Senior thesis research is an exciting opportunity for students and faculty to collaborate on a project of interest and significance.  Bev Johnson’s thesis students tend to focus on an environmental or paleoenvironmental problem through the lens of geology and/or environmental geochemistry.  The following is a list of senior thesis research projects directed or co-directed by Bev.  Students interested in pursuing such projects are encouraged to contact Bev at any point (


Hamilton, Forrest (Geology, 2020)
Impact of Lead Mining on Sediments in a Proximal Pond to the Mascot Mine in Gorham, New Hampshire

Onion, Sam (Geology, 2020)
A Historical Account of Atmospheric Lead Deposition in Basin Pond, Fayette, Maine


Barker, Nick (Environmental Studies, 2018)
An investigation of a stand/stump horizon in Scarborough Marsh (full year thesis).

Doyle, John (aka Jack) (Geology, 2018)
Eelgrass bed carbon storage in Casco Bay (full year thesis).

Kulesza, Ashley (Geology, 2018)
Assessing the amount of carbon stored in Maine salt marshes (full year thesis).

Slattery, Hannah (Geology, 2018)
Urbanization: impact on dissolved oxygen and sedimentation in the Hart Brook watershed (Lewiston, Maine) (full year thesis).


Chenoweth, Kelsey (Geology, 2017)
Methane emissions above and below a ditch plug, Sprague River marsh, Phippsburg, Maine (full year thesis).

Stames, Daniel (Geology, 2017)
Assessing the effectiveness of using Typha sps. as a proxy for estimating seasonal methane emissions on salt marshes in Maine (full year thesis).

Sylla, Yacine (Geology, 2017)
Stable isotopic evidence for nutrient cycling in two Zostera marina meadows, Cape Cod, MA (full year thesis).


Tannenbaum Brittis, Andre (Geology, 2016)
Monitoring the effects of marine derived nitrogen due to an alewife migration, Nequasset Lake, Woolwich ME (full year thesis).

Kaplan Cohen, Dana (Geology, 2016)
Methane emissions from a hydrologically altered region of the Sprague River salt marsh, Phippsburg, ME (one-semester thesis, Fall 2015).

Cailene Gunn (Geology, 2016)
Methane emissions along a salinity gradient of a restored salt marsh, Harpswell, ME  (full year thesis).

Patterson, Elizabeth (Geology, 2016)
Stocks and sources of carbon buried in the salt marshes and seagrass beds of Patos Lagoon, Southern Brazil (full year thesis).


On Sabbatical


Ashley Braunthal (Geology)
Quantifying the spatial and temporal variability in the extent of the urban dome surrounding Fairbanks, AK. (REU with Czimczik, C.I., and others).  

Wells (aka. Tanner) Cunningham (Geology)
Nutrient dynamics of Nequasset Lake: Effects of anadromous alewife subsidies.

Megan Kearns (Environmental Studies)
A phosphorus budget for Lake Auburn, Auburn Maine. 

Andrea Lauden (Geology)
Late Holocene changes in the nitrogen isotope composition of a sediment core from Nequasset lake, Woolwich, ME.

Cameron Russ (Geology)
Stable Carbon Isotope Analyses of Sediments Cores and the Origin of the Sprague River Marsh, Phippsburg, Maine.


Eric Barry (Geology)
A comparison of the major ion chemistry of two Maine watersheds, Pleasant River (Bethel, ME) and Stetson Brook (Lewiston, ME).

Chester Chaio (Geology)
The effect of the 2012 alewife migration on nutrient dynamics in Nequasset Lake, Woolwich, Maine.

David Harning (Geology)
A geochemical investigation of Late Holocene lake sediment cores from Pyramid Lake, Fiordland, New Zealand.

Conor Maginn (Geology)
Variations in hypoxia and productivity along the Oregon Margin during the Younger Dryas and early Holocene.

Rachel Morrison (Geoarchaeology/Individual Design Major in Interdisciplinary Studies)
Isotopic reconstructions of swordfish diets in the Gulf of Maine.

Margaret Pickoff  (Geology)
Maine’s blue carbon: estimating carbon stocks in Maine salt marshes.


Colin Barry (Geology, Honors)
A study of the impact of ditch-plug alteration on the hydrogeology of the Sprague River Marsh, Phippsburg, Maine.

