Graumlich, Lisa

Graumlich, Lisa
University of Washington

Dr. Lisa J. Graumlich joined the University of Washington’s College of the Environment (CoEnv) as its inaugural dean on July 1, 2010. She came to CoEnv from the University of Arizona (UA) which she joined in 2007 as the director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE). When hired as the SNRE director, Graumlich was given the mandate to broaden the school’s engagement with the grand challenges in environmental sciences and resource management. Under her leadership, she successfully recruited new faculty in emerging fields such as ecological informatics, ecosystem services and ecohydrology, and stabilized its resource base in a time of decreasing state support for higher education.

Graumlich started her career at UCLA as a faculty member in the Department of Geography. She was then recruited by the University of Arizona as a faculty member in the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research and the first director of UA’s Institute for the Study of Planet Earth (ISPE). She was later recruited to Montana State University where she served for two years as the Director of the Mountain Research Center, and subsequently for six years as the executive director of the Big Sky Institute. In this latter position, she fostered partnerships between researchers and managers to develop science-based knowledge relevant to conservation of biodiversity in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other large protected areas.

As a paleoecologist, Graumlich investigates how ecosystems and human societies adapt to climate change, with a special focus on severe and persistent drought. She is renowned for her interdisciplinary focus and has a career-long interest in global climate change, especially with regard to how to best manage natural and human resources in an uncertain future. Graumlich is a frequent speaker on climate change impacts and adaptation. She most recently testified before the U.S. House of Representative Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on long-term climate variability.

Graumlich received her B.S. in botany and M.S. in geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her Ph.D. in forest resources from the University of Washington (1985). She was named an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 1999 and was elected as Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2004.

Research Interests: 
how ecosystems and human societies adapt to climate change, with a special focus on severe and persistent drought