Chris Shepard grew up in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwestern Virginia. He attended the University of Virginia, where he received a BS in Environmental Science. In 2012, he came to the University of Arizona to work with Dr. Craig Rasmussen in the Department of Soil, Water, and Environmental Science, where he received a Master’s degree in the spring of 2014. Shepard is interested in understanding the relationships between soil and the surrounding environment. Specifically, he wants to investigate the effect of environmental factors such as vegetation and topography on soil formation, in order to develop better digital soil mapping techniques.