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Dr. Stephanie Stotts

Associate Professor and Program Director of Environmental Studies

Why I Teach

I love the enthusiasm and optimism of students in higher education. I teach to inspire these students to find their passion.

Professional Activities

My research areas focus on dendrochronology (tree ring analysis) and water quality monitoring. I serve as the director of Wesley College’s tree ring laboratory and environmental science graduate program. In addition to my research in the field of environmental science, I have projects, presentations, and publications in the areas of STEM education and Geographic Information Systems. Mentoring is one of my passions, and I have mentored over 25 students, producing over 90 presentations at local, regional, and national conferences.

I am a co-Principal Investigator on a National Science Foundation Critical-Zone Collaborative Network grant and a section co-lead within the Wesley College NSF-EPSCoR program.

Our continued success in the Wesley-mentored undergraduate research program in environmental science has been recognized with articles in the state’s flagship newspapers: The Delaware News Journal, The Delaware State News, and the Dover Post.

Other Accomplishments

The environmental program at Wesley College prioritizes collaborations with local government, non-profits, and industry. These collaborations open many doors for our graduates in terms of research and employment opportunities. In 2019, I partnered with the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary, as Co-PI to obtain a Delaware Coastal Programs Grant. This research is being incorporated into graduate student projects and has led to conference presentations.

In 2018, I was awarded a Delaware Bioscience Center for Advanced Technology Economic Development Grant. This money provided over one year of graduate student support for the development of a marketable education module using a pesticide test kit produced by ANP Technologies, a local company. This work has produced a published paper (link here).

As a mentor, I have successfully guided 2 graduate students through 3 rounds of funding in the Delaware NASA Space Grant Graduate Research Program. One of these projects is ongoing, and the other is in review for publication. I also received a NASA seed grant to help establish a tree ring research program at Wesley.

I am committed to increasing diversity within the field of environmental science and have taken initiative to obtain funding to attend educational training focused on increasing minority success within the sciences. In 2015, I participated in the American Meteorological Society Education Program’s Climate Studies Diversity Project and Course Implementation Workshop. I incorporated material from this workshop into my SN100 course and presented the experience titled “Implementing the AMS Climate Change course into the core curriculum at Wesley College” at the 2016 American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting. I also attended follow-up workshops at this conference. These workshops were so rewarding that I successfully applied for funding to attend the National Science Foundation’s School of Ice held at Dartmouth College.

Wesley has made a real focus to incorporate real-life projects into both the science curriculum and the core curriculum. My efforts and those of several colleagues to integrating project-based STEM learning into the College-core were featured in the May 2014 issue of International Innovations (https://wesley.edu/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/Malcolm_D_Souza_Intl_Innovation_135_Research_Media.pdf).


“A dendroecological investigation of Salinization on an Atlantic White Cedar (Chamaecyparis thyoides L. (B.S.P.)) freshwater tidal wetland in Kent County, Delaware,” Stotts, S.; Gulledge, O.; Callahan, J. Journal of Coastal Research, In review.

“Developing and assessing an environmental science-based education module to support the nature of science and increase science literacy,” Fry, K.; Kroen, W.; Stotts, S. in Proceedings of the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR).
“Growth Patterns and Climate Response of Four Co-occurring Pinus Species on Norumbega Mountain, Acadia National Park, Maine, U.S.A.,” Haines, H.; Munoz, B.; Rooney, M.; Foard, M.; Stotts, S.; van Akker, L.; Brown, P, Tree Ring Research, In review.

“Data-intensive Undergraduate Research Project Informs to Advance Healthcare Analytics,” D’Souza, M. J.; Wentzien, D. E.; Bautista, R. C.; Santana, J. R.; Skivers, M.; Stotts, S.; Fiedler, F. In 2018 Signal Processing in Medicine and Biology (SPMB18), IEEE Xplore, 2018, In Press.

“Integrative Approach for a Transformative Freshman-Level STEM Curriculum,” D’Souza, M.J.; Curran, K.L.; Olsen, P.E.; Nwogbaga, A.P.; Stotts, S.  Journal College Teaching & Learning, 13 (2), 47-64. PMCID: PMC4824183.

“Observations of riparian tree geometry and bank characteristics along a bank stability gradient at the South River, Va.,” Stotts, S.; O’Neal, M.; and Pizzuto, J. River Research and Applications, 31 (6), 747-754.

“Tomorrow’s Researchers,” D’Souza, M.J.; Curran, K.; Stotts, S. International Innovations, 98-101.
“Exposed tree root analysis as a dendrogeomorphic approach to quantifying bank erosion rates at South River, Va.,” Stotts, S.; O’Neal, M.; Pizzuto, J.; Hupp, C., Geomorphology, 223, 10-18.

“On the retreat of forested, cohesive riverbanks,” Pizzuto, J.; O’Neal, M.; Stotts, S., Geomorphology, 116 (3-4), 341-352.


  • Ph.D., Physical Geography, University of Delaware
  • M.S., Natural Resource Management, Delaware State University
  • B.S., Biology, Baker University

Courses Taught

  • FY100 First Year Research Seminar (topic: Sustainable Wesley)
  • SC100 Frontiers of Science (topics: Community Gardens and Climate Change)
  • ES209 Introduction to Environmental Science, lab based
  • ES211 Environmental Field Methods, lab based
  • ES265/365 Directed Research
  • GE205 World Regional Geography
  • PS210 Geology
  • ES300/500 Air Resources
  • ES310 Introduction to GIS
  • ES420/522 Spatial Analysis
  • ES575 Environmental Statistics
  • ES600 Thesis Research

Contact Information