Thesis and Internship Defenses 2020-21

The defenses listed below have been presented via Zoom. due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and recorded for public access. If you are trying to access a Zoom recording and cannot view it, please email Lucy Davis ( to receive access. 

Fall 2021 Defenses

Kelli Coleman

  • EVSS Thesis: Evaluation of a new SCDNR education program, King Tides: Flooding the Lowcountry with Plastic
  • Advisor: Julie Binz
  • Committee Members: Dr. Susan Lovelace, Dr. Matthew Nowlin, Dr. Meta Van Sickle
  • Defended on Friday, October 8th at 10:30am via Zoom

Bryce Motes

  • EVSS Thesis: Recommendations for Land Conservation on Johns Island, SC
  • Advisor: Dr. Norman Levine
  • Committee MembersDr. Doug Rivet, Dr. Barry L. Stiefel, Lee Bundrick
  • Defended on Thursday, November 18th at 10:00 am via Zoom

DJ Moulton

  • EVSS ThesisModeling Groundwater Characteristics and Conditions of Kiawah Island
  • Advisor: Dr. Norm Levine
  • Commitee MembersDr. Tim Callahan, Dr. Kendra Stewart, Lee Bundrick
  • Defended on Tuesday, November 2nd at 2:00pm via Zoom

Summer 2021 Defenses

Nick Smillie

  • EVSS Thesis: "Marketing the Utility of Self-Report Applications"
  • Advisor: Julia Byrd
  • Committee Members: Dr. Matthew Nowlin, Dr. Marcel Reichert, and Sarah Watson
  • Defended on Friday, July 9th at 11:00am via Zoom

Charlton Brownell

  • EVSS Thesis: "Using GIS and Q Methodology to Describe Rural Gentrification and Analyze Associated Stakeholder Groups on Johns Island, SC"
  • Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Committe Members: Dr. Doug Rivet, Dr. Wesley Burnett, and Dr. Kendra Stewart
  • Defended on Thursday, August 12th at 1:00pm via Zoom

Sara Brunner

  • EVSS Thesis: Once "In the Country": Assessing the Resilience of Lowcountry Forests and Gullah/Geechee Communities
  • Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Commitee Members: Dr. Norm Levine, Dr. Matt Rutter, and Jennie L. Stephens
  • Defended on Friday, August 20th at 3:00pm via Zoom

Mina Momtahan

  • EVSS Thesis: "Maintaining Resilience Among LocalFood Systems: The Effects of COVID-19 on FoodSystems in the Lowcountry of South Carolina"
  • Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Commitee Members: Dr. Ashley Lavender, Dr. Mark Long, and Nikki Seibert Kelley
  • Defended on Wednesday,  August 11th, at 11:00am via Zoom

Spring 2021 Defenses

Miranda Dziobak

  • EVSS Thesis:"Characterizing phthalate exposure in common bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) from Sarasota Bay, Florida 2010-2019"
  • Advisor: Dr. Leslie Hart
  • Committee Members: Dr. Randall Wells, Dr. Brian Balmer, Dr. Susan Lovelace, and Dr. Edward Wirth
  • Defended on Friday, May 7th at 11:00 am via Zoom
  • View Miranda's defense via Zoom recording

Anna Kimelblatt

  • EVSS Thesis: “Sea-level Rise Mitigation and Adaptation Planning in South Carolina Using Regulatory Tools and Land-use Optimization” 
  • Advisor: Dr. Matthew Nowlin
  • Committee Members: Dr. Kendra Stewart, Dr. Elizabeth Fly, and Dr. Susan Lovelace
  • Defended on Thursday, May 6th at 11:00 a.m. via Zoom
  • View Anna's defense via Zoom recording

Virginia McCown

  • EVSS Thesis: "From Hosting Environmental Justice Academies to Direct Community Engagement: How Activism is Influenced by the Fluidity of Community Involvement"
  • Advisor: Dr. Jen Wright
  • Committee Members: Omar Muhammad, Dr. Martin Jones, and Jennifer Saunders
  • Defended on Friday, February 26th at 5:00 p.m. via Zoom
  • View Virginia's defense via Zoom recording

Sam Norton

  • EVSS Thesis: "Commercial Feasibility of Indoor Saltwater Agriculture Using Salicornia europaea"
  • Advisor: Dr. Daniel McGlinn
  • Committee Members: Dr. Jonathan Jed Brown, Dr. Wesley Burnett, and Brian Wheat
  • Defended onTuesday, May 11th at 11:00 am via Zoom

Nicole Pehl

  • EVSS Thesis Defense: "Perceptions and Adaptations to Bag Limit Sale Prohibition Among Charter Boat Anglers in the South Atlantic" 
  • Advisor: Dr. Ashley Lavender 
  • Committee: Dr. Chip Collier, Dr. Susan Lovelace, and Dr. Gorka Sancho
  • Defended on Thursday, May 6th at 8:00 am via Zoom
  • View Nicole's defense via Zoom recording

