Ph.D. Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, 2009

B.A. Geology, Hamilton College, 2001

Before COA

Sarah joined the faculty of COA in the Fall of 2012 and teaches courses in the Earth Sciences. Before coming to COA Sarah was an Assistant Professor at McGill University in Montreal following her graduate work at the University of California, Santa Cruz and undergraduate degree at Hamilton College. She grew up in upstate NY and after college spent a few years in Atlanta, GA working as a Geologist at an environmental consulting firm and as an ECOWATCH AmeriCorps team member.

Scholarly and Creative Interests

Sarah is trained as a geomorphologist studying the processes shaping the surface of the earth. Her research interests are quite broad including mountain building, past glaciations, active faulting, watershed monitoring, and the erosion of landscapes. One of Sarah’s current research projects involves completing a chronology of past glaciations in a portion of the Peruvian Andes. Two local water quality projects are focused on watershed monitoring in and around Acadia National Park and a study concerning private well water characteristics. Through her teaching of field-based courses, Sarah has begun to explore ways to connect professional development opportunities directly to curricular content. With collaborators and COA students, she developed and implemented the Environmental-STEM field-based professional development program, a curriculum that is freely available online for use by other educators. 

More Information about my Courses

Sarah regularly offer courses on topics exploring landscape shaping processes, climate, geologic principles, interactions between human and Earth systems, as well as place-based studies of Mt Desert Island (MDI) and Maine.

Most of her courses have some field component where COA students may be learning field methods (e.g. mapping, water sampling, measuring the orientation of geologic features, or describing soils), while visiting parts of Acadia National Park, MDI, or Maine to understand the overall geologic history of the region. In some classes, students design and complete self-guided field work as in the Climate and Weather class where students produce a field guide to various meteorological phenomena. Occasionally, Sarah offers intensive field courses to regions with very different geology from Maine such as Eastern California and the Peruvian Andes. 

Sarah regularly advises students on independent research projects. Some are related to her ongoing research and some are inspired by student interest. See some examples of student research here. Explore student created Story Maps of select National Parks here.

Opportunistically Sarah co-teaches courses with other faculty, such as The Anthropocene, Demons from the Depths, and Topics in Research: Geoscience and Geochemistry offering students an inter- multi- or transdisciplinary learning experience.

For the 2023-2024 academic year, geoscience courses are being taught by glacial geomorphologist, Scott Braddock while Sarah is pursuing an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellowship in Washington D.C. Sarah is currently positioned in the Landslide Hazards Program Office, Natural Hazards Mission Area of the U.S. Geological Survey. 

Community Engagement and Advocacy

Member of the Executive Council of the Geological Society of Maine.

Cooperating curator of the Hudson Museum at the University of Maine.

Affiliated faculty researcher at the Climate Change Institute.

Steering committee member of the Coastal Maine Geopark.


Select publications are listed below. A star (*) indicates student co-author. For a full list, visit this website

Benavente, C., Palomino, A., Wimpenny, S., García B., Rosell, L., Aguirre, E., Macharé, J., Rodriguez Padilla, A.M.*, and Hall, S.R., 2022. Paleoseismic Evidence of the 1715 C.E Earthquake on the Purgatorio Fault in Southern Peru: Implications for Seismic Hazard in Subduction Zones, Tectonophysics, doi:10.1016/j.tecto.2022.229355

Walker, B., Hall, S.R., and Schmidt, C. 2020. Environmental STEM (E-STEM) Field Course and Professional Development Modules, Reviewed Teaching Activity Collection of the Teach The Earth Program (some “Exemplary” modules), Science Education Resource Center (SERC), Teaching Resources website

Farrell, A., Buckman, K., Hall, S.R., Muñoz, I.*, Bieluch, K., Zoellich, B., and Disney, J., 2021. Adaptations to a secondary school-based citizen science project to engage students in monitoring well water for arsenic during the Covid-19 pandemic. Journal of STEM Outreach 4(2), doi: 10.15695/jstem/v4i2.05.

Saillard, M., Audin, L., Rousset, B., Avouac, J.-P., Chlieh, M., Hall S.R., Husson L., Farber, D.L., 2017. From the seismic cycle to long-term deformation: linking seismic coupling and Quaternary coastal geomorphology along the Andean Megathrust, Tectonics, 36(2), p. 241-256. doi: 10.1002/2016TC004156.

