Department Achievements


Dr. Linda George contributed to the article "ODOT plans to take part of school grounds for I-5 widening project" in OPB.

Dr. Patrick Edwards has partnered with the Higher Education in Prison Project to teach Natural Science Inquiry to women incarcerated at the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility.

Dr. Ben Clemens (ODFW), Gabe Sheoships (Friends of Tryon Creek) and Dr. Patrick Edwards received a $20,000 grant for a project entitled “A Community Science Project to Assess Lamprey Distribution and Raise Awareness of the Cultural and Ecological Importance of Lampreys.”

Kaegan Scully-Engelmeyer, Ph.D. student in Earth, Environment & Society, and Dr. Elise Granek, professor of environmental science & management were featured in OPB's article "Forest pesticides found downstream in coastal Oregon waters."

Dr. Linda George was featured in the KGW article "Reduced traffic still impacting Oregon's air quality as people resume driving to work." 

Dr. Melissa Haeffner was featured in Street Roots for her work with The Oregon Water Stories Project in the article ‘I don’t have much money, but I pay for good water.'

Kaegan Scully-Engelmeyer, Ph.D. student in Earth, Environment & Society, and Dr. Elise Granek, professor of environmental science & management, were featured in both KGW and Portland State news for their study that explores links between forestry management practices and pesticides in aquatic species. 

David Ervin, Environmental Management and Economics faculty emeritus and Institute for Sustainable Solutions senior fellow, received the 2021 Public Service Award from the Weed Science Society of America for outstanding scientific outreach activities in advancing public understanding of the scientific principles of weeds.

Kylee Church, ESM undergraduate, was featured in College Magazine's article "Top 10 Colleges Where You Can Make a Difference in the Climate Crisis." She got to share her experience at PSU in the ESM department, and as a member of PSU clubs like LSAMP and the Environmental Sustainability club. 

Dr. Jen Morse, Environmental Science and Management faculty, and Dr. Olyssa Starry, University Honors College faculty and won a $24,191 UPP 2020 Seed Grant for their project “Willamette Water Quality Past and Present.”


PhD student Amy Ehrhart (Granek) had her doctoral work featured in HealthDay, U.S. News, and

Clare McClellan (MEM, Haeffner) will be presenting the poster: Assessing Place-Based Micro-Community Water Values at the American Water Resources Association 2020 Virtual Annual Water Resources Conference, Nov. 9-11.

Dr. Melissa Haeffner, Assistant Professor in Environmental Science and Management, presented the plenary at the Washington State Lake Protection Association: WALPA 2020 on Racial and Social Justice in Freshwater Systems on October 14, 2020.  

Dr. Linda George was featured in the New York Times article "Record Wildfires on the West Coast Are Capping a Disastrous Decade."

Dr. Max Nielsen-Pincus, Paul Loikith (Geography), and Andres Holz (Geography) were featured on KGW's Straight Talk TV to discuss the Oregon wildfires

Taylor Dodrill (PhD student) has been selected as a Margaret A. Davidson Fellow to conduct research at South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve as a part of a NOAA-funded fellowship program.

Dr. Max Nielsen-Pincus, Environmental Science and Management faculty, received a $35,016 grant from the USDA Forest Service through their Joint Venture Agreement to research “Co-Management of Fire Risk Transmission” with the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

Dr. Max Nielsen-Pincus, Environmental Science and Management faculty, and Cody Evers, Environmental Science and Management research associate, received a $78,500 grant from the USDA Forest Service through their Joint Venture Agreement to research “Integrating Empirical and Simulation Models to Analyze and Communicate Trends in Community Wildfire Risk in the US” with the Rocky Mountain Research Station.

The Rae Selling Seed Bank and Plant Conservation Program has been awarded the 2020 Center for Plant Conservation National Collection Plant Sponsorship.

Dr. Yangdong Pan has been awarded the 2020 John Eliot Allen Outstanding Teaching Award for the ESM department.

Dr. Patrick Edwards was recently published in the Society for Ecological Restoration with the article "Citizen Science and Ecological Restoration."

Dr. Linda George was featured in The Oregonian's article "Amid the coronavirus shutdown, some types of air pollution down by as much as 60 percent in Portland." 

Dr. Melissa Haeffner, Janet Cowal, applied linguistics adjunct faculty, and community partner Andrew Hogan of Street Roots, have been awarded a PSU Community Engaged Research Academy CERA grant of $5,000 for their project titled “Oregon Water Stories.” This project engages people experiencing homelessness in dialogue with policy makers about future water investments in the State of Oregon.

Dr. Linda George was featured in KGW8's article "How much better will our air be because of stay-home order? New data shows reduction in vehicle traffic is impacting air quality." 

