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), with minor in Science, Technology, & Society, 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

Interests: water quality, aqueous geochemistry, hydrological processes, environmental science,  science-technology-society interactions, graduate and 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:  My research focuses on human and natural processes affecting water resources. Some primary interests are status and trends of water quality, and cumulative effects on downstream waters from headwater watersheds to coastal zones.  I approach research from an interdisciplinary perspective and have worked with over 400 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 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.  Water is a cross-cutting research area, and I advise graduate students in the following departmental degree programs: EcologyEnvironmental Pollution ControlForest Resources, and Soil Science; as well as interdisciplinary dual-title programs in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources & the Environment, Operations Research, and International Agriculture.  I also provide research experiences for undergraduates to work with my Lab group.  Students conduct research projects involving field-based observations, laboratory studies, big data analytics, and/or hydrological modeling.

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 Water Resources Data and Statistics (s).

Penn State Interdisciplinary Affiliations:

Current Projects: