Pollyanna was raised in a small rustic cabin nestled in the Coastal Mountains of southern Oregon. Exploration from her front door was commonplace and she still remembers contemplating why rocks atop a nearby mountain (sedimentary conglomerates) looked like the ones in a local river – a geomorphologist in the making from a young age.
Pollyanna remains passionate about rivers of the Northwest, but is equally intrigued by tropical mountain rivers, especially the Rio Pacuare of Costa Rica – the focus of her doctoral dissertation she completed in Geomorphology (Sept 2016). Her doctoral research focused on the geomorphology and sediment dynamics of tropical mountain rivers. “Tropical mountain rivers are so alive, so dynamic…but also facing development pressure like no other rivers in the world today,” explains Pollyanna. The day-to-day work in steep tropical mountains for her PhD was equally beautiful and grueling – perfect for Polly who relishes in 12+ hour days and work that requires 4WD trucks, pack horses, rafts, and stout hikes through jungles ringed by toucans and monkeys or northwest terrain thick with eagles and marmots.
At Inter-Fluve, Pollyanna performs geomorphic assessments and analysis, floodplain evolution through soil stratigraphy, topographic surveying, restoration strategy development, and construction oversight on rivers ranging from the highly dynamic Toutle River still recovering from the 1981 Mount Saint Helens eruption, to the Middle Fork John Day River in Eastern Oregon that was dredge mined in the 1930s. Amidst her full work schedule, she finds time for biking, yoga, backpacking, rafting, dancing, and travel. On the short list: “The Colombian Andes, Kamchatka, Madagascar…”