Janet MacFall

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Biology
McMichael Science Building 003H
2015 Campus Box
Elon, NC 27244
macfallj@elon.edu (336) 278-6202

Professional Expertise

Soil Ecology


B.S. Juniata College. Biology

M.S. University of Maryland- College Park.  Botany

Ph.D.  University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Plant Pathology

Employment History

1996 - present - Faculty at  Elon University, Elon, NC.  Depts. of Environmental Studies and Biology

1989 - 1996 - Duke University, School of the Environment and the Department of  Radiology

Courses Taught

Courses taught at Duke University

Applied Ecology

Soil Ecology   


Courses taught at Elon College/University


BIO 114           Population Biology Laboratory

ENS 110          Introduction to Environmental Science

ENS 111 *       Introduction to Environmental Science

ENS 113 *       Environmental Science Laboratory

ENS 215*        Diversity of Life

ENS215L*       Diversity of Life Laboratory

BIO 222           General Botany

BIO 222L *                 General Botany Laboratory

BIO 335IS*                 Field Biology in Belize

BIO 335 IS*    Field Biology in Peru

ENS 350/250 *            Introduction to Geographical Information Systems

ENS 461 *       Seminar:  Environmental Impact Assessment and Policy Development

GST 398W *    History of the American Environmental Movement 

GST 371*        One River - Three Stories

BIO 175OL*    Environmental Biology

ENS 353*                    Restoration Ecology

ENS 373*        Urban Ecology

ENS 373*        Livestock on the Landscape (to be offered winter, 2014)

ENS 381          Internship in Environmental Studies

ENS 499          Research in Environmental Studies


*indicates new course or complete course revision

Current Projects

Regional Food System

The Elon University Center for Environmental Studies has partnered with the Piedmont Conservation Council (www.piedmontconservation.org) to foster integration of a regional food system with sustainable production, aggregation/distribution/value added processing, equitable access and resilient economic development as guiding principles for the project.  Partnering with other Universities and government agencies, we have received a grant of  $57,900 to develop a strategic plan for creation of a farm incubator on public land, assessment of aggregation/distribution assets and needs, and estimation of the economic value of local, small scale agriculture.  Funds were awarded from Piedmont Together (www.triadsustainability.org), a regional project (9 counties and local municipalities) fostering sustainable, vibrant communities.


Haw River Conservation and Cultural Corridor

The Haw River is located in the north central Piedmont region of North Carolina.  With a watershed of 395,232 hectares, the Haw River valley is home to  nearly 1 million people.  In response to water quality concerns, nutrient management plans have been implemented for the Haw River watershed.

The Elon University Center for Environmental Studies formed a partnership with local and state governments and regional NGO’s to do an environmental assessment of the Haw, develop a riparian protection plan, and to begin implementation of regional conservation measures.  External funding was secured to do this work.  A project manager was hired by the Elon Center to begin conservation work, fostering conservation through community engagement and recreation.  At this time, 10 new parks and 10 miles of new trail have been established, all with permanent conservation easements.  About $2,000,000 in external funding has been acquired for land and easement acquisition and site development.

The Technical Report from this work  (Lower Haw River Corridor Project and Technical Report) provides guidance to state and federal agencies in prioritizing conservation/preservation projects on the Haw River.

Grants Awarded

Funded Grants from external agencies:

($497,900 to Dr. MacFall as PI, total $795,510 including grants with Dr. MacFall as co-PI)


“Regional Food System Assessment”, $57,500, awarded to the Piedmont Conservation Council in partnership with the Elon University Center for Environmental Studies. 2013.  Funds provided by Piedmont Together, a regional multi-governmental program to foster sustainable communities.  Funds for a) strategic plan to develop a farm incubator on public lands, b) assessment of aggregation/distribution/value added assets and needs for regional foods, and c) determination of the value of local agriculture within the 9 county Piedmont Together region.


“Lets Move Elon Academy”, $169,170 from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund Student Science Enrichment Program, Awarded 2012.  Awarded to Deborah Long, Steve Moore, Michael Strickland, J. MacFall.


Haw River Land Stewardship Program.  Funded by the U.S.E.P.A. Environmental Education Program.  $15,000.  July 2008 – June 2011.


Haw River Conservation and Cultural Corridor

Funded by City of Burlington - $27,500, Feb.  2006 – April, 2009

Funded by Alamance Co. - $13,500, Feb. 2007 – April, 2009

Funded by City of Graham - $30,000, Feb. 2006 – April, 2009

Funded by Preservation North Carolina - $10,000 – Feb. 2006 – April, 2008


Haw River Conservation and Cultural Corridor.

Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Amount - $30,000

May 1, 2008 – April 30, 2009


Haw River Conservation and Cultural Corridor.

Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Amount - $20,000

May 1, 2007 – April 30, 2008


Haw River Conservation and Cultural Corridor.

Funded by the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation

Amount - $25,000

May 1, 2006 – April 30, 2007


Lower Haw River Corridor Riparian Protection Plan.

Funded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (in partnership with the Haw River Assembly).

Amount - $97,000

April, 2006 – March, 2009


N.C. Biotechnology Center Fellowship to attend the workshop “Teaching Genetics and Gene Expression Using Microarrays”, 2009





Local Societies Initiative to the Metanexus-Templeton Foundation.  Mapping a New Earth Story: Reconciling Science and Religion in the Ecological Age. 

Amount - $15,000

Funded with Dr. Martin Fowler and Richard McBride

March 2005 – April, 2007


Evaluation of seed encapsulation with a plant growth hormone (Gibberellic acid) on the germination and growth of five North Carolina wetland plant species.  Funded by  Tarheel Research, Ltd. 

Amount:  $540, Co Pi Dr. Brant Touchette, Feb., 2005 – May, 2005


Development of a riverfront park in Swepsonville, N.C.  2005.  Funded by N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.  Grant to Swepsonville, N.C.  Elon Environmental Studies students completed the environmental assessment and park plan for the site.  Efforts from faculty and students valued at $30,000 to provide the required cost share. Dr. MacFall was co-PI.

 Grant:  $30,000


Smithfield Foods Environmental Enhancement Grants, administered through the N.C. Attorney General’s Office and the Cape Fear River Assembly.  2003.

Amount - $25,000.  Assessment of Blue-Green Algal (Cyanobacteria) Blooms in the Middle Cape Fear River Basin (Buckhorn Dam and Harris Lake).  Co-Pi Dr. Brant Touchette


Design and Construction of a Radiofrequency Coil for Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study of Cotton Roots - 2003

Amount:  $10,000

Funding Agency:  U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Lubbock, TX

Funds administered by Duke University, site of the coil design and construction


Grant for community outreach to the Elon University Center for Environmental Studies

Amount: $9,400

Funded by Duke Energy, 2003


Evaluation of the Relationship between Soil Mineral Turnover and Dogwood Anthracnose Severity – 1999 - 2005

Amount:  $20,000

Funding for research and student internships at Elon University.

Funding Agency:  U.S. Forest Service


Tolerance to Aluminum in Soil by Mycorrhizal and Non-Mycorrhizal Pines.

Amount:  $189,000 (1996 - 2000)

Funding Agency:  U.S.D.A. Research Initiative Program

Grant administered by Duke University, where Dr. MacFall holds an adjunct appointment


Fellowship awarded to attend NSF sponsored short course "Stressed Stream Analysis - New Approaches and Techniques for Undergraduate Faculty Addressing Real Environmental Problems to Stimulate Undergraduate Science Students." 

Amount:  $2,000    SUNY-Brockport, June 1 - 22, 1997 





Internal Grants funded by Elon University:


Summer Research Fellowship, summer 2012, awarded by the Elon University Research and Development Committee.  Awarded for study of the “Biogeochemistry of Streambed Soils in Piedmont Streams of North Carolina”. $8,000


Summer Research Fellowship, summer 2009.  Awarded by the Elon University Research and Development Committee.  Awarded for study  of the “Soil Enzyme Activity of Soils in Piedmont Streams”.  $6,000


Funding to Support Elon University Forest Research from the Associate Provost Special Grant  Fund.  (P.I. R. Kirk, with J. Coker, D. Gammon, A. Izzo, J. Kapfer, M. Kingston, J. MacFall, B. Touchette, D. Vandermast co-PIs),  2011-Pres. Elon University, $10,724.


Sabbatical awarded by the Faculty Research and Development Committee.  Spring, 2005.  Carbon and nitrogen cycling in the hyporrheos of Piedmont streams.  Work done at Duke University in partnership with Dr. Rob Jackson.


ArcView Training for faculty development (to develop GIS course)

Amount:  $950

Funded by  the Elon College Research and Development Committeee.  Funding to Drs. MacFall and Xiao


The Learning by Teaching Model in Interdisciplinary Teaching., 2004

Amount: $6,000

Carnegie Grant - Elon University

Funded with Dr. Doug Redington


Pedagogy and Program Enhancement Grant – 2003.

Amount -  $2000.  For development of the interdisciplinary course “Environmental Visions – Alternative Futures”.  Other faculty on grant included Drs. Brant Touchette, Sharon Spray, Anthony Weston and Andrew Angyal.


Professional Development and Common Curriculum Development in Environmental Studies

Amount:  $3,000

Program Initiative Grant - Elon College (1997)


To Know Our Watershed - Strengthening the Interdisciplinary Approach to Environmental Studies

Amount:  $3,000

Program Initiative Grant - Elon College (1998)


Enhancement of GIS Teaching and Research - 2002

Amount:  $5,000

Funded by the Elon College Technology Grant Program


One River - Three Stories - An interdisciplinary exploration - 2002

Amount:  $6,000

Funded by Carnegie Grant - Elon University

Funded with Dr. Anne Cassebaum

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