Elizabeth Knapp Senior Assistant to the President and Director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity /​ Professor of Geology

Elizabeth Knapp

205 Washington Hall

2014-present  Professor of Geology, Washington and Lee University

2013-present  Senior Assistant to the President and Director of the Johnson Program in Leadership and Integrity, Washington and Lee University

2011-2013       Associate Provost, Washington and Lee University

2006-2010       Associate Dean of the College, Washington and Lee University

2004-2005       Acting Head, Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University

2003-2014       Associate Professor, Department of Geology; Core faculty member in the Environmental Studies Program, Washington and Lee University

1997-2003       Assistant Professor, Department of Geology, Washington and Lee University

1992-1997       Research and Teaching Assistant, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia

1990-1992       Associate Geologist, ENVIRON Corporation, Arlington, Virginia.

1990-1990       Geologist (USGS/NAGT Summer Field Training Program internship) USGS Atlantic Branch of Marine Geology, Woods Hole, Massachusetts


Ph.D. University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, 1997 (Department of Environmental Sciences; Specialization: Geochemistry / Hydrogeology)

B.S. Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, 1990 (Honors in Geology)


Low-temperature aqueous geochemistry, water quality and contaminant transport, rock weathering processes, geochemical evolution and paleoclimate, and iron geochemistry


General Geology with Field Emphasis (GEOL 100); General Geology (GEOL 101); Chemistry of the Earth (CHEM 110); Field Methods (GEOL 160); Computer Applications (GEOL 185); Earth Materials I: Rocks and Minerals (GEOL 211) (Previously GEOL 210: Mineralogy); Earth Materials II: Geochemistry (GEOL 311) (Previously GEO 310: Petrology); Hydrology (GEOL 340); Geology of the Pyrenees (GEO 397); Coastal Geology (GEO 397); Geology of Hawaii (GEO 397); Global Environmental Cycling (GEO 397)

Selected Publications

Dere, Ashlee, Timothy S. White, Rich H. April, Brian Reynolds, Thomas E. Miller, Elizabeth P. Knapp, Larry D. McKay and Susan L. Brantley. 2013. Climate dependence of feldspar weathering in shale soils along a latitudinal gradient. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 122, p. 101-126.

Knapp, E.P., D.O. Terry, and D.J. Harbor. 2004/2007 (revised second edition). Reading Virginia's paleoclimate from the geochemistry and sedimentology of clastic cave sediments. In Sasowsky, I.D. and J. Mylroie eds., Studies of Cave Sediments: Physical and Chemical Records of Paleoclimate. Klewer Academic / Plenum Publishing, p. 95-106.

Knapp, Elizabeth P., Lisa Greer, Christopher D. Connors, and David Harbor, 2006. Field-based instruction as part of a balanced geoscience curriculum at Washington and Lee University, Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 54, March 2006, p. 103-108.

Knapp, E.P., D.J. Harbor, and Z.F. Ginwalla. 2003. Testing the waters: Can you involve community action in your college curriculum? Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 51, n.3, May 2003, p. 294-298.

Knapp, E.P., D.J. Harbor, and Z.F. Ginwalla. Defining basin water quality: Land use, tributary input, and downstream dynamics, submitted to Journal of Environmental Quality (in revision for publication).

Knapp, E.P., S.G. Dejardins, and M.A. Pleva. 2003. An interdisciplinary approach to teaching chemistry to geology students. Journal of Geoscience Education, v. 51, n. 5, November, 2003, p. 481-483.

Knapp, E.P., J.S. Herman, A.L. Mills, and G.M. Hornberger. 2002. Changes in the sorption capacity of Coastal Plain sediments due to redox alteration of mineral surfaces. Applied Geochemistry, 17(4) 387-398.

Knapp, E.P., J.S. Herman, G.M. Hornberger, and A.L. Mills, 1998. The effect of distribution of iron-oxyhydroxide grain coatings on the transport of bacterial cells in porous media. Environmental Geology, 33(4)243-249.

University Service

Committee and Task Force service: Faculty Governance Committee, Faculty Executive Committee, University Athletics Committee, Student Faculty Hearing Board, CAIR resource and Designated Officer (grievance process), Registration and Class Schedules Committee, University Committee on Inclusiveness and Campus Climate (chair), Automatic Rule and Reinstatement Committee, University Lectures Committee (chair), University Sustainability Committee (chair), Environmental Studies Committee, Historic Preservation Committee, Childcare Task Force (chair), Residential Life Task Force, Celebrating Women Committee, Colonnade Renovation Committee, Faculty Advisor for Chi Omega, Science Society and the Arts Committee

Professional Service

External reviewer for multiple tenure files; reviewer for Water Resources Research, Environmental Science and Technology, Journal of Geoscience Education, Studies in Cave Sediments, and NSF Environmental Geochemistry and Biogeochemistry; Member of the Virginia Water Resources Steering Committee and the Rockbridge County Groundwater Steering Committee; Co - founder of the Maury River Alliance; past Keck Geology Consortium Representative