Welcoming New Faculty in Fall 2023

September 1, 2023

Land and Sea: New QCNR Faculty Broaden Expertise in College

From understanding wildfire, to the big picture of dryland ecosystems, to tracking wildlife, to the keeping tabs on deep blue sea, QCNR gains broad expertise with the addition of four new faculty members this fall. Learn a bit about what they do, and what their expertise can offer students and researchers below!

Brad Washa on a wildfire

Brad Washa: Assistant Professor of Wildland Fire Science

Brad joins QCNR as an Assistant Professor of Wildland Fire Science in WILD and with a new position in Extension. He recently finished a 33-year career in federal wildland fire management with the Bureau of Land Management in Utah but has continued to work in the Park City area and across western states to create spaces resilient to fire, as well as a Type 1 Operations Section Chief. Areas of interest for Brad are fuels treatments including prescribed fire and treatment effectiveness, smoke management, risk analysis, strategic planning, and minimizing wildland fire misinformation. Brad will have an office in the NR Building, and will be on campus a few days per month, but will primarily be based in Park City. His outside interest include trail running and hiking with his Samoyed dogs, Nordic skiing, and serving as a volunteer on the Snowbasin Ski Patrol.

T.J. Clark-Wolf taking measurements on a rocky island

T.J. Clark-Wolf: Assistant Professor of Quantitative Population Ecology

T.J. joins WILD as an Assistant Professor of Quantitative Population Ecology in WILD. He has broad interests in developing quantitative methods to conserve wildlife and biodiversity. He received his PhD from the University of Montana where he studied large carnivore predator-prey ecology and his MRes (Master of Research) in seabird ecology at the University of Glasgow. He joins us from the University of Washington's Center for Ecosystem Sentinels where he studied the effects of climate change on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of marine predators. In his free time, T.J. enjoys trail running with his dog Nighthawk, listening to live music, cooking vegan food, and cross-country skiing.

Elise Laugier Taking soil samples

Elise Laugier: Assistant Professor of Geospatial Science

Elise joins us as an Assistant Professor of Geospatial Science in ENVS. Elise uses her dual specialties in remote sensing and microbotanical analysis to investigate long-term effects of agricultural and pastoral land use in dryland ecosystems. Her research examines tensions at the intersection of modern land use, cultural heritage protection, and climate change, drawing on approaches from archaeology, (paleo)ecology, and geospatial science, especially satellite/UAV remote sensing and microbotanical analysis. In QCNR, her research will look at historical land use and its ongoing legacies in the West. Originally from Arizona, she earned her PhD from Dartmouth College in Ecology, Evolution, Environment, and Society (EEES) and joins us after completing an NSF SBE postdoctoral research fellowship at Rutgers University. In her free time, Elise enjoys camping, hiking, and skiing, and is excited to be back in the West.

Brad Washa on a wildfire

Chad Teal: Assistant Professor of Fish Biology

Chad joins WATS and USGS as an Assistant Professor and Fish Biologist. Growing up in Florida, Chad said he was fortunate to learn fishing, scuba diving, canoeing, and sailing … leading him to explore how to protect the natural resources that afforded him these formative experiences. After earning a Master’s degree, he built and led an off-grid floating environmental education center called the Miami Science Barge. He received his PhD from the University of Arizona where he investigated genetic methods for population control of invasive fishes. His research now focuses on fishes’ biology for the development and implementation of novel technologies and techniques for fisheries management and aquaculture. This includes exploiting the sexual biology and specific life histories of invasive species to assist traditional removal efforts, investigating sustainable aquaculture technologies and practices, and using genomic methods to eradicate aquatic invasives and conserve threatened species.