Elizabeth Knapp '90
Directory of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity
Professor of Geology, Washington and Lee University
BS, Washington and Lee University
PhD, University of Virginia
I discovered my passion for geology here as a student at W&L. It began in the second semester of my sophomore year in an introductory geology course followed by my first spring term in the southwest US. From then on I know that I wanted to be a geologist. After graduating from W&L with a BS in Geology in 1990, I did an internship at the USGS Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center in Woods Hole, MA, and then worked as an Associate Geologist at ENVIRON Corporation in Arlington, VA. My environmental fieldwork shaped my interest in groundwater but more specifically in geochemistry and contaminant transport.
My interests have always been interdisciplinary and at the intersection of fields of science. I did my graduate work at the University of Virginia in the Environmental Studies Program with a research team (a geochemist, hydrologist, and microbial ecologist) funded by the DOE Subsurface Science Program. My dissertation work involved redox reactions and reactive transport in water.
After finishing my PhD, I came back to the W&L Geology Department in 1997 to teach in the areas of Earth Materials and Geochemistry and have been on the faculty here since. In the last 10 years I have served in administrative capacities in the Dean's, Provost's and President's offices. I look forward to getting back to more teaching and research in the years to come. Having had both a solid science and a liberal arts background has given me the flexibility to adapt and pursue multiple opportunities over my career.