Beth Pratt-Sitaula

Research Associate with the Geological Sciences Department and member of the Center for Excellence in Science & Math Education (CESME)
Phone: 509-899-3480

Ph.D. - University of California Santa Barbara 2005


My geologic background is in climate-tectonics-geomorphology interactions with the majority of my research having been conducted in the Nepalese Himalaya. However, I have now switched the focus of my work to science education — in particular using place-based themes to improve learning in the fields of environmental, geo-hazard, Earth system science, and international education. I have a particular passion for working with K-12 teachers.

I was a co-PI in the CWU Yakima WATERS (Watershed Activities to Enhance Research in Schools; Project which seeks to infuse interdisciplinary watershed science into K-12 schools around the Yakima watershed.

Working with colleagues at University of Portland, Pacific Lutheran University, Portland Community College, and WA and OR public schools, I helped develop and run a series of workshops for Pacific NW middle school teachers to learn about EarthScope science and geo-hazards of our region (primarily earthquakes, tsunami, and volcanoes). The program is called Teachers on the Leading Edge (TOTLE; The successes of this program and urgent need to improve understanding of and preparedness for earthquakes and tsunami along the Cascadia Coast led us to join forces with an informal education expert at Oregon State University and submit for another round of funding to target our coastal communities.

I will also be teaching about earthquake geology and preparedness at schools in Nepal in fall 2011.

Published Work

Pratt-Sitaula, B., Upreti, B.N., Melbourne, T., Miner, A., Parker, E., Rai, S., Bhattarai, T.N., 2009, Applying geodesy and modeling to test the role of climate controlled erosion in shaping Himalayan morphology and evolution. Himalayan Geology, 30(2): 123-131.

Gabet, E. J., Burbank, D., Pratt-Sitaula, B., and Putkonen J., 2008, Modern erosion rates in the High Himalayas of Nepal. Earth and Planetary Science Letters, 267(3-4): 482-494.

Amidon, W. H., Farley, K. A., Burbank, D. W., and Pratt-Sitaula, B., 2008, Anomalous cosmogenic He-3 production and elevation scaling in the high Himalaya. Earth Planetary Science Letters, 265(1-2): 287-301.

Pratt-Sitaula, B., Garde, M., Burbank, D.W., Oskin, M., Heimsath, A. and Gabet, E., 2007. Bedload-to-suspended load ratio and rapid bedrock incision from Himalayan landslide-dam lake record. Quaternary Research, 68(1): 111-120.

Pratt-Sitaula, B., 2004. Connecting people to science in the Himalaya. Geotimes, 49(11): 38-39.

Pratt-Sitaula, B., Burbank, D.W., Heimsath, A. and Ojha, T., 2004. Landscape disequilibrium on 1000-10,000 year scales Marsyandi River, Nepal, central Himalaya. Geomorphology, 58(1-4): 223-241.

Burbank, D.W., Blythe, A. E., Putkonen, J., Pratt-Sitaula, B., Gabet, E., Oskin, M., Barros, A., Ojha, T. P.2003. Decoupling of erosion and precipitation in the Himalayas. Nature, 426(6967): 652-655.

Gabet, E.J., Burbank, D.W., Putkonen, J.K., Pratt-Sitaula, B.A. and Ojha, T., 2004. Rainfall thresholds for landsliding in the Himalayas of Nepal. Geomorphology, 63(3-4): 131-143.

Gabet, E.J., Pratt-Sitaula, B.A. and Burbank, D.W., 2004. Climatic controls on hillslope angle and relief in the Himalayas. Geology, 32(7): 629-632.

Pratt, B.A., Burbank, D.W., Heimsath, A.M. and Ojha, T.P., 2002. Impulsive alluviation during early Holocene strengthened monsoons, central Nepal Himalaya. Geology, 30(10): 911-914.