Kayla Pehl

  • EVSS Thesis Defense: "The Relationship Between Locomotor Performance and Habitat Use in Six-Lined Racerunners (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) in Coastal South Carolina
  • Advisor: Dr. Eric McElroy
  • Committee: Dr. Daniel McGlinn, Dr. Allison Welch, and Dr. Norman Levine
  • Defended on Monday, April 26th at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom
  • View Kayla's defense via Zoom recording

Haley Schanne

  • EVSS/MPA Thesis Defense: “Behind These Google Eyes: Measuring Nonprofit Motivations Towards Public-Private Environmental Partnerships"
  • Advisor: Dr. Judith Millesen
  • Committee Members: Dr. Bob O’Neil, Dr. Matthew Nowlin, and Dr. Elizabeth Fly
  • Defended on Wednesday, May 5th at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom
  • View Haley's defense via Zoom recording

Nolan Schillerstrom

  • EVSS Thesis: “Social Marketing as a Tool to Reduce Human Disturbance to Federally Threatened Rufa Red Knot, Calidris canutus rufa"
  • Advisor: Dr. Melissa Hughes
  • Committee Members: Dr. William Veal, Dr. Maria Whitehead, and Robert Priouleau
  • Defended on Tuesday, May 11th at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom
  • View Nolan's defense via Zoom recording

Jamileh Soueuidan

  • EVSS/MPA Thesis Defense: "Historical Analysis of Salinity and Fecal Coliform Levels in Estuaries of Beaufort County, South Carolina" 
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Vijay Vulava
  • Research Advisor: Dr. Eric Montie
  • Committee Members: Dr. Matthew Nowlin and Kimberly Jones
  • Defended on Wednesday, May 5th at 12:00 p.m. via Zoom
  • View Jamileh's defense via Zoom recording

Zachary Stephens

  • EVSS Thesis:"Methods to Design a Mobile Application for Sustainability Analysis"
  • Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Committee Members: Dr. Kendra Stewart, Dr. Matthew Nowlin, and Lancie Affonso
  • Defended on Wednesday, May 12th at 2:30 pm via Zoom 
  • View Zachary's defense via Zoom recording

Blake Waring

  • EVSS Thesis"Subsidence of Arsia Mons Volcano on Mars: Evidence for Magmatic Activity and Environmental Impacts in the Past 500 Million Years"
  • Advisor: Dr. John Chadwick
  • Committee Members: Dr. Norman Levine, Dr. John Hakkila, and Dr. Cassandra Runyon
  • Defended on Wednesday, May 12th at 1:15 pm via Zoom 
  • View Blake's defense via Zoom recording

Julie Wright

  • EVSS Thesis: "Using a Repeat Sales Model to Determine If the 2015 Flood Event Caused a Loss in Property Values in Charleston, SC"
  • Advisor: Dr. Calvin Blackwell
  • Committee Members: Dr. Chris Mothorpe, Dr. Wesley Burnett, and Dr. Elaine Worzala
  • Defended on Friday, March 26th at 10:30 a.m. via Zoom
  • View Julie's defense via Zoom recording

Fall 2020 Defenses

Sean Dove

  • EVSS/MPA Internship: "SC Local Food System Roadmap: An Inventory and Resource Guide to the Local Value Chain"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Norman Levine
  • Research Advisor: Nikki Seibert Kelley
  • Committee Members: Dr. Kent Gourdin and Gregory Sprouse
  • Defended on Wednesday, January 6th at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom
  • View Sean's defense via Zoom recording

Angie Brown

  • EVSS Thesis: "Coordinated Collaborative Partnerships in Western Water: A Comparative Case Study"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Research Advisor: Dr. Matthew Nowlin
  • Committee Members: Heather Beasley and Bronson Mack
  • Defended via Zoom on Monday, December 14th at 12:00 p.m.
  • View Angela's defense via Zoom recording

Stevie Czwartacki

  • EVSS Thesis: ""Using Long-Term Survey Data to Predict Variation in Blue Crab (Callinectes sapidus) Abundance and Landings in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Allan Strand
  • Research Advisor: Dr. Michael Kendrick
  • Committee Members: Dr. Joseph Ballenger and Dr. Erik Sotka
  • Defended via Zoom on Friday, November 20th at 12:00 PM
  • View Stevie's defense via Zoom recording

Rebecca Fanning

  • EVSS/MPA Internship: "Legacies & Trajectories: to inform restoration of southeastern Piedmont Streams"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Courtney Murren
  • Committee Members: Joshua Robinson, Dr. Tim Callahan, and Sharleen Johnson
  • Defended via Zoom on Friday, November 20th at 10:30 AM
  • View Rebecca's defense via Zoom recording

Ina Ivanova

  • EVSS/MPA Thesis: "Factors Affecting Participation of South Carolina Counties in FEMA's Community Rating System"
  • Advisor: Dr. Matt Nowlin
  • Committee Members: Dr. Norm Levine, Katherine Faith, and Dr. Kendra Stewart
  • Prerecorded defense, access it here

Josh Jones

  • EVSS Thesis: "Using 3-D Imaging to Evaluate Physical Processes on Living Shorelines"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. M. Scott Harris
  • Committee Members: Benjamin Stone, Dr. Narayanan Kuthirummal, Caitlyn Mayer
  • Defended via Zoom on Wednesday, November 18th at 8:00 AM
  • View Josh's defense via Zoom recording

Maggie McCabe

  • EVSS Internship Title"The Development of an Environmental Education Program within a Nonprofit Organization and the Evaluation of Adult Participants" 
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Tracey Hunter-Doniger
  • Internship Supervisor: Cheryl Carmack
  • Committee MembersDr. William Veal, Cynthia Hall, & Dr. Meta Van Sickle
  • Defended via Zoom on Monday, October 5th at 3:00 PM

Liz McQuain

  • EVSS Thesis: "Development of a Community Science Stormwater Pond Water Quality Monitoring Program"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Vijay Vulava
  • Research Advisor: Dr. Barbara Beckingham
  • Committee Members: Dr. Susan Lovelace and Dr. Amy Scaroni
  • Defended via Zoom on Friday, December 18th at 10:00 a.m.
  • View Liz's defense via Zoom recording

Krissy Sherlock

  • EVSS Thesis: "Should I Stay or Should I Go? An Analysis of Weather Source Information and its Impact on the Response Behavior of the Southeastern U.S. and Gulf Coast Coastal Populations During a Hurricane Event."
  • Advisor: Dr. Matt Nowlin
  • Committee Members: Dr. Kendra Stewart, Dr. Norm Levine, Dr. Kim Klockow-McClain
  • Defended via prerecorded presentation, access it here

Matt Simms

  • EVSS Thesis"Green Militarization? So What? Assessing perspectives of what can be done about the militarization of wildlife conservation" 
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Chris Day
  • Committee Members: Dr. Annette Watson, Dr. John Cropper, and Dr. Black Scott
  • Defended via Zoom on Friday, November 20th at 2:00 PM
  • View Matt's defense via Zoom recording

Brad Thompson

  • EVSS Thesis: "Unmanned Aerial System-Based Remote Sensing of Vineyards for the Development of Prescription Agricultural Products: A South Carolina Case Study"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Norman Levine
  • Research Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Committee Members: Dr. John Chadwick and Dr. Donald Siegel
  • Defended Tuesday, December 22nd at 2:00 p.m. via Zoom

Patrice Wolfe

  • EVSS/MPA Thesis Title: "An Assessment of the South Carolina Aquarium Structured School Program's Ability to Improve Knowledge and Conservation Attitudes" 
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Kendra Stewart
  • Committee Members: Dr. William Veal, Jamie Thorn, and Maggie Dangerfield
  • Defended via Zoom on Thursday, November 12th at 1:00 PM

Summer 2020 Defenses

K. Lloyd Hill

  • EVSS Thesis Title: “Linking Land Use, Climate, and Coastal Ecosystems: A Watershed Perspective for a Changing South Carolina Coast” 
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Andrew Tweel
  • Committee Members: Dr. Barbara Beckingham, Dr. Tim Callahan, & Sharleen Johnson
  • Defended via Zoom on August 6th 2:00 PM
  • View Lloyd's defense via Zoom recording

Christopher Brown

  • EVSS Thesis Title: "The Impact of Infrastructure on the Natural Hydrologic Processes of Coastal Tidal Watersheds"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Tim Callahan
  • Committee Members: Joshua Robinson, Dr. Susan Lovelace, and Dr. Adem Ali 
  • Defended via Zoom on July 23th at 9:30 am
  • View Chris's defense via Zoom recording

Ruth Eklund Manley

  • EVSS Thesis Title: "Shoreline Exposure and Human Health in the Gulf of Mexico"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Paul Sandifer
  • Committee Members: Dr. Susan Lovelace, Dr. Norman Levine, Landon Knapp, and Dr. Annette Watson
  • Defended via Zoom on July 9th at 11:00 am
  • View Ruth's defense via Zoom recording

Spring 2020 Defenses

Luz Agudelo

  • EVSS/MPA Thesis Title: "An Analysis of Community Resilience to Flood/Hurricane Hazards in Charleston, SC"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Annette Watson
  • Committee Members: Dr. Elizabeth Fly, Dr. Norman Levine, and Dr. Kendra Stewart
  • Defended on May 15th
  • View Luz's defense via recorded Zoom

Jonathan Cauthen

  • EVSS Internship Title: "Environmental Education and Ecotourism in South Carolina"
  • Academic Advisor: Dr. Melissa Hughes
  • Committee Members: Matthew Johnson, Dr. Matthew Nowlin, and Dr. Paul Nolan
  • Defended on May 13th
  • View Jonathan's defense via Zoom recording

Fall 2019 - Summer 2020 Defense Announcements

Fall 2019 - Summer 2020 Defenses

Fall 2018 - Summer 2019 Defense Announcements

Fall 2018-Summer 2019 Defense Announcements

Click here to view an enlarged version of 2018-2020 Research Defenses.

To view additional research projects conducted by our students, check out our list of past Thesis and Internship Defenses.