Dr. Lisa Ely

Ph.D. 1992, University of Arizona
Professor of Geological Sciences
office: 509.963-2177

Curriculum Vitae
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Current Areas:

Dr. Lisa L. Ely is a Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, where she has been since 1994. She received her B.S. in Geology and Biology from Principia College in Illinois; and M.S. and Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Arizona (1992). From 1992-94 she was an NSF Post-doctoral Fellow in the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Ely's interests include fluvial geomorphology, Quaternary geology, paleoclimatology, tsunamis, and catastrophic events of all sorts.

Her research projects include:

  • Investigating the links between climate change and the frequency of large floods over the last several thousand years in the western U.S. and monsoonal India.
  • Evolution of bedrock channels in the uplifted volcanic plateau of eastern Oregon
  • Landscape-scale effects of outburst floods from glacial lakes, lava dams and landslide dams
  • Paleo-tsunami deposits in Chile and India
  • Processes and timing of arroyo incision in semi-arid central Washington
  • Lacustrine sedimentary records in northern India as evidence of past lake-level fluctuations and climate change

Teaching and Schedule


Dr. Ely teaches undergraduate majors' courses in Geomorphology, Environmental Geology, and an interdisciplinary Regional Natural History field course in conjunction with the biology department. She also offers courses in Quaternary Environments and and Fluvial Geomorphology for graduate students and upper division undergraduates.