Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D.

  • Associate Professor of Water Resources
  • Director, Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center
  • Assistant Director, Institutes of Energy & the Environment
Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D.
Penn State University
Department of Ecosystem Science & Management
304 Forest Resources Building

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


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

Scientific Interests:  hydrology, atmospheric deposition, climate, coastal zone, critical zone, ecosystems, earth & environmental sciences, food-energy-water nexus, forests, freshwater, geochemistry, groundwater, STEM education, sustainability, watershed management.  

Curriculum Vitae
Google Scholar (publications & citations)
Profiles from Penn State and AGU Ecohydrology
AGU Witherspoon Lecture (mid-career hydrologic sciences award)
 (academic & science related posts)
Research & Training (field & lab studies gallery) 
(let's talk about water gallery)

Research:  As a hydrologist, my research explores natural and anthropogenic processes affecting the water cycle, watersheds, and water quality - at local, regional, and global scales.  Much of my work focuses on status and trends of chemical constituents and pollutants in precipitation, surface waters, and groundwater.  I approach research from an interdisciplinary perspective, and have worked with over 350 collaborators from around the world on my publications.  Students & staff in my research group conduct projects involving field observations, laboratory studies, and/or hydrological modeling.  Such work provides a scientific basis for policies and management strategies to mitigate the effects of environmental pollution and to protect, conserve, and restore water resources.

Service: Toward communicating scientific information, I participate in conferences and public events, provide scientific perspectives, contribute to STEM education activities, and make Congressional visits.  I am a member of 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, serve as a member of the Board of Directors of the Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrological Sciences, and lead one of the 54 centers comprising the National Institutes for Water Resources.  

Advising:  I enjoy working with students toward meeting their academic and professional goals.  I advise graduate students in various degree programs suited to their interests, including EcologyEnvironmental Pollution ControlFisheries ScienceForest Resources, and Soil Science.  I participate in dual-title interdisciplinary 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), water quality lab (329 Forest Resources Building), or atmospheric deposition lab (201 Forest Resources Laboratory).  


  • Watershed Hydrology & Management (FOR 470, spring 2017)
  • Research Scholarship, Integrity, and Communication (ESM 597, spring 2017 & spring 2018)
  • Limnology (WFS/ERM 435, fall 2017 & fall 2018)
  • Colloquium in Ecosystem Science & Management (ESM 590, fall 2017 & spring 2018) 
  • Independent or Individual Studies (FOR/WFS/SOILS 296/496/596) in water resources research. 

Some Current Projects: