The whole world is a savanna; forests and grasslands are just special cases.
Lara is a College Associate Professor of Rangeland Ecology in the Animal and Range Sciences Department at New Mexico State University. She is a broadly trained Ecologist with a focus on interdisciplinary research combining ecology, geography, remote sensing and modeling. She grew up on the East coast of the US but has spent most of her adult life in the Western US, though you can’t really take the Jersey out of the girl. She received her BA in Archaeology from Boston University, MA in Geography from the University of Maryland and PhD in Ecology from Colorado State University. Her post-doctoral work was in the Department of Atmospheric Science at Colorado State University.
Lara’s research interests are in the area of geospatial measurement and modelling of vegetation dynamics, land surface-atmosphere interactions and the carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid systems. Use of satellite remote sensing products is a common thread throughout her work. Past research has included characterizing the sensitivity and uncertainty of land surface models with data assimilation techniques and model parameterization of drought tolerance in the seasonally dry Amazonian rainforest to improve coupled carbon-climate simulations. More recently, her work has focused on coupled human and natural systems, in particular extensive grazing systems in Africa and the Himalayas. Since arriving at NMSU, Dr. Prihodko has been developing a new emphasis on climate change impacts in the drylands of the US southwest. Current projects include development of vegetation models (both dynamic and land surface-atmosphere) for dryland and savanna vegetation in response to climate and disturbance (fire and herbivory) to assess the role of drylands in the global carbon cycle and evaluating long-term vegetation change in southwestern USA sky-islands with historical ecologic and climate records and contemporary data collection and modeling.
In her spare time (is there such a thing??) Lara enjoys hanging out with her family, hiking, running, swimming, cooking and visiting all of the weird and wonderful things and places in New Mexico.