Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D.
Penn State University
304 Forest Resources Building

University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-8830


  1. B.S. Department of Geography (remote sensing/GIS option), with minor in Science, Technology, & Society, Penn State University
  2. M.S. & Ph.D. Department of Environmental Sciences (hydrology option), University of Virginia
  3. Post-doc, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (biogeochemistry), Cornell University

Interests:  water quality, watershed management, ecosystem resilience, forests, science-technology-society interactions, STEM education.

Google Scholar - publications & citations. H-Index 43, with >16,000 citations Research and Outreach - galleries
Twitter - academic & science related posts; ORCID
Penn State IEE, AGU Ecohydrology, and AGU Witherspoon Lecture - profiles

Research and Service:  As a hydrologist, my research explores coupled processes affecting water resources.  Much of my work focuses on quantifying status and trends of water quality, and cumulative effects on downstream waters - from headwater watersheds to coastal zones.  Such work provides a scientific basis for policies and management strategies to mitigate the effects of environmental pollution and to protect, conserve, and restore fresh waters.  I approach research from an interdisciplinary perspective, and have worked with over 400 collaborators from around the world on my publications.  Toward science communication, I participate in conferences and public events, provide scientific perspectives, and make Congressional visits.  I serve on advisory committees of the US Environmental Protection Agency considering air pollution and water resources, and serve on the National Academies advisory committee reviewing the New York City Watershed Protection Program.  I am an Editor of the international journal Hydrological Processes, and lead one of the 54 centers comprising the National Institutes for Water Resources.   

Teaching and Advising:  I enjoy working with students toward meeting their academic and professional goals.  I teach courses in hydrology, water quality, ecosystems, and research integrity; and welcome undergraduate and graduate students for individualized studies (see all listings in LionPath, or current semester courses listed below).  My research group conducts projects involving field observations, laboratory studies, data driven methods, and hydrological/ecosystem modeling.  I advise graduate students in degree programs suited to their interests, including EcologyEnvironmental Pollution ControlFisheries ScienceForest Resources, and Soil Science.  I participate in interdisciplinary dual-title graduate education programs in BiogeochemistryHuman Dimensions of Natural Resources & the Environment, Operations Research, and International Agriculture.  Graduate students in my research group are standing on the shoulders of giants as part of hydrogeologist Irwin Remson's Academic Family Tree!  Prospective students should contact me to discuss opportunities.  Find us at Beth's office (304 Forest Resources Building), grad student offices (234 Forest Resources Building), or water quality lab (329 Forest Resources Building).   

Current Courses:  

  • Fall 2019: ERM/WFS 435 Limnology; ECOL 515 Advances in Ecology; and FOR/SOILS/WFS 590 Colloquium in Ecosystem Science & Management.
  • Spring 2020: FOR 597 Statistical Methods in Water Resources; and FOR/SOILS/WFS 589 Research Scholarship, Integrity, and Communications.

Current Projects: