Michael G. Commons, Department of History, Politics and Justice, Ohio Northern University


As a geographer, I look at the world with a critical eye. As a physical geographer, I spend much of my time contemplating the physical processes that surround me. While I love to travel the world, ever since 2001, when I moved to Redding, CA, for a job with the National Park Service, my heart has belonged to northern California. Working for the NPS gave me six years of priceless experiences, field observations and management operations, but best of all, it inspired my return to academia. My research activity has been focused on three main issues in northern California: riparian forest diversity and controlled streams, wildfire-risk, and invasive plant management, as listed below:

PhD Research: my current study on the spatial patterns of riparian forest diversity throughout the Trinity River watershed, including the influence of dams and water diversions;

Masters Research: I conducted a comprehensive a study of fire risk for the community of Forest Ranch, CA, and created a GIS model to predict the changes in fire behavior resulting from various fuel treatments;

Undergraduate Research: I designed a predictive model for the potential spread of Centaurea solstitialis (Yellow Starthistle) within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.