Alyssa Richards

Paleoecology of the Great Basin, Nevada

Undergraduate, College of Social and Behavioral Science, Department of Geography

Hi there! My name is Alyssa Richards, I am a senior in the department of Geography, majoring in GIS. In the long-term, I hope to work in a field focused on climate science, and climate reconstruction using GIS and my undergraduate research. For the past two years I have been working with Professor Larry Coats on packrat midden paleoecology. Packrats (Neotoma sp.) are small rodents that live in arid regions and build nests (middens) in protected places like caves. Because of this behavior, scientists are able to go in and dissect middens to understand the ecology of a region in the past. Specifically, I have been interested in Ice-Age (Pleistocene) ecology, and have been dissecting middens from the Great Basin, Nevada in search of bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) in areas it is not found today.

Undergraduate Wilkes Scholar