Melissa Hage

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

Dr. Hage is an environmental scientist with a background in geology. 

Dr. Hage is from New Jersey, where she grew up loving being outside and curious about how the world around her worked. Prior to coming to Oxford College, she was a Visiting Lecturer in the Environmental and Earth Sciences Department at Willamette University in Salem, OR from 2011 - 2013 and an Assistant Professor in the Geography-Geology Department at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County from 2013 - 2017. In 2017, Dr. Hage joined the faculty at Oxford College as the first Assistant Professor of Environmental Science. 

Before coming to Oxford College of Emory University, Dr. Hage was a geologist whose master’s research focused on modern biogeochemistry in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica and whose doctoral research focused on Archean sedimentology and biogeochemistry. However, she wanted to take her role as the first faculty member in the department of Environmental Sciences at Oxford College seriously and has thus increased the breadth of her research to include water quality and phytoremediation. This new direction connects with research she conducted as an undergraduate, where she examined the impact of migratory snow geese on nitrogen and phosphorous dynamics in a freshwater reservoir. Additionally, questions pertaining to water quality are often connected to biogeochemical cycles, which she has previously studied as part of her graduate research.

Dr. Hage's interest in water quality issues and phytoremediation stems from their connection to both geology and environmental studies. Water quality issues are important and pertinent to both the natural and social sciences because water resources have a range of economic and social benefits. Monitoring water quality provides empirical evidence to support decisions being made regarding a variety of health and environmental issues.  Phytoremediation is an in-situ method that utilizes plants to extract heavy metals from the environment that has emerged as a potential easy to use, environmentally friendly and cost-effective method of remediating heavy metal contamination. Accumulation of heavy metal ions in water bodies is often associated with acid mine drainage and can reach toxic levels, which affects aquatic life and contaminates the food chain.


BA| Franklin and Marshall College| 2002

MS| University of Tennessee, Knoxville| 2006

PhD| University of Tennessee, Knoxville| 2015

Courses Taught

ENVS 229E - Meteorology and Climatology

ENVS 131QE - Introduction to Environmental Studies

ENVS 222 - Evolution of the Earth

ENVS 230 - Fundamentals of Geology

ENVS 243 - Modern and Ancient Tropical Environments Field Course

DSC 101 - Natural Disasters: Living on the Edge


• Martin AJ, Stearns D, Whitten MJ, Hage MM, Page M, Basu A (2020) First known trace fossil of a nesting iguana (Pleistocene), The Bahamas. PLoS ONE 15(12): e0242935.

• Shroat-Lewis, R. and Hage, M. 2020. Engaging students at all academic levels in an inquiry-based paleocologic learning activity, even when you don’t have the rocks. Journal of College Science Teaching, 5, 78-87.

• Hage, M., Uhle, M., and Macko, S.  2007.  Biomarker and stable isotope characterization of coastal pond organic matter, McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Astrobiology 7, 645-661.

• Olson, M., Hage, M., Binkley, M. and Binder, J.  2005.  Impact of migratory snow geese on nitrogen and phosphorus dynamics in a freshwater reservoir.  Freshwater Biology 50, 882-890.