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; an M.S. and Ph.D. in Geosciences from the University of Arizona (1992); and was an NSF Post-doctoral Fellow in the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University. Dr. Ely's interests include fluvial geomorphology, stream restoration, Quaternary geology, 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.
  • River and groundwater responses to stream restorations, including large wood, dam removals and engineered channels
  • Landscape-scale effects of outburst floods from glacial lakes, lava dams and landslide dams
  • Paleo-tsunami deposits in Chile, India and elsewhere
  • Processes and timing of arroyo incision in semi-arid central Washington
  • Evolution of bedrock channels in the uplifted volcanic plateau of eastern Oregon

Teaching and Schedule


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