A rugged, whitewater river flowing northward through deep canyons, the New River is among the oldest rivers on the continent. New River Gorge National River in West Virginia encompasses over 70,000 acres of land along the New River, is rich in cultural and natural history, and offers an abundance of scenic and recreational opportunities.
Collette Gantenbein graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Geography with an emphasis in studying cartography and Geographic Information Systems. Her senior thesis, Environmental Degradation of the Tibetan Plateau, introduced her to an interest in Physical Geography through researching desertification and deforestation influenced by changes in land use in China and Tibet. While obtaining a GIS certificate at Foothill College, she participated in NASA DEVELOP as a member of the wildfire research team using remotely sensed data and GIS to map burn severity. She is currently in a Master's program in Geography at the University of Idaho researching land cover change in relation to climate change through examining burn severity in the Pacific Northwest.