Rowan_Converse

The University of New Mexico · Albuquerque, NM ·
rowanconverse@unm.edu

Welcome to my personal website! I am a researcher interested in leveraging remote sensing and GIS technologies for wildlife conservation.


Field and Research Experience

Center for the Advancement of Spatial Informatics and Education

Lab Manager: Dec 2019 - Present
  • Supporting student and faculty research through resource coordination, troubleshooting, consulting
  • Collection and processing of image/spatial data to create products for funders
  • Organizing events to share research and support a community of practice for GIScience/remote sensing at UNM and beyond
Research Assistant: Aug 2017 - Dec 2019
  • Developed four remote sensing learning modules for tribal colleges and universities
  • Collected multispectral aerial imagery of the Rio Chama and RTK ground reference data on behalf of the US Army Corps of Engineers
  • Presented research for local stakeholders, student groups, and at the American Association of Geographers' Annual Meeting

Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program

Ecologist/Interim Data Manager: Jan 2017 - Aug 2017
  • Completed full proof of core long-term ecological monitoring datasets spanning 20 years; drafted new and expanded on existing QAQC protocols
  • Provided GIS support and map design for grant applications, educational products for K-12 students, publicly available web maps of long-term ecological data
Biologist: Jan 2014 - Aug 2015
  • Managed tamarisk leaf beetle monitoring project for two seasons: scheduled field collections, organized database, coordinated with collaborating agency and nonprofit partners, wrote and submitted two reports to funders in fulfillment of grant obligations
  • TA and guest lecturer for UNM's Bosque Internship class

Bird Conservancy of the Rockies

Seasonal Field Crew Leader, Mexican Spotted Owl Occupancy Survey: Mar 2016 - Aug 2016
  • Supervised three remote field crews tasked with collecting owl occupancy data at 100 field sites located in National Forest land in New Mexico
  • Nightly surveys in remote, mountainous terrain; pathfinding via handheld GPS
  • Contract extended for data entry and proofing on conclusion of the field season upon recommendation of Mexican Spotted Owl Project Manager

US Fish and Wildlife Service: Mexican Grey Wolf Recovery Program

Volunteer Field Technician: Oct 2015 - Mar 2016
  • Daily radiotelemetry of collared wolves; triangulation in mountainous terrain; offhighway 4WD driving in winter conditions
  • Confirmed wolf presence in an area with no collared wolves during winter sign survey
  • Assistance with capture and handling of wild wolves: traplines and ground support of helicopter captures
Volunteer Facility Caretaker: Feb 2014 - Sept 2015
  • Animal care and pen maintenance at a remote pre-release facility
  • Breeding season observations
  • Assistance with capture and handling of wolves for facility transfers

Education

University of New Mexico

Doctor of Philosophy, Geography and Environmental Studies
In Progress
Master of Science, Geography and Environmental Studies
July 2020

Wesleyan University

Bachelor of Arts, Biology
May 2014

Phi Beta Kappa


Skills

Programming Languages & Tools

Field Skills

Languages

Web Apps

Collaboration with Blair Mirka for Dr. Liping Yang's Internet Mapping Course (UNM 585L, Spring 2021)


Publications and Presentations

Publications

  • Converse, R.L., Shaw, D., Eichhorst, K.D., and Leinhart, M. (2016) Bringing Citizen Science into Land Management: A Case Study of the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program. Journal of Science Communication: 15(03)
  • Converse, R.L, Baron-Deutsch, M., Gjuillin, A., and Rowe, A.J. (2014) Reproduction of Reintroduced North American River Otter (Lontra Canadensis) Confirmed in New Mexico. IUCN Otter Specialist Group Bulletin. 31(1): 35 – 39

Conference Presentations

  • Converse, R.L., Lippitt, C., Lippitt, C., and Y. Lin. (2020) Monitoring semiarid grass- and shrubland with MESMA. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, virtual conference.
  • Converse, R.L., Lippitt, C., Stone, M., and Brown, S. (2018) High-resolution digital surface characterization and hydrodynamic flow modeling of the Rio Chama in New Mexico. Illustrated paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers, New Orleans.
  • Converse, R.L., Shaw, D., Eichhorst, K.D., and Leinhart, M. (2017) Bringing Citizen Science into Land Management: A Case Study of the Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program. Paper presented at the biannual meeting of the Citizen Science Association, St Paul, MN
  • Converse, R.L., Shaw, D., Eichhorst, K.D., and Leinhart, M. (2015) The Bosque Ecosystem Monitoring Program as a model citizen science initiative. Poster presented at the biannual meeting of the Citizen Science Association, San Jose, CA
  • Converse, R.L., and Poulos, H. (2014) Tracking the arrival of the tamarisk leaf beetle in New Mexico: Implications for an endangered bird. Oral presentation delivered at the Joint Annual Meeting of the AZ and NM Chapters of the American Fisheries Society and The Wildlife Society, Pine Top, AZ

Interests

I love exploring the landscapes of New Mexico, my home, through running, backpacking, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, often with my best friend Chester!

I also enjoy creative writing, gardening, vegan cuisine, and sci-fi/fantasy books and movies.