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Welcome to John W. Johnston's web page!

Currently an Assistant Professor at

Wilfrid Laurier University,

Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

(Also Adjunct Professor - University of Waterloo)


::::  Changed from Visiting Professor to Assistant Professor July 1st, 2008 ::::

(A one-year appointment teaching and conducting research)

"Risk and Disasters",
"Field and Lab methods in Physical Geography",
"Surface of the Earth"

Starting a new research phase:
targeting critical water-level histories of the past millennia
in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence and Mackenzie watersheds.

These data are urgently needed for managers to address
politically-charged debates concerning regulatory and industrial use of water resources.

::::  Current Students  ::::


S. Jarvis (co-supervising) Flood frequency of the past millennium, Peace/Athabasca Delta, AB
**2006 Royal Canadian Geographical Society Studentship in Northern Geography Award**

J. Bailey (committee) Isotope Dendroclimatology of the past millennium, Peace/Ath Delta, AB
P. Harms (committee) Paleolimnological reconstructions in the Slave River Delta, NWT
**2007 UW President's Graduate Scholarship**


B. Brock (committee) Isotope hydroclimatology & paleohydrology of the Slave R. Delta, NWT
**2007 UW President's Graduate Scholarship**
J. Childs (committee) Linking nearshore coastal geomorphological processes
to regional land use management, Prince Edward County, ON

::::  Recent Events  ::::

Invited contributor: Late Holocene lake levels in the Upper Great Lakes -
U.S. Geological Survey Global Climate Change meeting, Bloomington, IN, May 13-14, 2008.

Presenting at: International Association for Great Lakes Research Conference, May 19-23, 2008, Peterborough, ON. "How do ancient shorelines help in regulation efforts of the upper Great Lakes?"

Presenting at: Geological Society of America Northeastern Section Conference,
March 27-29, 2008, Buffalo, New York. "Little Ice Age inundation of the Peace- Athabasca Delta"

Invited contributor: International Upper Great Lakes Study
Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (IUGLS-GIA) Workshop, Nov. 2007, USACE, Chicago.

Invited panelist at the 7th Annual Grand River Watershed Water Forum,
Sept. 2007 - Grand River Conservation Authority, Cambridge, ON

::::  Research  ::::

An integral part of two large and long-standing multi-disciplinary research groups

Addressing key questions concerning sustainable management of these delicate systems

Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Drainage Basin: Upper Great Lakes Regulation Plan Review

Mackenzie Drainage Basin: Bennett Dam regulation (Peace River) and Oil Sands water withdrawal (Athabasca River)

Reconstruct long-term perspective (patterns, directional change) to assess climate/human influence

::::  Research included in several special issues  ::::

1. Journal of Great Lakes Research special issue on Lake Superior Research

2. Michigan Academician special issue on the Geology and Geomorphology of Lake Michigan's Coast

3. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management special issue on Lake Superior

4. Geological Society of America Special Paper: Advances in stratigraphic analyses using GPR

5. Journal of Paleolimnology special issue on the Great Lakes.

::::  Research Findings  ::::

Abrupt Climate Change

(A 4-m-fall in Great Lakes water level 4,000 years ago / the largest
and most abrupt change in the last 4,000 years - cause being reevaluated)

(Lake-level highstand in Lake Athabasca during the Little Ice Age ~1600-1900 AD /
most recent long-lasting event to have impacted the Peace/Athabasca Delta)

Long Term Perspective

(superimposed multidecadal, centennial, and millennial water-level fluctuations
in the Great Lakes / gives new view when interpreting historical record)

(Millennial sand influxes into a lagoon behind a Lake Athabasca sand barrier / related
to major storms recorded in the William River Delta?)

Concern for Ground Movement

(high glacial rebound rates in northern Great Lakes and fracture system near outlet for Lake Superior)

(Investigating rates and patterns in Lake Athabasca and Great Slave Lake basins)

Lake Superior Outlet Change only ~1,200 years ago

(closer to the present than previously thought; modeling implications)

Unique Paleoclimate Records

(strandplains of beach ridges provide continuous records of lake-level, glacial rebound, wind and wave climates, coastal transportation on time periods of decades to millennia)

(Ridges in Mackenzie Basin being investigated using OSL and GPR)