Cara Lauria is a biological science technician with the U.S. Geological Survey Southwest Biological Science Center in Moab, Utah. She loves learning about biogeochemical cycling in desert ecosystems.
Cara was introduced to scientific research as an undergraduate in Geology at the College of Charleston. She lead topographic surveys along barrier islands of the eastern US coastline to examine connections between beach erosion and coastal development. While earning her masters at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Cara was introducted to biogeochemistry and learned how to use stable carbon isotope ratios to investigate how climate and topography influence soil carbon cycling for paleoclimate and paleo-vegetation reconstructions. Cara has worked with multiple federal agencies and federally funded projects including the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, and the Niwot Ridge Long Term Ecological Research site. Cara and USGS scientist Sasha Reed work together closely on a range of projects, including those that improve our understanding of carbon cycling in western drylands, of the challenges and management options associated with invasive species, of fire effects on desert plants and soils, and of how drought and disturbance interact to regulate plant productivity, biocrust community composition, and soil stability. Most recently, she has been exploring carbon dioxide exchange in epilithic lichen and mosses.
Masters of Science in Environmental Studies, the University of Colorado at Boulder (August 2015-December 2017)
Department of Environmental Studies and Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR), Boulder, CO.
Co-advised by Eve Hinckley and Katie Snell.
B.S. in Geology, College of Charleston (August 2011-May 2015)
Department of Geology, Charleston, SC.