Office of the Provost

Deanship of the College of the Environment

Dear Colleagues,

I am delighted to announce that Dr. Lisa Graumlich has accepted our offer to become dean of the University of Washington College of the Environment.  Her deanship will begin on July 1, 2010, subject to the approval of the Board of Regents.

Lisa Graumlich is an internationally known researcher specializing in drought and climate.  She investigates how ecosystems and human societies adapt to climate change.  Lisa is currently Director of the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at The University of Arizona, where she integrates her career-long interest in global climate change with the emerging issue of how best to manage natural resources in an uncertain future.

Lisa is also a Husky, having received a doctorate in forest resources from the UW in 1985.  Her B.S. in botany (1975) and M.S. in geography (1978) are from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  Her career spans post-doctoral work at the University of Minnesota and positions with the University of California Los Angeles, Columbia University and Montana State University, as well as the University of Arizona. She started her career on the University of Arizona faculty at Arizona from 1988 to 1999, serving as director of the cross-disciplinary Institute for Study of the Planet Earth. From 1999 to 2006 at Montana State University, one of her positions was as director of the university’s Big Sky Institute, where she fostered partnerships between researchers and managers working on conserving biodiversity in areas such as the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem.

The College of the Environment was created by the Board of Regents in June 2008, and courses were offered under the new college for the first time last fall.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank Interim Dean Dennis Hartmann for his stellar work as the first leader of the College of the Environment.  Thanks also to the Advisory Search Committee, which was led by Dean Matt O’Donnell of the College of Engineering.

In response to her appointment as dean, Lisa commented, “The environment plays a key role in most of the grand challenges currently confronting society.  I’m excited to join the University of Washington’s College of the Environment as it marshals its considerable intellectual resources to generate new knowledge and discover new solutions to these challenges.”

Please join me in welcoming Dr. Lisa Graumlich as dean of the College of the Environment!


Phyllis M. Wise
Provost and Executive Vice President
University of Washington