Dr. Kelly Gleason was awarded $12,315 from the USGS-PSU Partnership for “Eagle Creek Fire Impacts to Cold Water Refuges in the Columbia River Gorge, an Opportunity for Student Training, Public Service, and Research Collaboration.” Gleason will be working with Sylas Daughtrey, USGS Oregon Water Science Center. The team will be documenting fire effects in the Tanner, Herman and Eagle Creek watersheds impacted by the Eagle Creek Fire. The data will be evaluated students in Gleason's ESM/CE 425/525 Watershed Hydrology class to teach hydrograph analysis of stormflow versus peakflow events.

Dr. Elise Granek was awarded $18,260 from the USGS-PSU Partnership for “Examining Pharmaceutical and Microplastic Pollution Co-Occurrence: A Tool for Pinpointing Microplastic Sources in Oregon Waters.” Granek will be collaborating with Elena Nilsen, USGS Oregon Water Science Center. The team will examine the extent to which pharmaceutical and microplastic concentrations co-occur in wastewater effluent and tissue samples of coastal oysters and clams.

Dr. Kelly Gleason was featured in the segement "Wildfires could exacerbate water shortages" in Yale Climate Connections.

Dr. Elise Granek co-authored four papers with ESM PhD students Britta Baechler and Dorothy Horn. These were featured in a special issue of Limnology and Oceanography Letters titled “Microplastics in Marine and Freshwater Organisms: Presence and Potential Effects.”

ESM Faculty and Instructors were featured in "This Week in CLAS" in the article Oregon's water resources at center of revamped PSU, USGS partnership


Dorothy Horn (PhD) was featured in the article "Microplastics affect sand crabs' mortality and reproduction, PSU study finds."

Dr. Melissa Haeffner presented “Managed Retreat in a North-South Context: From Resistance to Acceptance” at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, California, on Dec. 11. 

Dr. Patrick Edwards was awarded the 2019 Valued Partner in Education Award from the Northwest Regional Education Service District for his work with students at the St. Mary's Home for Boys.

Dorothy Horn (PhD) was featured in the article "Marine microplastics researcher talks shop" from News Times.

Dr. Elise Granek and PhD student Britta Baechler were featured in the article "Microplastics found in oysters, clams on Oregon coast -- and our clothing is partly to blame, PSU study finds." Their work was also covered in KGW, KOIN, Oregonian, Willamette Week, OPB, Associated Press, Daily Mail, and Nature World News.

Dr. Elise Granek and PhD student Britta Baechler were featured in the article "Gaps in North America’s microplastic research emerge" from Cosmetics Business.

Dr. Kelly Gleason has been selected as a fellow of the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded program, Training and Retaining Leaders in STEM-Geospatial Sciences.

Dr. Linda George has been featured on KATU in an article titled "Despite its 'green' reputation, Oregon lags when it comes to cleaning up diesel pollution."

Dr. Cat de Rivera and Dorothy Horn (PhD) have been invited to speak at the Sharing the Coast Conference on March 9th. Dorothy has also been invited to speak at the Marine Debris Presentation on February 16th. 

Dr. Linda George was featured in KGW8 in the article "Students head to Salem in support of 'dirty diesel bill'." 

Dr. Kelly Gleason has been featured in The Oregonian in the article "Wildfire diminishes snowpack for years after flames go out, Portland State study finds."

Dorothy Horn (PhD) was invited to kick off Rise Above Plastics Month in Oregon, with her talk on the plague of plastics in the ocean and on the shore.

Rikki Oden (MEM, Haeffner) published a book review on Standing Rock: Greed, Oil and the Lakota’s Struggle for Justice by Bikem Ekberzade on The London School of Economics and Political Science Review of Books.

Barbie Moreland (MS, Nielsen-Pincus) published a book review on From Disposable Culture to Disposable People: The Unintended Consequences of Plastics by Sasha Adkins in the Journal for Environmental Studies and Sciences.

Dr. Eugene Foster has been awarded the 2019 John Eliot Allen Outstanding Teaching Award for the ESM department. 

Dr. Elise Granek, Dorothy Horn (PhD), and undergraduates Ashley Peterson and Amy Valine were featured for their work on a project done with OPB in "Hunt For Answers Shows Oregon Rivers Not Immune To Microplastic Pollution."

Dr. Melissa Haeffner will be having a launching of her book "Antarctica Becomes Her" at 9:00am on Friday, October 11th in SMSU 294.

Dr. Melissa Haeffner and Geography faculty member Dr. Alida Cantor, organized a panel on "Resilient Water Resource Governance in the Pacific Northwest" at the Northwest Climate Conference in Portland, Oct. 10.

Dr. Kelly Gleason was featured on KGW's Straight Talk for 'Climate Change in the Northwest' with Dr. Andrew Foundation (Geology) and Dr. Paul Loikith ( Geography).


Britta Baechler (PhD) has been featured on the Oregonians Against Waste page, a collection of stories from fellow Oregonians who care about the environmental health and quality of the Pacific Ocean and Oregon Coast.

Terry Marcey, a recent ESM graduate, co-authored the paper "Post-fire management affects species composition but not Douglas-fir regeneration in the Klamath Mountains." The journal article was also featured on EurekaAlert. 

