Originally from Pelican Rapids, MN, I now find myself at Iowa State University pursuing a PhD. I am co-majoring in horticulture and sustainable agriculture. My research is focused on improving high tunnel production. My first project was focused on tomato grafting - examining the effect of grafting using various combinations of tomato rootstocks and scions (such as Mountain Fresh and Cherokee Purple). As I move forward with my research program I will now examine the effects of light and temperature on colored bell pepper production. The goal of this research is to find the optimum shading regime to improve yield and fruit quality. During the fall months we will be planting a three week succession of lettuce, pak choi, and cauliflower to determine viable options for fall high tunnel inter-cropping.
After graduation I hope to secure a position as an extension specialist where I can continue vegetable research but also transfer that knowledge to the growers. In my free time I like to explore the outdoors, rollerblade, and I enjoy traveling whenever possible. I also try to find time to walk my cat, Juan, who oftentimes thinks he's a dog.