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Thesis and Internship Defenses


Chelsea Acres, Thesis: "Evaluating skin disease in common bottlenose dolphins near Brunswick and Saeplo Island, GA" Advisor: Lori Schwacke

Timothy Boatright, Internship: "Surveying Restaurant Server Attitudes Towards Sustainable Seafood: Is Sustainable Knowledge beneficial to the server and thus ecologically beneficial to the sustainable seafood industry" Advisor: Susan Lovelace

Alex Braud, Thesis: "Estimating the Storm Protection Value of Coastal Dunes: A Geospatial Approach" Advisor: Norman Levine

Kelsey Culbertson, Internship: "Determining the effects of moisture and particle size on detection of Beryllium in soil samples using a laser induced breakdown spectroscope" Advisor: Vijay Vulava

Nirav Gandhi, Internship: "Opportunities and barriers: Wind power in kentucky" Advisor: Wesley Burnett

Kristen Gold, Thesis: "Factors that determine the spatial distribution of an introduced species, Phrynosoma cornutum, in South Carolina" Advisor: Eric McElroy

Fallon Hutcheon, Thesis: "Spatial and temporal variation in mercury bioaccumulation of a commonly consumed freshwater fish redbreast sunfish" Advisor: Tim Callahan

Justine Lundstead, Thesis: "Sustainability and effectiveness of a community-based marine protected area: a case study of the villhermosa marine sanctuary in the Philippines" Advisor: Paul Sandifer

Mary Katherine Lynn, Thesis: "Vector - Borne diesase in a changing world" Advisor: Annette Watson

Brian Pauls, Thesis: "Low-altitude Remote Sensing Applications for Critical Zone Management in South Carolina, USA" Advisor: Norman Levine

Rachel Piker, Internship: "Support for the establishment of a center for coastal environmental and human health at the College of Charleston: Research focus and new course development" Advisor: Paul Sandifer

Nicholas Rubin, Thesis: "Developing flood maps for coastal resilience in Charleston County and in North Charleston neighborhoods" Advisor: Norman Levine

Zachary Steinkoenig, Thesis: "A thematic analysis of fisherfolk and local government unit officials interviews of marine protected area management in Tanon Strait, Philippines" Advisor: Annette Watson

Amanda Voges, Internship: "Aquatic ecosystem restoration opportunities to improve the coastal resilience of the City of Charleston" Advisor: Annette Watson

Rachel Wiser, Thesis: "Willingness to pay for wedding flowers: What premium would Charleston, South Carolina brides and grooms pay for local versus fair-trade, carbon offsetting, or organically produced flowers" Advisor: David Hanson

Allyssa Zebrowski, Thesis: "The influence of culture on environmental educaiton in a rural school in Paraguay" Advisor: William Veal


Sarah-Marie Baxter, Thesis: "Toxicity Comparison of the Shoreline Cleaners Accell Clean and PES-51 in two life stages of the Grass Shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio" Advisor: Marie DeLorenzo

Kenda Conley, Thesis: "The removal of microplastics by wastewater treatment plants and a survey of treatment processes" Advisor: Barbara Beckingham

Amanada Corll, Internship: "An Analysis on South Carolina's Homeowner Associations' Acceptance of Residential Solar Energy Systems Through the Introduction of Solar Access Legislation" Advisor: Matt Nowlin

Kathryn Ellis, Thesis: "Hydrological Assessments of Tidal Creeks to Inform Nutrient Management Recommendations" Advisor: Timothy Callahan

Katherine Faith, Internship: "Measuring public perception of coastal wetlands and environmental non-profits roles by a survey of Charleston Waterkeeper supporters" Advisor: Matt Nowlin

Kristin Hamilton, Thesis: "Evaluating Best Management Practices in the South Carolina Horseshoe Crab Fishery: A Field Approach to Determine Physiological Impacts of the Biomedical Bleeding Process" Advisor: Amy Fowler

Armon Hanks, Internship: "Coastal Resilience: Benchmarking Emergency Operation Plans Across Multiple Sectors" Advisor: Matt Nowlin

Seanna Kautz, Thesis: "Evaluation of state hazard mitigation Plans: an assessment of plan quality and stakeholder involvement" Advisor: Matt Nowlin

Landon Knapp, Thesis: "Measuring the Social Value of Ecosystem Services in the Mission-Aransas NERR: Coupling the SolVES Tool with Habitat and Species Data" Advisor: Susan Lovelace

