College of Arts & Sciences

New Department Chairs for 2017-2018

Douglas W. Gamble (Ph.D., 1997, Geography, University of Georgia) is a professor of Geography, the Director of the Laboratory for Applied Climate Research, and the Chair of the Department of Earth and Ocean Sciences at UNCW. Gamble is an applied climatologist with interests in hydrology, climate variability, and coastal and island environments of the Caribbean and southeastern US. His current research projects included monitoring of hydrologic variables in the Bahamas, assessment of current and past hydrodynamics of Salt River Bay, St. Croix, USVI, and investigation of double exposure vulnerability of small-holding farmers in Jamaica. His research has received funding from the National Science Foundation, and NOAA, and has been published in a variety of journals including Annals of the Association of American Geographers, International Journal of Climatology, Journal of Coastal Research, and Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres  Nearly half of his publications are co-authored with students. Gamble has taught a wide-variety of physical and environmental geography courses during his career. He has received the National Council in Geographic Education Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award (2005), Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers Excellence in Teaching Award (2009), and the UNCW Chancellor’s Teaching Excellence Award (2010).

Curry Guinn is a professor in the Department of Computer Science. Guinn joined UNCW in 2004 after working ten years as a research engineer at RTI International.  He earned his M.S. and Ph.D. from Duke University and his B.S. from Virginia Tech. Guinn’s research focuses on problems in artificial intelligence and natural language processing with an emphasis on spoken dialogue systems. His work has been funded by research grants and contracts from both government and commercial clients including U.S. Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, National Institute of Justice, National Institute of Health, Central Intelligence Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, Honeywell, IBM, Michelin, Lexxle, and John Deere. In 2014, he was a recipient of UNCW’s Discere Aude Award for outstanding mentorship of undergraduate students.  

Mariana Johnson is an Associate Professor and the Chair of the Department of Film Studies. Dr. Johnson joined UNCW in 2005 and regularly teaches courses in Latin American cinema and the history of documentary. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University, where she also earned a graduate certificate in ethnographic filmmaking from the Program for Media, Culture, and History. She has a B.A. from Sewanee University, where she majored in English. A former Fulbright scholar and A Film Society of Lincoln Center Fellowship recipient, Johnson has been published in numerous film magazines and peer-reviewed journals, including Film CommentThe Oxford AmericanFilm International, Television and New MediaStudies in Hispanic Cinemas, Jump Cut, The Moving Image, and Letras Hispanas. Her book chapters have appeared in the Oxford Handbook of Film and Media Studies (Oxford UP), Contemporary Spanish Cinema and Genre (Manchester UP), and Cinematic Homecomings (Bloomsbury). Johnson has been awarded the Discere Aude Award for outstanding mentorship of UNCW students, and she recently co-led a study abroad trip to Havana, Cuba. She is currently working on a project about pre-Revolutionary film culture in Havana, completing a book chapter on Cuban film preservation and archival practices, and looks forward to the launch of Film Studies new graduate programs. 

Heather Koopman is a professor in the Department of Biology and Marine Biology. She earned her B.S. and M.S. from the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, and her Ph.D. from Duke University. Heather was a postdoctoral fellow at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.  She joined the faculty at UNCW in 2004 as an Animal Physiologist.  Heather’s research examines how animals survive and evolve in changing environments. She and her students study a variety of species and systems, from the specialized fats used by toothed whales to echolocate, to the behavior and physiology of basking sharks, to the physiology of diving in marine tetrapods, and reproduction in American lobsters. Heather has been carrying out fieldwork in the Bay of Fundy since 1991; at UNCW her research focuses on studies of lipids, energetics, and tissue structure.