Jennifer Lindelof (Geology, Honors)
Using sedimentary and geochemical proxies for Little Ice Age climate change reconstructions, south mainland Shetland.

Elizabeth Sonshine. (Geology)
The characterization of organic carbon in sedimentary cores from Zostera marina beds, Maquoit Bay, Maine.


Greg Flynn (Geology, Honors)
Nitrogen isotopes in Zostera marina: a potential indicator of anthropogenic nutrient loading in Casco Bay, Gulf of Maine.

Carrie Harris (Biology, Honors)
Stable Isotopic Shifts in Fish Bones From Multiple Archeological Coastal Middens in Penobscot Bay, Maine.  Co-Adviser = Will Ambrose.

Ingrid Knowles (Geology, Honors)
A Biogeochemical Study of Ditchplug and Natural Pools in the Sprague River Marsh, Phippsburg, ME.

Dava Wool (Geology)
Nitrogen isotopes in lake sediments from the Androscoggin watershed: a proxy for anadromous fish runs?


Elyse Judice (Environmental Studies)
Stable isotope analysis of Fundulus Heteroclitus and the effectiveness of ditch-plug restoration at the Sprague River Salt Marsh, Phippsburg, Maine.

William (aka Dots) Loopesko (Geology, Honors)
Zostera marina as a proxy for anthropogenic nitrogen enrichment in Casco Bay, Maine.


Dylan Eberle (Geology)
A 300 year record of lead deposition at Taylor Pond, Auburn, Maine.

Greg Henkes (Biology)
Mineral and isotopic geochemical evidence for environmental change in the shells of the smooth Greenland cockle, Serripes groenlandicus, from the Barents Sea. Co-advisor – Will Ambrose.


Carl Noblitt (Geology)
Stable carbon and nitrogen isotopes in mollusk tissue and shell organic matter: potential tracers of primary production in the nearshore Gulf of Maine.


Erin Beirne (Geology, Honors)
A Geochemical Investigation of Organic Matter Composition, Deposition, and Preservation at Sprague Marsh, Phippsburg, Maine.

Morey Hallett (Geology)
A 4,000 Year Record of Relative Sea Level Rise and Carbon Sequestration in the Webhannet Marsh, Wells, Maine.

Seth Hubbard (Geology)
A Recent History of Lead and Zinc Deposition in Four Maine Lakes.

Hallie Preston (Environmental Studies)
Phosphorus Cycling in the Gulf Island Pond.


Kim Rodgers (Geology)
Stable Carbon Isotope Analysis of Lake Core Sediments and Lipid Biomarkers as a Proxy for Late Pleistocene Carbon Cycling at Elikchan Lake, NE Siberia.

Daniel Frost (Geology)
Paleoclimate Reconstruction Using Physical Sedimentology and Organic Matter Biogeochemistry of Varved Sediments, Basin Pond, Fayette, ME.  Co-advisor – Mike Retelle.

Kelton McMahon (Biology, Honors)
Impacts of a Changing Food Supply on Arctic Benthos: Digestibility of Ice Algae and Phytoplankton. Co-advisor – Will Ambrose.


Anna Felton (Geology, Honors)
Organic Carbon Cycling in Laminated Sediments from Coastal Lacustrine and Marine Environments, Eastern Canadian Arctic.

Karen Moore (Geology)
Investigation of Terrestrial Organic Carbon Cycling in Maine Coastal Environments through the last 3,000 Years.

Rachel Booty (Environmental Studies)
Soil Lead Determinations inThree Urban Community Gardens, Lewiston, Maine.


Nicole Ouellette (Geology, Honors)
Lipid Biomarkers and Paleovegetation eterminations of the last 30,000 Years at Elikchan Lake, Northeast Siberia.

Jeff Burnap (Environmental Studies)
Soil Quality: An Investigation at Willow Pond Farm.


Elizabeth Miller (Geology)
A Study of the Surface Textures and Morphology of Quartz Grains Taken From the Northern Dune at the Wolfe Creek Crater, Western Australia.

Bethany Thienel (Geology, Honors)
Potential Remediation of Cu(II) and Zn(II) by Sorption on Aspen Wood Wool.

Andrew Wilkie (Environmental Studies)
A Modern Ecological Survey of the Wolfe Creek Crater Meteorite Impact Crater, NW Australia.