Scott Johnson

Graduate Students | Courses | Geodynamics | GoogleScholar Profile | ResearchGate Profile | ERS103 (Fall) | ERS103 (Spring) | ERS103 (May)

I have a wide range of interests in the general fields of tectonics and structural geology. 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, 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 Chris Gerbi and Peter Koons in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences, and Senthil Vel and Zhihe Jin in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. We have the optical and electron beam instrumentation, and computational infrastructure, that 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 Graduate Students

  • Won Joon Song (PhD), jointly advised with Chris Gerbi in Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • Bora Song (PhD), jointly advised with Peter Koons in Earth and Climate Sciences.
  • Erik Anderson (MS).
  • Jacob L. Pelletier (PhD), jointly advised with Senthil Vel in Mechanical Engineering.

Past UMaine Graduate Students

  • Alden C. Cook, PhD 2016, jointly advised with Senthil Vel in Mechanical Engineering.
  • Zhiqiang Fan, PhD 2012, jointly advised with Zhihe Jin in Mechanical Engineering, currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Jackson School of Geosciences, University of Texas, Austin.
  • Nancy Price, PhD 2012, currently a faculty member at Portland State University, Oregon.
  • Ben Frieman, MS 2012, currently pursuing a PhD at the Colorado School of Mines.
  • Félice Naus-Thijssen, PhD 2011, currently living and working in the Netherlands.
  • Sam Roy, MS 2011, finished a PhD with Peter Koons in 2015 and currently a postdoctoral researcher at UMaine.
  • Jeff Marsh, PhD 2010, currently a faculty member at Queens College, New York.
  • Wesley Groome, PhD 2006, currently Senior Exploration Geologist for Focus Minerals Ltd., Australia.
  • Erwin Melis, PhD 2006, currently working for a geotechnical firm in New Mexico.
  • Heather Short, PhD 2006, currently a faculty member at John Abbott University, Canada.
  • Chris Gerbi, PhD 2005, currently a faculty member at the University of Maine.
  • Matthew Dupee, MS 2005, currently working for a geotechnical firm in New York.


  • ERS 103 – Dynamic Earth. A 3-credit introductory course that attracts approximately 250 students per year.
  • ERS 316 – Introduction to Structural Geology. A 4-credit lab course required for ERS majors.
  • ERS 369 – Energy Resources and Climate Change. A 3-credit elective course that explores the energy resources used by humans and their climate and environmental implications.
  • ERS 555 – Microstructural Processes. The primary graduate-level course that I teach most every year.
  • ERS 602 – Advanced Topics. I use this avenue to cover a wide range of topics, as needed/requested by graduate and advanced undergraduate students.