The Yale Environmental Review wrote an article about Dr. Patrick Edwards and Daniel Bedell's (MEM) paper "A unique role for citizen science in ecological restoration: a case study in streams."

ESM Honors student, Ashley Peterson, will be featured on Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) for her Honors' thesis work on community scientists looking for microplastics.

Dr. Elise Granek's Applied Coastal Ecology Lab was highlighted in the most recent issue of the PSU Research Magazine. 

Dr. Bill Fish has been awarded the 2018 John Eliot Allen Outstanding Teaching Award for the ESM department. 

Dr. Linda George was awarded the 2018 George C. Hoffmann Award for Faculty Excellence for her distinguished contributions to the University in the areas of instruction, university service, and scholarship.

ESM presented two booths at the Starlight Parade, one that included an activity on plastic pollution and emerging contaminants in marine organisms along the Oregon coast and another that used stream insects from two regional streams to demonstrate the use of Bioassessment as a community-based technique for evaluating stream health.

The Clackamas River Basin Council honored Dr. Patrick Edwards with the 2018 Stevens River Watch Award for leading citizen scientists in monitoring local streams including the Clackamas River and tributaries.  

Erin Costello (MEM) won the Best Visual Presentation award for her poster entitled "Development, application, and testing of an effective shade model for water quality management in Oregon" at the Annual Environmental Joint Campus Conference 2018 at OSU.

Dorothy Horn (PhD) and Taylor Dodrill (Strecker) have received the Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Dorothy will conduct her research on the impacts of microplastics on near shore marine foodwebs, and Taylor will study the impacts of changing ocean conditions on the adaptive strategies of marine phytoplankton. 

Dr. Elise Granek has received a grant from the OSU-based Oregon Sea Grant to study whether different forest management practices are associated with contaminants in downstream shellfish.

Research on contaminants in Pacific oysters conducted by Amy Ehrhart (PhD) and Dr. Elise Granek was featured on KQED Science. Find the full story here: "From Drugged Oysters to Birds Full of Plastic, Oceans Are Feeling the Burden of Pollution." They also participated in a press conference on Emerging Contaminants in Coastal and Marine Ecosystems at the Ocean Sciences Meeting with PhD student Britta Baechler.

Dr. Linda George was featured in the PBS NewsHour segment "How Will Oregon Clean Up Diesel Air Pollution?" Check out it out clicking here!

Dr. Meredith Holgerson, a post-doc in Dr. Angela Strecker’s lab, was awarded the Raymond Lindeman award from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography (ASLO). The award recognizes a young scientist for an outstanding paper in the field of aquatic sciences. You can read her article here, Nature Geoscience. Meredith’s work discovered that small ponds play an important role in global carbon emissions from inland freshwaters. 


Dr. Meenakshi Rao, a post-doc in Dr. Linda George's STAR Lab, and Bennett Battaile of Spatial Reasoning, won first prize in the AGU OpenAPI Challenge for their web app, AGU Explorer.

Three ESM graduate students won awards at the 2017 Oregon State of the Coast Conference. The People's Choice Award for Best Poster was awarded to both Britta Baechler and Dorothy Horn. Both are studying mircoplastics in nearshore organisms. Kaegan Scully-Engelmeyer's poster on linkages between forestry practices and bivalves was awarded 3rd place.

Dr. Patrick Edwards was awarded two grants to study stream restoration projects around the Portland Metropolitan region. Working with regional high school students, this project will use data generated by citizen scientists to monitor the impact of stream restoration projects on stream insect communities at Gales Creek in Hillsboro, Rock Creek in Estacada and Carli Creek in Clackamas.

Greg Ruiz and Brian Steves, two researchers instrumental to the joint ESM-SERC (Smithsonian Environmental Research Center) Aquatic Bioinvasion Research and Policy Institute, are part of a team whose study on Transoceanic species dispersal from tsunamis and its implications for marine biogeography was just published in Science.

Dr. Amy Truitt and Dr. Catherine de Rivera have teamed up with Dr. Randy Zelick from Biology and Dr. Lauren Chan from Pacific University with funding from the NSF to use genetic analysis to better understand urban and rural landscape connectivity for Rana aurora, red legged frog, in the greater Portland Metropolitan Area.

Dr. Mark Sytsma, Dr. Catherine de Rivera, and Dr. Angela Strecker received funding from Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission to monitor lakes and rivers in the Columbia River Basin for the presence of invasive zebra and quagga mussels.


Dr. Patrick Edwards helped lead a research experiment with Century High School's AP Environmental Science class investigating the effects Sunny Pond has on downstream water quality and salmon habitat in Reedville Creek.

Dr. Linda George contributed to the discussion about toxic air pollution on KATU's "Your Voice, Your Vote".

Dr. Robert Scheller received the Distinguished Service Award by the US Chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology (IALE)

Jaclyn Teixeira (advisor Granek) received the Anchor QEA Scholarship for research relating to water resources and habitat restoration.