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Undergraduate students have contributed significantly to the lab's research. Northland College students are welcome to inquire about possible opportunities to work with Dr. Johnson on a group project or an independent capstone project.



Abigail ('23), is pursuing B.S. degrees in Natural Resources: Ecological Restoration and Biology. In summer 2022 Abby contributed to botanical surveys of groundlayer species in northern forests ('Plant Watch' monitoring program) as well as wetland plant surveys in the Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs. The data she is collecting is being used to study plant community change in the region. She is also contributing to literature reviews to develop climate change vulnerabilty scores for northern hardwood groundlayer species. Previously she worked as a tow boat driver and outfitter in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.


Claire (’23) is a Natural Resources: Ecological Restoration Major. Claire has contributed to the lab's research on long-term change in the flora of the Northwoods (groundlayer surveys in forest monitoring plots) and she assisted with rare plant population monitoring on Isle Royale National Park in summer 2022. She is also assisting with literature reviews to develop climate change vulnerablity scores for northern hardwood species. Other work in the lab includes compiling floristics data and data entry. Previously, Claire has been involved in helping conduct an ongoing phenological study of native plants in the northern region of Illinois. She plans on pursuing graduate school.

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Isabel ('23) is a Biology major contributing to multiple research projects in the lab. She is contributing to research focused on long-term changes in northern forest plant communities in northern WI and MI and population dynamics of rare plants on rocky shorelines of Isle Royale National Park. She is also contributing to literature reviews to develop climate change vulnerability rankings for common groundlayer species in northern hardwood forests.


'22 B.S. degrees in Geology and Biology; Patrick is currently the student greenhouse manager. He brings a wealth of knowledge about nursery plant care and an artful eye for organizing our conservatory collection. Patrick also serves as a Research Assistant on the lab's research focused on botanical surveys of northern forests as well as coastal wetlands (Kakagon-Bad River sloughs) to study long-term changes in plant communities.



TJ ('23) is a Natural Resources-Forestry major contributing to multiple projects in the lab during summer 2022. He is on the 'Plant Watch' team collecting tree and groundlayer data from Northern Hardwood forests in northern WI as well as on the 'Plants on the Edge' team monitoring rare plants in Isle Royale National Park. He is also assisting with tree surveys along proposed new trails in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, and he is assisting with exclosure repair and vegetation surveys in deer exclosures in the Upper Peninsula of MI.


They work for lots of treats, pets, and walks. They help collect seeds in their fur and they sniff out blueberries. Juni was adopted from a regional animal shelter and she has a built-in gps for always pointing the way to the moon. Named after the national flower of Tunisia, Jasmine was adopted from a local pet rescue in collaboration with an international pet rescue organization.


Lab Alumni

Please contact me with any updates!

Bridget Thornburg - B.S. Biology and Natural Resources-Fisheries & Wildlife Management; rare plant monitoring & research in Isle Royale National Park (recipient of Meeker Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Research); Research Technician for Burke Center for Freshwater Innovation 

Adrian Bethel - B.S. Natural Resources-Forestry '21; rare plant monitoring & research in Apostle Islands National Lakesore; M.S. in Biological Sciences student -Wichita State U.

Maria Lefevre - B.S. Natural Resources: Ecological Restoration and Water Science: Chemistry '21; plant traits in response to fire history; greenhouse technician

Jasmine Swagel - B.S. Biology; Art '21; Woody plant flora and scientific illustrations of the Tyler Forks Community Forest

Lauren Sloyer - B.S. Natural Resources-Forestry '19; rare plant monitoring & research in Apostle Islands National Lakesore

Sam Tharpgeorge - B.S. Natural Resources-Forestry and Biology '18; Apostle Islands coastal wetland research; population dynamics of WI state threatened orchid Neottia convallarioides

Jena Miles - B.S. Natural Resources-Fisheries & Wildlife Ecology & Ecological Restoration '18; Apostle Island coastal wetland research

Ryan Rashke - B.S. Natural Resources '18; Leveraging research and monitoring networks to inform management of the Chryxus Arctic butterfly in the globally rare Pine Barrens ecosystem (co-mentored by Christel Kern and Brian Heeringa at USFS)

Hannah Hoff - B.S. Biology & Natural Resources-Forestry '19; Apostle Islands coastal wetland research; M.S. in Plant Sciences-Plant Genetics at MT State U.

Shea Schachameyer - B.S. Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration '17; Apostle Islands coastal wetland research (winner of the Meeker Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Research)

Lewis Wiechmann - B.S. Natural Resources - Forestry '17; fire history and fuels modeling on Apostle Islands (co-advised with Jon Martin)

Emily Leonard - B.S. Biology & Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration '16; Apostle Islands sandscape project; spatial analysis of Canada yew distribution on the Apostle Islands; M.S. in Wasteshed Science and Ecology at USU

Hannah O'Laughlin - B.S. Biology '16; work study research assistant and greenhouse technician; native plant propagation, rare plant population monitoring

David Moy - B.S. Biology & Natural Resources-Forestry '16; Fire effects research on Apostle Islands

Forest Rosenbower - B.S. Biology & Natural Resources '16; Apostle Islands sandscape project

Michael Sinclair - B.S. Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration, Geology '16; Apostle Islands sandscape project; M.S. in Plant Ecology and co-owner of Bay Area Environmental Consulting

Grace Vosen - B.S. Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration '16; wetland seed bank study

Stephanie Kovach - B.S. Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration '15; Fire effects research on Apostle Islands

Kim Oldenborg - B.S. Biology & Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration '15; Independent Student Researcher; Floodplain vegetation and hydrology research (winner of the Meeker Award for Excellence in Natural Resources Research); M.S. in Aquatic Biology - Grand Valley State U.

Matt Widen - B.S. Natural Resources-Forestry '15; Canada yew project in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; M.S. in Forestry from MTU

Melissa Hogfeldt - B.S. Biology '15; greenhouse manager and teaching assistant

Tim Koski - B.S. Natural Resources-Forestry '14; Greenhouse Manager; obtained funding for Canada yew propagation study

Jordan Mead - B.S. Natural Resources-Fisheries and Wildlife Ecology '13; Canada yew project in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore; Eastern Hemlock success in deer/hare exclosures; Common Juniper status in the Apostle Islands; GIS assistant for multiple projects; M.S. degree from UMN- Duluth – Integated Biosciences Graduate Program

Carissa Hudson - B.S. Natural Resources-Ecological Restoration '13; Herbarium and research assistant


In memory of Bear (2011-2022). He's the reason I planted an entire corner in my native garden with Penn sedge. He loved lounging on the sedge bed when he wasn't digging it up. He'll always be known as the most efficient collector of seeds and leaves in that wooly coat of his, but mostly he'll be remembered for his sparkly eyes and sweet companionship.

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