Lisa J. Carlson

Centralia College - 600 Centralia College Bldv. - Centralia, WA 98531

360-736-9391 x324 -



Ph.D., Ecosystems Analysis, College of Forest Resources, University of Washington, August, 2003.  Dissertation topic: The spread of white spruce in post-glacial Alaska.  Advisor: Linda B. Brubaker. 

M.S., Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, May, 1991;  Thesis topic:   Leaf area index and community properties in boreal forests.  Advisor: H.H. Shugart

B.A. (Magna cum laude), Environmental Studies and Biology, Macalester College, St. Paul, MN, May, 1987; Thesis topic:  Reproduction in an Australian Eucalyptus community.  Advisors: Mark A. Davis and Patrice A. Morrow


Current Position

Associate Professor, Biological Sciences, Centralia College, Washington.  Responsible for development of and instruction of the following courses: Survey of Botany, Systematic Botany, Dendrology, Principles of Biology, Principles of Ecology, Introduction to Environmental Sciences, Introduction to Natural Resources.  Advisor for students in same program areas.  1999-present. 

Significant committee and other responsibilities

·         Sustainability Committee Chair.  2007-present.

·         Campus Tree Committee. 2009-present.

·         ACUPCC liaison.  2007-present.

·         STEM (Science, Tech, Math, Engineering) Scholarship Committee.  2009-present.

·         Science and Health Department Chair.  2004-2006.

·         Campus Facilities. 2003-2007. 

·         Diversity in Curriculum.  2006-present. 

·         Faculty Searches (Math, 2001; Chemistry, 2003; Physics, 2004; Earth Sciences, 2005; Biology 2006).

·         Instructional Council, 2000-2004.

·         Calendar DTF, 2002, 2003.

·         Technology Committee, 2001-2002


Previous Professional Experience:

Graduate Fellow and Research Assistant, Forest Resources, University of Washington.  Research focus: Fossil pollen and stomate analysis, quantitative techniques, and computer modeling to understand patterns of migration and population dynamics of white and black spruce across Alaska under changing environmental conditions.  1992-1999.

Research Natural Area Database Developer, Forest Sciences, Oregon State University.  Develop and promote program for long-term monitoring of ecological and geophysical properties of RNAs, including data management.  1991-1992.

Graduate Research Assistant, Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia.  Research focus: Forest community and landscape ecology, remote sensing, on NASA grant NAG5-1018 "Forest Ecosystem Dynamics."   1988-1991.

Teaching Assistantships:  

·         Dendrology and Autecology (ESC 221), University of Washington, 1995, 1996, 1997. 

·         Trees in Our Environment (ESC 200), University of Washington, 1996, 1997. 

·         General Biology (BIOL 102), University of Washington, 1997. 

·         Forest Ecology (EVEC 796/496), University of Virginia, 1989, 1990.


Honors and Awards:


Deevy Award, Paleoecology Section of Ecological Society of America (1997)

NASA Global Change Fellow (1992-1995)

Xi Sigma Pi, Forestry Honor Society, University of Washington (1995)

NSF RTG Traveling Fellowship, University of Minnesota (1994)

Phi Beta Kappa (May 1987)

W. Angell Prize in Biology, Macalester College (May 1987)

DeWitt Wallace Distinguished Scholarship, Macalester College (1983-1987)




Carlson, L.J. and B.P. Finney.  2004.  A 13,000 year history of vegetation and environmental change at Jan Lake, east-central Alaska.   The Holocene 14: 818-827.

Carlson, L.J.   Identifying local Picea presence: modern and fossil stomates as indicators of spruce tree presence in interior Alaska.  in prep.

Carlson, L.J., and B.P. Finney.  1997.  Vegetation and environmental history of Jan Lake, Tanana River valley, east central Alaska.  PALE Abstract Volume 1997. 

Carlson, L.J.  1991.  Leaf area index and forest community properties: Linking ground-based and remotely sensed data for a northern Minnesota boreal forest.  M.S. Thesis, University of Virginia, Charlottesville. 


Professional Presentations:


Panel member, “Food, Water, Energy: The New Foundation for International Education” Northwest International Education Association.  Pierce College, Puyallup, May 2005. 

Carlson, L.J.  Analyzing rates and patterns of Picea migration in post-glacial Alaska.  Poster, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.  Portland, OR, August 2004. 

Carlson, L.J.  Spread of white spruce in post-glacial Alaska.  Poster, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.  Spokane, WA, August 1999. 

Carlson, L.J.  Evidence for spruce migration and full glacial vegetation from Jan Lake, Alaska.  Oral, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.  Albuquerque, NM, August 1997. 

Carlson, L.J.  The spread of white spruce in post-glacial Alaska: a quantitative interpretation of pollen data.  Poster, American Quaternary Association Biennial Meeting.  Flagstaff, AZ, May 1996. 

Carlson, L.J., D.L. Urban and H.H. Shugart.  Remotely sensing leaf area index in a heterogeneous boreal forest.  Oral, Landscape Ecology Symposium.  Corvallis, OR, April 1992. 

Carlson, L.J.  Predicting community scale properties of a northern Minnesota forest from dimensionally and radiometrically derived leaf area index.  Oral, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting.  Snowbird, UT, August 1990. 


Professional Societies:


Northwest Biological Instructors Organization

Ecological Society of America (Paleoecology section)