Sea Level Hazards Publication

I'm afraid I've had to scale back my communications regarding any future climate change research that I'm conducting, so apologies for not keeping folks up to date. I've been asked when my sea level and storm surge report will be released. I'm afraid I don't have an answer to that question. I finished writing it last October (2016). It went through review and the text was finalized in February 2017. All that was left was to edit the document to make it 508 compliant (so Americans with disabilities could access the text) and get approval from Washington to release it. As far as I know, it is still waiting for approval from Washington for release. 

In the meantime, I'm pleased to announce that the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) has released a new report on disaster reduction that includes a section on hazards associated with sea level rise that I wrote. You can find the full report here:

I have also posted just the sea level rise section on my publications page: here.

Hopefully my next update will have more positive news regarding the release of the sea level and storm surge report. We are certainly living in interesting times right now. 

Finding Pollen in Tobacco

I'm a little slow posting here that Tennessee Archaeology has published a new article in which I'm second author. You can access the article by clicking on the image below (or you can access it by clicking on it in my past climate section). This is a project that came up after my colleague, Stephen Carmody, approached me and asked if it was possible to extract pollen from a pipe that had been smoked. It took some experimentation, but I was able to develop a method of extraction that seems to work well. It would be fun to try this technique on other pipes from the west. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about this work or ideas for further applications of this. I realize this work doesn't tell us anything about past climate, but I'm always excited to try to develop new techniques.

 A selection of the pipes that we used to see if there was any tobacco pollen in them.

A selection of the pipes that we used to see if there was any tobacco pollen in them.

Pollen at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Hi all,

It isn't very often that I get to break loose from my office or lab to take part in the outreach program that is lead by the National Park Service, but I just wanted to share a few images of me and my colleagues at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We were at the museum yesterday to help them celebrate national fossil day. I brought along my microscope and few pollen slides from Rocky Mountain National Park so I show the kids what some microscopic fossils look like. I have to say that it was a big success! Hopefully I will be able to attend a few more sessions like this in the future. The National Park Service is a fantastic organization to work with, and I'm especially proud that we are starting to introduce the topic of paleoenvironmental research into our outreach activities. Click on the picture below for a link to the full gallery. 

New NPS Sea Level Rise Website

I'm pleased to announce the creation of a new National Park Service website that addresses the impacts of sea level change. The website is a little bare bones at the moment as the final report for my project is still going through review, but watch this space in the coming months for links to the report and our online sea level and storm viewer.

Forthcoming Webinar

Hi everyone, I just wanted to leave a quick note with a link to my forthcoming webinar presentation on sea level rise and storm surge in the National Park System. The webinar is on Thursday October 13 at 2 pm EST/11 am PST. You will need to register in advance to watch it:

I'll be using this opportunity to preview the sea level and storm surge report that is going through review right now, so check it out if you would like a sneak peek of what will be released in 2017.

New NPS Publication

The National Park Service has decided to release a publication co-authored by me (along with Courtney Schupp and Rebecca Beavers) outlining the present as well as potential impact of climate change in the coastal zone. This is especially timely given the current COP21 meeting. The report can be found here: 

New Publications and Blog Mention

Hi folks, it's been a while since I've updated my blog. I have a few pieces of news. While teaching is currently keeping me very busy at the moment, I'm also proud to announce that I have two research articles out this month. The first article I've already mentioned in my blog before, but now Association of American Geographers members are all probably getting copies of my charcoal article in the mail.

I also have an article regarding my Caribbean research coming out today in the journal Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology. Both of my articles are about past changes in climate in the Caribbean region. This is an area that I am hoping to do more work on in the near future. I'm also always happy to hear from other researchers working in the region (so feel free to send me an email or tweet using the contact information in the top right corner of this site).

Finally, my future climate change research was mentioned recently in a guest article/blog post by my good colleague Dr. Rebecca Beavers for the Preservation Leadership Forum Blog. I encourage everyone to check it out, particularly those of you who are interested in how the National Park Service is preparing for climate change in the coastal zone. It's my hope that by studying how the coastal zone has changed in the past we can bridge the gaps in our knowledge to determine how the coastline will respond to climate change in the future.

New Article - Long-Term Fire Trends in Hispaniola and Puerto Rico

I'm pleased to announce that The Professional Geographer has released an article by me and my co-author Sally P. Horn. This is the first article from my Caribbean research. The paper looks at fire records from three sites: Lake Miragoane in Haiti, Laguna Tortuguero in Puerto Rico, and my PhD dissertation site Laguna Saladilla in the Dominican Republic. The article is available at:

Laguna Tortuguero, Puerto Rico, 2006. Photo credit: Maria A. Caffrey.

New Project Brief

The NPS has just released a new project brief regarding my current project for the public. I have attached it below. You may noticed that the number of park units I am working on has increased from 105 to to 118 coastal parks. A full list of the coastal parks involved in this project can be found by clicking on this link.

Guest Lecture At The Denver Foundation


I will be giving a lecture next week (3/17/15) at the Denver Foundation as part of their lecture series on "Colorado's Wild Places and Climate Change." The event begins at noon until 1:30 pm with a Q&A to follow. I will be giving a presentation on my work with the National Park Service. Feel free to come along to hear the latest on my research as well as hear from other academics working on topics relating to sustainability and climate change.

The lecture will be at The Alliance for Sustainable Colorado Building, 1536 Wynkoop Street, Denver, CO 80202. More information can be found on the invite below.

Association of American Geographers Meeting 2015

I know it's only November, but I'm looking ahead to the Association of American Geographers 2015 Meeting which will be held in Chicago, IL. As secretary of the paleoenvironmental change (PEC) specialty group, I've been in contact with a number of people regarding group events that will be held during the meeting. Most of my emails have been sent out via the AAG messaging system. However, it has come to my attention that some people might not be getting the emails if they have let their membership lapse or are not subscribed to the PEC group listing. If you are looking for more information about paleo- related events and sessions please check out the PEC website for copies of my announcements: The website also has a section containing the past issues of the PEC newsletter, so you can catch up on the latest goings on in the group.

The deadline for sessions has been extended to November 20th, 2014. I will post information about the student competitions once the abstract submissions deadline has passed. I will be around in most of the paleo sessions as well as presenting on my latest future sea level rise calculations. I hope to see you there. See you in Chicago!