Melissa and Shelby are heading to CO to present at IALE!

A Glimpse into the Future: Using Spatial Modeling and Virtual Reality to Visualize Forests under Climate Change . Melissa Lucash, Jiawei Huang, Alexander Klippel,Robert M. Scheller, Robert Nicholas, Kelsey L. Ruckert, Erica A.H. Smithwick,

Using habitat suitability modeling to evaluate potential moose habitat and patterns of wildfire in interior Alaska. Shelby Weiss and Melissa Lucash

The Predictable, and not so Predictable, Spatial Distribution of Short Interval Fires Across the US West. Brian Buma, Melissa Lucash, Katherine Hayes and Shelby Weiss


Dr. Lucash's essay on the challenges of re-entering academia after being a stay-at-home mother

Melissa Lucash, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Portland State University, Portland, Oregon, USA
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     Being a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) for five years has left an indelible mark on my career. When I got pregnant during the fourth year of my PhD, my husband and I played “Who gets the best job first?” I lost and we moved from Syracuse, NY to Portland, OR. As a pregnant woman alone in a new city, I worked on my dissertation each day at the grocery store, befriending the local retired men’s group. I defended my dissertation when my daughter was nine months old. As she grew, I was a SAHM by day, but two nights a week I pretended I was a scientist again and worked on my dissertation publications. My friends thought I was crazy to spend my precious free time working on papers. But I knew I didn’t want to be a SAHM forever and needed to keep publishing. Even after my second daughter was born, I continued to write each night at the glacial pace of an exhausted mother who slept in two-hour increments every night.

Read my full essay here:

Paul Pettus has joined our lab

Paul has officially joined our lab as of 2/1/18 and will be working on our DoD grant with NC State University and the New England Conservancy. He will be leading the model simulation work that will improve our understanding of how climate change will affect one of the largest tracts of longleaf pine stands remaining in the U.S. His work will explore different forest harvest and prescribed burning treatments to ensure the long-term viability of lthe endangered red-Cockaded woodpecker, which thrives in longleaf stands on Fort Bragg.

We are happy to have him join our lab!