EHS Research & Fieldwork

Research Projects

Several research projects have been recently conducted or are currently under way in the Department of Environmental & Health Sciences. All projects involve students and faculty working together as they collect, analyze and report on data. Students are encouraged to suggest other research initiatives that we may undertake in our department.

  • Impacts of metal stress on communities of freshwater benthic algae in streams near the former Elizabeth Mine, South Strafford, Vermont.

  • Animal sources of E. coli to rivers in Lamoille and Chittenden Counties, Vermont.

  • Effects of different land use practices on phosphorus loading in tributaries of the Lamoille River, Vermont.

  • Geological Mapping and Petrographic Analysis of the French Hill Greenstone, Johnson, VT.
  • Landslide Potential on Deer Run Ridge, Jeffersonville, VT.
  • The Identification, Calculation, and Reporting of the Johnson State College Greenhouse Gas Footprint.
  • The Changing Weather and Climate Dynamics Across the Northern Tier of Vermont From 2000 to Present.
  • Effects of altered pre-exercise lung function on the physiological responses to exercise in asthmatic humans.

Influence of altered pre-exercise lung function on the ventilatory responses to multiple exercise bouts in asthmatic humans.

Microbial analysis of aquatic communities within the Vermont Asbestos Group mine.



Research & Teaching Laboratories at JSC

Some of the research and teaching laboratories in our department are described below.

PLUIMMS Laboratory

plotterParticipatory Learning Using Interactive Multimedia in Math and Science (PLUIMMS) is a new computer laboratory at JSC. The integration of current technologies into classroom instruction is key to teaching science at JSC. Our state-of-the-art interactive multimedia computer laboratory, partially funded by the National Science Foundation, offers students access to a 48" Ultrachrome roll plotter, large format digitizer and scanner, video capture card, slide scanner, large format color printers, film recorder, GIS software, and fast computers.


Rock Laboratory

slab saw

Opportunities to gain technical expertise, particularly in data collection, field work and laboratory analysis of environmental problems, represent a significant focus for our Integrated Environmental Science majors. JSC students have access to our on-site weather station and fully equipped rock laboratory for thin-section preparation complete with petrographic microscopes, rock saws and polishers. Other equipment includes a soil auger kit, penetrometers, lysimeters, tensiometers, hydrogeological field equipment, and the recently acquired nuclear magnetic resonance machine. Click here to see more pictures of the rock lab.


Student Research Lab

The Student Research Laboratory is designed to facilitate independent research projects assigned in class, Senior Thesis, and internship projects. The lab equipment includes a Gas Chromatograph, FTIR, Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer, UV/Visible Scanning Spectrophotometer, Biosafety hood, and Spectrofluorometer.


Cellular & Molecular Biology Laboratory

Experience in classical and state-of-the-art techniques in cellular biology (including genetics, microbiology, biochemistry, and molecular biology) is essential to the education of students majoring in biology. Fundamental laboratory skills are developed through coursework, and more extensive research experiences are available with faculty. Equipment available for research in cell and molecular biology includes preparative and analytical centrifuges, thermocyclers, UV/VIS spectrophotometers, horizontal and vertical gel apparatus, incubators, compound light and phase contrast microscopy, ultra-low temperature freezer, laminar flow hood, and an environmental incubator.


Exercise Physiology Laboratory

Human Performance Laboratory

The exercise physiology laboratory at Johnson State College serves a dual role as both a teaching and a research laboratory. A primary purpose of the lab is to provide students hands-on training with skills and techniques required for professions in the Health Sciences, such as cardiopulmonary rehabilitation specialists, clinical exercise physiologists, personal training, and applied exercise physiologists. The laboratory is also the site for important research being conducted by Dr. Hans Haverkamp and undergraduate students.


Streams Laboratory & Greenhouse

Our location in the Green Mountains provides innumerable opportunities for student research projects in a wide variety of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. With 18 model streams, the Streams Laboratory allows controlled experiments to be performed in a laboratory setting with a certain amount of environmental realism. The Greenhouse is a favorite spot for student research on environmental problems. The experience gained by Biology and Environmental Science majors in data collection, field work, and laboratory research increases their chances to obtain employment in the environmental field. Experienced JSC students have access to water testing equipment; sampling devices to collect algae, invertebrates and fish; a DIC/phase contrast/fluorescence research microscope; and equipment to study plant and animal populations in their natural habitats.


EHS Students