David Leslie, Thesis: "Seasonal distribution and habitat use of the Florida manatee in South Carolina, U.S.A. from 1903-2015" Advisor: Norman Levine

Kelsey McClellan, Thesis: "Assessing the Effect of Climate Variability on the South Carolina Recreational and Commercial Blue Crab Fishery" Advisor: Amy Fowler

Alexandra Miller, Internship: "A Content Analysis of North Carolina and South Carolina Stakeholder Opinions Concerning Offshore Wind Energy Development" Advisor: Chris Ellis

Alexander Pasquini, Thesis: "Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Recyclying Initiative for Collecting Shucked Shell from Restaurants in the Beaufort County Region of South Carolina Organized as a For Profit Business" Advisor: Kendra Stewart

Reed Rayborn, Thesis: "Can women effectively tackle climate change in the office? Understanding the gender dynamics of environmental agencies" Advisor: Annette Watson

Kimberly Sitta, Thesis: "Top-down and Bottom-up Controls on Phytoplankton Assemblages in Two Contrasting Estuaries" Advisor: Dianne Greenfield

Alexander Smith, Internship: "A Connected Land Conservation Plan for the East Cooper Region of South Carolina" Advisor: Norman Levine


Katie Beidler, Thesis: "Effects of branching order on fine root traits and decomposition in a managed loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) plantation" Advisor: Seth Pritchard

Sarah Jean Byce, Thesis: "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Community-Based Management of the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (Acanthaster planci) in Romblon, Philippines" Advisor: Tracy Burkett

Kathleen Clancy, Thesis: "An Index of Potential Environmental Risk Due to Hazardous Material Releases within Berkley, Charleston, and Dorchester Counties South Carolina" Advisor: Norman Levine

John Eagan, Internship: "A Summative Program Evaluation of the SCDNR Marine Gamefish Tagging Program" Advisor: Susan Lovelace

Michelle Franco, Thesis: "Ecotoxicological Assessment of the Effects of Crude Oil and Chemical Dispersants on the sheepshead minnow, Cyprinodon variegatus" Advisor: Marie DeLorenzo

Tyler Hassig, Thesis: "Evaluating the Effectiveness of Community Managed Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on Guimaras Island, Philippine" Advisor: Dr. Tracy Burkett

Courtney Hutson, Thesis: "The Status of an Introduced Species (Phrynosoma cornutum) on Barrier Islands in South Carolina" Advisor: Eric McElroy

Ashlyn Hochschild, Thesis: "Sustainable Campus Food Procurement: An Assessment and Recommendation of Dining Purchasing at the College of Charleston, Charleston SC" Advisor: Annette Watson

Aaron Holly, Internship: "Integrated Approaches for Policy Recommendations in High Density Bicycle and Pedestrian Collision Zones in Charleston" Advisor: Matt Nowlin

Michelle Jordan, Thesis: "Impacts of climate change on future land-use and water policy: using the model organism Arabidopsis thaliana to complete a GIS vulnerability analysis of US agricultural lands" Advisor: Courtney Murren

Carmen Ketron, Internship: "College of Charleston Student Farm: A study in social enterprise" Advisor: Tracy Burkett

Nicole Machuca, Thesis: "An Analysis of Sediment Remediation Outreach in the Great Lakes Region: A Mixed Methods Approach" Advisor: Marie Dillard

Caitlyn Mayer, Thesis: "Field Spectroscopy as a Tool for Enhancing Water Quality Monitoring in the ACE Basin, SC" Advisor: K. Adem Ali

Brian McHouell, Thesis: "Evaluating the impacts of coastal development on the sinuosity and water quality of tidal creek headwaters in the southeast" Advisor: Denise Sanger

Sarah Meyers, Thesis: "Changes and percieved sustainability among traditional medicinal practitioners in Ofuman, Brong Ahafo, Ghana" Advisor: Annette Watson

Lisa Quigley, Thesis: "Investing the attachment biology of the Tassel barnacle Xenobalanus globicipitis and its incidence on dead and debilitated dolphins" Advisor: John D. Zardus

Austin Robinson, Thesis: "Watershed hydrologic analysis at varying scales: Turkey Creek, Santee Experimental Forest, Huger, South Carolina" Advisor: Tim Callahan

