Elizabeth W. Boyer, Ph.D.

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

Interests: water quality, aqueous geochemistry, ecosystem assessment, science-technology-society interactions, graduate & STEM education.

Google Scholar - publications & citations
Research and Outreach - galleries
Twitter - academic & science-related posts
Penn State IEE, and AGU Ecohydrology - profiles
AGU Paul A. Witherspoon Award - profile and lecture video 

Research:  As a hydrologist and environmental scientist, my research focuses on natural and anthropogenic processes affecting water resources.  Primary research interests include 1) status and trends of water quality; 2) cumulative landscape effects on downstream waters, from headwater watersheds to coastal zones; and 3) ecosystem effects of changing climate and atmospheric deposition.  I approach research from an interdisciplinary perspective and have worked with over 450 collaborators from around the world on my publications.  Such work provides a scientific basis for policies and management strategies to mitigate the effects of environmental pollution and to protect, conserve, and restore surface and ground waters.

Service:  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.  I am a member of the National Academies committee reviewing the New York City Watershed Protection Program.  I serve on editorial boards of the international journals Hydrological Processes and Water, 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.  Students conduct research projects involving field-based observations, laboratory studies, big data analyses, and/or hydrological modeling.  Water is a cross-cutting research area, and I advise graduate students in the following departmental degree programs: EcologyForest Resources, and Soil Science; as well as interdisciplinary dual-title programs in BiogeochemistryHuman Dimensions of Natural Resources & the Environment, Operations Research, and International Agriculture.  I also provide research experiences for undergraduates to work with my Lab group.  

Teaching:  I teach courses related to hydrology, water quality, ecosystems, and research methods; and welcome undergraduate and graduate students for individualized studies.  See detailed course listings in LionPath.  Courses planned for academic year 2020-21 include ERM/WFS 435 Limnology (f), ECOL 515 Advances in Ecology (f), FOR/SOILS/WFS 589 Research Scholarship, Integrity, and Communications (s), FOR 597 Statistical Methods and Data Analysis in Water Resources (s).

Penn State Interdisciplinary Affiliations:

Current Projects: