Associate Professor, Geochemistry

Research Associate, Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

BSRice University, 1997
MSCalifornia Institute of Technology, 1999
PhDCalifornia Institute of Technology, 2003

Dr. Johnson's Website


GSCI 104: Geology of Skyline Drive
GEOL 110: Physical Geology and Physical Geology Lab
GEOL 115: Earth Systems, Cycles, and Human Impacts 
GEOL 291: Writing and Communicating in the Geosciences
GEOL 300: Introduction to Petrology 
GEOL 390: Laboratory Techniques in Geology

Research Interests

  • Why were there volcanic eruptions in western Virginia during the Eocene?  What can these volcanic rocks and their xenoliths tell us about the crust and mantle underneath the Shenandoah Valley and the passive margin of the eastern US?
  • What caused the large felsic eruptions at Yellowstone, Long Valley, and Taupo?  Are these “super-eruptions” driven internally by volatiles, or externally by plate tectonics or structural triggers? 
  • Development of open access online “textbook” modules on analytical methods in the geosciences. Evaluation of the effects of open educational resources and a blended learning course format upon student retention of analytical methods and instrumentation skills, student mastery of scientific inquiry skills, and student attitude and competencies towards conducting research with analytical equipment. 

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