I am a Professor in the Environmental Technology and Management Program, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University. I am associate faculty with the NCSU Department of Environmental and Molecular Toxicology, and I have a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in Environmental Sciences and Engineering from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My expertise ranges from hardwood silviculture for bioenergy and remediation to environmental chemistry and biogeochemistry for chemicals of concern in forest systems. My key interests are the protection of surface waters and groundwater quality from point and non-point sources, ensuring forest landscapes for the future, and supporting sustainable pipelines for student diversity in forestry, environmental technology, and toxicology. My current research focuses on (1) integrated forest systems to support the food, energy, and water nexus, (2) short-rotation forest systems for bioenergy, wastewater treatment, and groundwater recharge, (3) participatory science with communities for water resource quality and quantity, (4) ecosystem services of forest water reuse systems, and (5) green infrastructure forest systems to manage climate extremes.
My Bio. My interest in science was nurtured by Mrs. Vredeveld and Mrs. Freeman in high school. When I was in college, Dr. Eloise Carter provided me the opportunity to do an undergraduate research project on an endangered wildflower in the north Georgia mountains. Their support and my Peace Corps service directed me to my current vocation as a research scientist and educator. I have a B. Sc. in Biology from Emory University. After graduating from college, I completed Peace Corps service in Gabon, Central Africa where I was a fisheries extension agent. I applied to graduate school while overseas and received a M.Sc. and Ph.D. from the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering in the School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1991-1997). If you had asked me in college if I would have a Ph.D., I would have laughed at that crazy idea. Nothing was farther from my mind when I started graduate school. However, Dr. Ball, Dr. Walton, Dr. Christman, and Dr. Pfaender all played key roles in my graduate education. I received the Hoechst-Celanese Student Excellence Award (1994) and the UNC-SPH Alumni Association Outstanding Student Award (1996) at UNC-CH. I was a post-doctoral researcher with Dr. Patrick Hatcher for a year and a half at PSU/OSU in environmental chemistry/biogeochemistry and then accepted a teaching/research position at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga (my home town).
I joined the faculty in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at NCSU in 2002 as part of the department’s new Environmental Technology and Management Program. I am fortunate to work with such a great group of collegial faculty and staff. I reside in Garner with my husband, our two daughters, two cats, and dog, Jeremiah Jackson. When time allows, I love to sail and wind surf. Of course, my two favorite colors are wolf red and carolina blue.
If you are interested in opportunities for undergraduate or graduate research, please contact me at Elizabeth_Nichols@ncsu.edu. For more contact information, please visit https://cnr.ncsu.edu/fer/direct/nichols.php