Michalak, M.K., Hall, S.R., Farber, D.L., Audin, L., and Hourigan, J.K., 2015. (U-Th)/He Thermochronology records late Miocene accelerated cooling in the north-central Peruvian Andes, Lithosphere, 8(2), p.103–115, doi: 10.1130/L485.1.

Margirier, A., Robert X., Audin, L., Gautheron, C., Bernet, M., Hall, S.R., and Simon-Labric, T., 2015. Slab flattening, magmatism, and surface uplift in the Cordillera Occidental (northern Peru), Geology, 43(11), p. 1031-1034, 10.1130/G37061.1.

Hall, S.R., Farber, D. L., Audin, L., Finkel, R.C., 2012. Recent contractile deformation in the forearc of southern Peru, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 337-338, 85-90, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2012.04.007.

Hall, S.R., Farber, D.L., Ramage, J.M., Rodbell, D.T., Finkel, R.C., Smith, J.A., Mark, B.G.,Kassel, C., 2009. Geochronology of LLGM through Holocene glaciations from the tropical Cordillera Huayhuash, Peru, 2009. Quaternary Science Reviews, 28, 2991-3009, doi:10.1016/j.quascirev.2009.08.004.

Saillard, M., Hall S.R., Audin, L., Hérail, G., Farber D.L., Finkel, R.C., Martinod, J., Bondoux, F., and Regard,V., 2008. Pleistocene marine terrace development and non-steady long-term uplift rates along the Andean margin of Chile (31°S). Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 277(1-2), 50-63, doi:10.1016/j.epsl.2008.09.039.

Hall, S.R., Farber, D.L., Audin, L., Finkel, R.C., Meriaux, A-S., 2008. Geochronology of pediment surfaces in southern Peru: Implications for Quaternary deformation of the Andean forearc. Tectonophysics, 459,186-205, doi: 10.1016/j.tecto.2007.11.073.

Exhibitions and Performances

Some recordings of public presentations about our ongoing local water quality project are available at the bottom of this webpage.

See this recent COA news article about student presentations at the Acadia National Park Science Symposium.


Abstracts (*student author) of select presentations featuring student research. A full list of presentation abstracts are available here and find out more about student presentations.

Capuano, B.*, Adams, M.*, Hall, S.R., Disney, J., 2022. Precipitation-mediated fluctuations in well water arsenic in Hancock County, ME, Maine Sustainability and Water Conference, Augusta, Maine, March 31, 2022.

Feher, A.*, Hall, S.R, Disney, J.E., and Jackson, B.P., 2022. Arsenic abundance in arugula and kale, Maine Sustainability and Water Conference, Augusta, Maine, March 31, 2022.

Slamova, L.*, Hall, S.R., Feher, A.*, Disney, J.E., and Jackson, B.P., 2022. Do the orchard soils of Mount Desert Island region harbor residuals of historical arsenical pesticide use? Maine Sustainability and Water Conference, Augusta, Maine, March 31, 2022. Won honorable mention for poster presentation.

Moran, L.*, Hall, S.R., Farrell, A., and Disney, J., 2022. Influence of different water treatment systems on arsenic concentrations in private well groundwater: A view from MDI, ME.

Muñoz, I.L.*, Cahueque, S., Farrell, A., Moroz, G.*, Hall, S.R., Buckman, K., and Disney, J. 2021. Pathways of arsenic ingestion in Maine: Data to Action, Geological Society of Maine Spring Meeting, virtual meeting poster presentation, April 9, 2021, published in GSM Newsletter July 2021

Moroz, G.*, Hall, S.R., Disney, J., Farrell, A., and Stanton, B., 2021. Spatial, temporal, and well-specific influences on well water quality, northern Mount Desert Island, Maine, Maine Sustainability and Water Conference, virtual meeting poster presentation, April 1, 2021; Won honorable mention for poster presentation.

Hall, S.R., Moroz, G.*, Farrell, A., Disney, J., and Stanton, B., 2021. Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Private Well Water Quality: A View from Mt. Desert Island, Maine, Maine Sustainability and Water Conference, virtual meeting talk, March 31, 2021.

Hall, S.R., Walker, B., Schmidt, C.M., and Paul, J.R., 2019. Use of a field and career preparation program as a tool for recruitment and retention in the Environmental STEM workforce: A report from the ESTEM Program for 2-year and 4-year college undergrads. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 51, No. 5, Presented at GSA Oct. 2019 by Walker, B.

