Faculty Team

Dr. Nathan Gill

Director

Dr. Gill is an assistant professor of fire ecology in the Department of Natural Resources Management at Texas Tech University. He teaches environmental science and fire ecology and is the lead scientist of the Landscape Ecology And Fire research lab. Some of his favorite places to study the relationships between fire, plants, wildlife, and people are the Colorado Rockies, the Sacramento Mountains of New Mexico, and the Big Island of Hawaii. Outside of work, he loves to run marathons, follow NCAA basketball, and spend time in the outdoors with his wife and four children. Dr. Gill grew up in Denver, Colorado where he spent a lot of time in the mountains and earned the Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America.  During his education, Dr. Gill worked as an Earth Science research intern at NASA to study high-elevation forests on the Pacific Crest Trail, and later at the US Geological Survey to study endangered plants in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Wisconsin before joining the faculty of Texas Tech in 2019. As director of the Bridge Adventure program, Dr. Gill is grateful for the opportunity to be inspired by students as they learn new things, deepen their respect for diverse perspectives, and strengthen their appreciation for nature. 

B.S. Geographic Information Systems, Brigham Young University
M.A. Geography, Clark University
Ph.D. Geography, Clark University

Dr. Lindsay Kennedy

Assistant Director

Dr. Kennedy is an assistant professor of practice in agricultural communications for the Department of Agricultural Education & Communications and the program director for the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources’ Matador Institute of Leadership Engagement (MILE). Dr. Kennedy utilizes her 10-plus years of industry experience in the classroom where she teaches undergraduate courses in magazine production, photography, and writing and manages the agricultural communications program’s internship program. A life-long lover of the outdoors and good quality outerwear, Dr. Kennedy is an avid fly fisherman and has thrown flies on Montana’s famed Madison and Yellowstone rivers, as well as waters throughout Colorado, New Mexico, Arkansas, and Texas. She has also backpacked the Teton Crest Trail and the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest. Dr. Kennedy is a fifth-generation farm kid from the Ozark Mountains in Northwest Arkansas.

B.S. Agricultural Education, Communication & Technology, University of Arkansas
M.S. Agricultural Education, Texas Tech University
Ph.D. Agricultural Communications & Education, Texas Tech University

Dr. Scott Burris

Adventure Advisor

Scott Burris is a professor and chair of the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications and holds the Garrison Endowed Chair for Rural Youth Development. Burris joined the TTU faculty in 2005. Prior to his graduate studies, Burris taught secondary agricultural science for ten years.  His experiences as a practicing secondary teacher have shaped and molded his interests in post-secondary education. Scott’s research focus has been in teaching and learning, specifically in delivery methods of instruction and in teacher development. In addition to his responsibilities in the college and the department, Burris has also served the university in the past as chair of the Institutional Review Board (IRB) and chair of the Texas Tech Teaching Academy. He has been awarded the Texas Tech Chancellor’s Council Distinguished Teaching Award, the President’s Excellence in Teaching Award, and was recognized as a Texas Tech University Integrated Scholar.  He currently serves as President of the American Association for Agricultural Education. 

B.S. Agricultural Education, Texas Tech University, 1992
Ph.D. University of Missouri, 2005

Dr. Courtney Meyers

External Evaluator

When she’s not editing papers with her trademark purple pen, Dr. Courtney Meyers loves to explore nature, especially from the back of a horse. She has ridden horses in the Gallatin Mountain Range in Montana, Biltmore Forest in North Carolina, Saguaro National Park in Arizona, and the Knik River Valley in Alaska. When a horse wasn’t available, she also hiked in Yellowstone National Park, Rocky Mountain National Park, Denali National Park, and completed the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Trail in Sydney, Australia.  

Back in Lubbock, Dr. Meyers is a professor in agricultural communications and the Graduate Studies Coordinator for the Agricultural Education & Communications Department. She started at Texas Tech University in 2008. With an emphasis on service learning, she teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Web design, public relations writing, and online media strategy. Her research interests include exploring the use of emerging media in agricultural communications, media coverage of agricultural issues, public perceptions of agricultural topics, and the scholarship of teaching and learning. Dr. Meyers is a native of Kansas.

B.S. Agricultural Communications & Journalism, Kansas State University
M.S. Agricultural & Extension Education, University of Arkansas
Ph.D. Agricultural Education & Communications, University of Florida

Dr. Carlos Villalobos

Research Advisor

Dr. Villalobos was born and raised on a ranch in Chihuahua, Mexico. As an associate professor in natural resources management at Texas Tech University, Dr. Villalobos  teaches undergraduate courses in principles of range management, ecology and conservation of natural resources. He also teaches graduate courses in range animal nutrition and grazing management. He serves as an associate editor of the Texas Journal of Agriculture and Natural Resources. His research interests focus on the use and conservation of natural resources as applied to the effects of grazing, water usage, and prescribed burning to vegetation and animal response. His research has also covered basic and applied aspects of supplemental protein and energy to enhance grazing animal productivity.   

When he’s not teaching or participating in research, Dr. Villalobos enjoys horseback riding, photography, traveling, and reading. 

B.S. Animal Husbandry, University of Chihuahua
M.S. Range Science, University of Chihuahua
Ph.D. Range Science, Texas Tech University

Dr. Nellie Hill

Service-Learning Advisor

Dr. Hill is an assistant professor of agricultural communications and journalism at Kansas State University. Dr. Hill’s teaching spans graphic design, web design, online media, and agricultural sales. Her research interests include exploring the scholarship of teaching and learning, as well as effective persuasive message factors at the source, structure, and language levels across various audiences. Exploring National Parks was a mainstay in Dr. Hill’s childhood, and she has been finding new ways to enjoy the outdoors ever since. She has explored scenic byways and backpacked the Teton Crest Trail in Grand Teton National Park and the Weminuche Wilderness in Colorado’s San Juan National Forest. A native of south-central Kansas, Dr. Hill has industry experience working in communications and marketing for higher education programming, state government, hospitality management, and financial services.  

B.S. Agricultural Communications & Journalism, Kansas State University
M.S. Agricultural Communications, Texas Tech University University
Ph.D. Agricultural Communications & Education, Texas Tech University

Grace Vehige

Graduate Assistant

Grace is a graduate assistant in the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications at Texas Tech University. Beginning her assistantship role in August of 2020, she has been focused on identifying research areas of interest and working as a teaching assistant. Whether it be paragliding in the Swiss Alps or climbing Pike’s Peak, Grace has an appreciation for adventure and the outdoors. Growing up, it was not uncommon to find a kayak strapped to her car roof, complete with a tent and tackle box in her trunk. Her travels have guided her across the United States, as well as to Australia and Europe. Hailing from southwest Missouri, Grace grew up on a cattle operation and has a passion for agriculture and the outdoors. She attended the University of Arkansas, where she earned dual degrees in agricultural communications and agricultural leadership. Her love for travel took her to Rome, Italy, for a semester-study program, where she received a minor in global studies. Grace has completed various internship programs with roles in business management, policy and communications.

B.S. Agricultural Education, Communication & Technology, University of Arkansas

George Gyan

Graduate Assistant


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