. More broadly, I am interested in using research to find practical solutions to the problems inherent to livestock production, with a focus on identifying strategies that simultaneously result in increased profitability for producers, improved ecological conditions on rangelands, and long-term sustainability for rural communities. My faculty adviser is Paul Meiman, and my committee includes Randall Boone, Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, and Troy Ocheltree.

Education

MS, Conservation Biology - SUNY ESF
Syracuse, NY, 2012

BS, Natural Resource Management - Cornell University
Ithaca, NY, 2002