Ashley Schnitker, Thesis: "Evaluating the economic benefits of carbon sequestration in a managed forest in Tlaxco, Tlaxcala, Mexico" Advisor: Wesley Burnett

Megan Shiverdecker, Thesis: "Characteristics of an effective residential compost program for Charleston, South Carolina" Advisor: Jo Ann Ewalt

Malerie Suess: "An Evaluation of Lowcountry Local First's Growing New Farmers Program"

Carl Taylor, Thesis: "Site Assessment and Landscape planning strategy for the student garden at the College of Charleston, Charleston, South Carolina" Advisor: Victoria Vazquez

Jessica Tipton, Thesis: "Perfluorinated Alkyl Acid (PFAA) Concentrations in American Alligators (Alligator mississippiensis) Harvested for Consumption during South Carolina Public Hunts" Advisor: Susan Lovelace

Ben Weiss: "A community based approach to potential Ramsar site designation in San Jose de Gracia, AGS, Mexico" Advisor: Elizabeth Bell


Rachel Bassett, Thesis: "The Pilot Fish Habitat Characterization Program (FishHab): Undergraduate Workforce Training in Ocean Fisheries Research" Advisor: Leslie Sautter

Sean Bath, Thesis: "A Participatory Approach to Preparing For Sea Level Rise in Beaufort County, South Carolina" Advisor: Norm Levine 

Christopher Berg, Thesis: "Evaluating Collaborative Natural Resource Management in the ACE Basin Natural Estuarine Research Reserve" Advisor: Susan Lovelace

Ashley Buffington, Internship: "Blueways-Greenways: Developing examples as models for other communities" Advisor: Norman Levine

Brittany Fournet, Thesis: "Determining the Impact of Human Disturbance on Least Tern Breeding Colonies Along a Gradient of Disturbance" Advisor: Paul Nolan

Catherine Hay, Thesis: "Barriers and Resources for Small Farmers in the South East: Lowcountry Local First Resource Guide" Advisor:Janet Key

Marines Hernriquez Bishop, Thesis: "An Advocacy Coalition Framework Analysis of the Offshore Wind Development in South Carolina" Advisor: Matt Nowlin

Maggie Jamison, Thesis: "Range Determination of Cynoscion arenarius and Characterization of Cynoscion spp. Hybridization in Nearshore Habitats Along the Southeastern U.S. Atlantic Coast with Implications for Management of Cynoscion regalis" Advisor: Tanya Darden

Montana Jernigan, Internship: "Assessing the Needs of Middle School Teachers to Facilitate the Development of Effective Professional Development Workshops for Environmental Education Programs" Advisor: Jennifer Scales

Kristi Kerrigan, Thesis: "Development of a Regional Bio-optical model for Water Quality Assessment in the U.S. Virgin Islands" Advisor: Adem K. Ali

Andrew Miller, Thesis: "Federal Agency Hazard Cooperation and Enhancement of the South Carolina Storm-Tide Network in High-Density Urban Areas" Advisor: Paul Conrads

Nicole Rene Montey, Internship: "Investigation of Pygmy Sperm Whale (Kogia breviceps) Populations in the Southeastern United States Using Stable Isotopes of Carbon, Nitrogen, and Oxygen in Teeth" Advisor: Wayne McFee

Laura Mudge, Thesis: "Perceived Impacts of Coastal Resource Management Programs in Leyte, Philippines" 

Elise Sherrod: "Protecting Oklahoma's Biodiversity: Voluntary, Citizen-Based Conservation on Private Land"

Mary Staggs McGovern, Internship: "How Does Non-Formal Marine Education Affect Student Attitude and Knowledge? A Case Study Using SCDNR's Discovery Program" Advisor: Julie Binz

Sara Vaughn: "Measuring the Impact of Restored Shoreline from a Student-Driven Salt Marsh Restoration Program in South Carolina, U.S.A" Advisor: Elizabeth Vernon Bell

Leslie Wooten, Thesis: "Evaluation of Water Quality Parameteres Enterococcus spp., Total Suspended Solids and Specific Conductance) in Harvested Rainwater and Implications for Management and Use" Advisor: Timothy Callahan

Andrew Wynne, Thesis: "Sustaining the Flow: Designing a Community-Based Participatory Solid Waste Management Program for Urban Rivers in Tabaco City, Albay, Philippines" Advisor: Vijay Vulava