Aragon Oreggo, M.F.*, Moroz, G.*, Gibson, S.*, Kumagai, A.*, Löwgren, S.*, Hall, S.R., Schmidt, C.M., Walker, B., and Paul, J.R., 2019. Matching skill to need: A multi-institution approval to field-based Environmental-STEM (ESTEM) studies and professional development skills, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328351. (Also presented at Acadia National Park Science Symposium, 2018)

Farrell, A., Poland, R., Hall, S.R., Disney, J., and Stanton, B., 2019. Monitoring well water for arsenic on Mt. Desert Island: Engaging high school and college students in interdisciplinary and societally relevant work, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328363.

Gallardo Garcia Freire, P.*, Henkel, B. and Hall, S.R., 2019. Past, present and future of the College of the Atlantic stream: A small coastal watershed assessment, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328441. (Also presented at ANPSS, 2018 and GSM, 2019)

Gibson, S.*, Lowgren, S.*, Hall, S. R., and Smith, S. M. C., 2019. Geomorphic map of Kebo Brook Watershed: Identifying characteristic channel geometry and channel head locations for a small post-glacial coastal New England watershed, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328398. (Also presented at Geological Society of Maine, 2019 – Best Student Poster Presentation)

Hall, S.R., McKenzie, J.M., Hall, B.L., Meriaux, A.-S., Fortin, M.-A.*, 2019. Glacial geochronology transecting a tropical mountain range, the Cordillera Blanca of northern Peru, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328472.

Henkel, B., Hall, S.R., Gallardo Garcia Freire, P.*, and Löwgren, S.*, 2019. Watershed monitoring in Acadia National Park: Preliminary results based on three years of data collected across multiple watersheds, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328382.

Van Vliet, N. and Hall, S.R., 2019. An anthropologist and a geologist go into a classroom and…, Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs, Vol 51, No. 1, 328331.

Rodriguez Padilla, A.M.*, Hall, S.R., Benavente Escobar, C., Venuti, G.L., Fernandez Baca, B.G, Roselle, L.N., and Audin, L., Evolution of a Paradoxical Landscape: New Constraints for Tectonic and Climatic Processes in the Forearc of Southern Peru, 2018. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., EP53A-06.

Venuti, G.L.*, Hall, S.R., and Nurse, A., The Paleoecology of Great Duck Island, Acadia National Park Science Symposium, College of the Atlantic (Nov, 2017); Geological Society of Maine Meeting, Unity College (April, 2018); Borns Symposium, Climate Change Institute (May 2018).

Taylor, V.*, Crowley, C.*, Lowgren S.*, Gallardo, Garcia, Freire, P.*, Hall, S.R., and Henkel. B., 2018. Insights into stream water quality: Bacteria sampling at the Cromwell-Kebo Watershed through summer storm events., Acadia National Park Science Symposium, College of the Atlantic, Oct. 20, 2018.

Gray, S.E. III*, Hall, S.R., Michalak, M.J., and Bailey, D.G., A new look at the geologic history of Great Duck Island and Mount Desert Rock through high resolution aerial imagery, geologic mapping, geochemistry, and geochronology, 2017. Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 49, No. 2, doi: 10.1130/abs/2017NE-291262.

Hall, S.R., Schmidt, C.E., and Walker, R., 2017. Challenges and opportunities in the development of a multiinstitution field-based professional development program for Environmental-STEM (ESTEM) undergraduates, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 49, No. 2, doi: 10.1130/abs/2017NE-290986.

Minogue, W.*, Hall, S.R., Henkel, B., Stream discharge moitoring in seven watersheds on Mt. Desert Island, ME, Acadia National Park Science Syposium, Schoodic Educational & Research Center, September 2016.

Hall, S.R., Hodson, K.R., Michalak, M.J., Farber, D.L., Hourigan, J.K., 2016. Pliocene to present denudation in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru: Interactions of climate and tectonics in a tectonically active glaciated mountain range, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs. Vol. 48, No. 2, paper no. 15-7

Prest, T.*, Strader, J.*, Galey, M.*, Hall, S.R., Assembling a teaching collection at COA: outcrop, hand-sample, and thin-section analysis of rocks from Mt. Desert Island and Mt. Desert Rock. Acadia National Park Science Symposium, Schoodic Educational & Research Center, 2014.

Davis, M.W.*, Hall, S.R., Farber, D.L., Audin, L., Finkel, R.C., 2007. Quaternary geologic history of the Rio Tambo, southern Peru: repeated mass-wasting events in Western Cordillera drainages, Eos Trans. AGU, 88(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract T31A-0283.