Amanda Keen-Zebert is a native Arkansan who learned to swim and fish on the Buffalo River. Now, she works as an Assistant Professor at Desert Research Institute where she does research on how and over what timescales landscapes form. She specializes in rivers and in optically stimulated luminescence, an age-dating technique that can be used to find the burial age of sediment. You can find out more about her research on her DRI webpage and connect with her on Research Gate, Facebook, and Twitter.
Stephanie Shepherd loves to work and play on rivers - whether it is rowing a raft on the Colorado, surveying small headwater streams, or hiking up and down the banks of the Buffalo. In addition to working on the Buffalo River, she is studying the effects of urban development and management practices on streams in central and southern Alabama. She is currently an assistant professor at Auburn University in the Department of Geosciences. You can follow her research on Twitter, Facebook, and the Auburn Geosciences web page.
Stephen Lancaster is an Associate Professor at Oregon State University (OSU) who specializes in river processes (fluvial geomorphology) and hydrology. He is the leader of the Surface Processes Research Group at OSU. His research team studies such diverse topics as debris flows, sediment budgets, river migration, landscape evolution, surface-groundwater interaction, and interactions among forests, landscapes, and hydrology. On the Buffalo River, Stephen and his PhD advisee, Jack Zunka, are investigating how meanders form in bedrock channels and how meander size relates to channel migration rates. You can learn more about their Buffalo River research on Stephen’s research page and more about him on his OSU website.
Matt Covington is an Assistant Professor in Geosciences at the University of Arkansas. With a background in physics, he uses mathematical models to study groundwater flow and landscape forming processes. An obsessed caver, he particularly focuses his work on caves and karst terrains. He is working to understand the erosion processes in the steep creeks and caves within the Buffalo River area. You can learn more about Matt on his research group page.
Scott McCoy is an assistant professor in the Department of Geological Science and Engineering at University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). His research draws from both Earth science and engineering to investigate the surface processes including floods, landslides, and debris flows across timescales from single events to decades to millions of years. In the Buffalo River watershed and the larger Ozarks region, Scott and his PhD student, Helen Beeson, are working on the influence of drainage divide migration on bedrock channel incision. You can learn more about Scott’s research on his UNR webpage.
Ben Odhiambo Kisila
Ben Odhiambo Kisila is an Associate Professor in Geology and Environmental Science at the University of Mary Washington. He does research on contaminant and nutrients in aquatic systems. On the Buffalo River, he is working on sediment erosion and distribution associated with different land use. You can learn more about Ben on his department webpage.
Chuck Bitting is the park geologist and Natural Resource Program Manager for the National Park Service and Buffalo National River. He contributes to cave and bat surveys in the park and facilitates research in the park.
Helen Beeson is a PhD student at Desert Research Institute (DRI) and the Department of Geological Sciences and Engineering at the University of Nevada at Reno (UNR) advised by Amanda Keen-Zebert and Scott McCoy. She is studying how drainage divide migration, changes in stream networks, and river incision through rocks of different type impact landscape scale erosion rates. She is also using geochronologic techniques to find out how long it takes terraces on the Buffalo River to form and how long the watershed has been forming.
Evan Thaler is a masters student in Geosciences at the University of Arkansas who grew up hiking in the forests and creeks in the Boston Mountains of northern Arkansas. Now he hikes the tributaries in the Buffalo thinking about processes contributing to landscape evolution of the basin. He uses topographic analysis to research the factors that control channel morphology.
Jack Zunka is a PhD student in Geology at Oregon State University researching the Buffalo National River for his dissertation. He and his OSU advisor, Fayetteville, AR native Dr. Stephen Lancaster, are studying the patterns and morphology of the river meanders of the Buffalo. Jack is interested in how the characteristics of the iconic river bluffs and the piles of boulders and sediment resting beneath them affect how quickly the river is able to erode laterally in different reaches of the river. You can learn more about Jack and Stephen's Buffalo River research on Stephen’s research page.
Sara Speetjens is a Geology Major at Auburn University. While Sara grew up on the Gulf Coast of Alabama playing in the ocean, she has developed an affinity for rivers. She has spent the last year working as an undergraduate research assistant on the Buffalo River Project with Stephanie Shepherd.