Scott Johnson

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I have a wide range of interests in the general fields of Earth rheology, rock microstructures, materials science, structural geology and tectonics. Working with UMaine mechanical engineers, my ECS colleagues, and our jointly advised students, we have tackled topics such as the role of microstructure in seismic anisotropy and thermal conductivity, the role of thermal and mechanical stress heterogeneities in driving physical and chemical evolution of the lithosphere, buoyancy forces in hydrocarbon and magmatic dike propagation, inelastic energy dissipation and rheological evolution in the source region of seismogenic faults/shear zones, power law creep in polymineralic aggregates, and other fundamental problems associated with the thermomechanical and rheological evolution of the lithosphere. Putting this into a geological perspective I have worked on plate margin evolution, magmatic systems, tectonic evolution of magmatic arcs and mountain belts, fracture-controlled migration of oil and gas, dynamic fragmentation in the earthquake source, application of fractal concepts to rocks and minerals, and a variety of structural and microstructural problems in deformed rocks. Most recently I have been working on deeply eroded seismogenic shear zones to better understand the earthquake cycle and the rheology of the frictional-to-viscous transition in Earth’s continental crust. I enjoy multidisciplinary projects, and have a particular interest in bringing together people from different science and engineering fields to tackle difficult problems in the Earth sciences. I take a holistic approach with my students and their projects. Most of them tend to include elements of field work, laboratory analytical analysis, microstructural analysis, and numerical modeling. Depending on the project, my students and I generally work closely with other UMaine colleagues, including Cici Cruz-Uribe and Chris Gerbi in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and Senthil Vel and Zhihe Jin in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Our analytical and computational infrastructure allows us to be at the cutting edge of solid-Earth and cryosphere studies. We are always looking for motivated students who want to join our research efforts and enjoy the opportunity to live and study in Maine. If you are a student who is considering working with me or my colleagues, I invite you to email one or more of us to learn about the current opportunities.

Current Postdoctoral Fellows

  • Bo Ra Song, Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • Won Joon Song, Earth and Climate Sciences.

Current Graduate Students

  • Erik Anderson (PhD), jointly advised with Chris Gerbi in Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • Emily Haggerty (MS).
  • Jacob Pelletier (PhD), jointly advised with Senthil Vel in Mechanical Engineering.

Past UMaine Graduate Students

  • He (Jackie) Feng, PhD 2023, jointly advised with Chris Gerbi in Earth and Climate Sciences, currently Electron Microscopy Lab Manager at Trinity College, Connecticut.
  • Bora Song, PhD 2022, jointly advised with Peter Koons in Earth and Climate Sciences, currently a postdoctoral research fellow in Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • James Hodge, MS 2019, currently living and working in Maine.
  • Won Joon Song, PhD 2018, jointly advised with Chris Gerbi in Earth and Climate Sciences, currently a postdoctoral research fellow in Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • Erik Anderson, MS 2017, currently PhD student in Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • Alden C. Cook, PhD 2016, jointly advised with Senthil Vel in Mechanical Engineering, currently employed in Canada.
  • Zhiqiang Fan, PhD 2012, jointly advised with Zhihe Jin in Mechanical Engineering, currently a faculty member at Northwestern Polytechnical University, China.
  • Nancy Price, PhD 2012, faculty member, SUNY Plattsburgh, New York.
  • Ben Frieman, MS 2012, finished a PhD at the Colorado School of Mines, now Research Associate at Laurentian University, Canada.
  • Félice Naus-Thijssen, PhD 2011, living in the Netherlands.
  • Sam Roy, MS 2011, finished a PhD with Peter Koons in 2015 and currently Natural Hazards Planner, State of Maine, Department of Defense, Veterans, and Emergency Management.
  • Jeff Marsh, PhD 2010, laboratory manager at Laurentian University, Canada.
  • Wesley Groome, PhD 2006, Senior Exploration Geologist, Australia.
  • Erwin Melis, PhD 2006, Shomaker and Associates, New Mexico.
  • Heather Short, PhD 2006, faculty member at John Abbott College, Canada.
  • Chris Gerbi, PhD 2005, faculty member at the University of Maine.
  • Matthew Dupee, MS 2005, geotechnical industry, New England.

Courses I have offered at UMaine

  • ERS 101 – Introduction to Geology. A 4-credit introductory lab course that attracts approximately 350 students per year.
  • ERS 103 – Dynamic Earth. A 3-credit introductory course that attracts approximately 400 students per year.
  • ERS 316 – Introduction to Structural Geology. A 4-credit lab course required for ERS majors in the Earth Science Concentration.
  • ERS 555 – Microstructural Processes. The primary graduate-level course that I teach when needed.
  • ERS 602 – Advanced Topics. I use this avenue to cover a wide range of topics, as needed/requested by graduate and advanced undergraduate students.