Professor, Internship Co-Coordinator
Dr. Laurie Parendes joined the EU faculty in 1999 after completing her PhD in geography at Oregon State University. Prior to being a professor, she studied cypress swamps in Florida, served as Women in Development Coordinator for Peace Corps/Nepal, worked for California Department of Fish and Game’s Endangered Plant Program, and edited scientific manuscripts for the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.
As a geographer, she is intrigued by the relationship between humans and the environment, and both her teaching and research reflect this interest. She teaches introductory courses on environmental issues and conservation of natural resources, including special sections for honors and First Year Experience students. She also teaches advanced courses on biogeography, geography of water resources, and a seminar in geography (most recently on the timely topic of invasive species).
Her PhD research on invasive plants in Oregon was followed by a study of zebra mussel invasion in Edinboro Lake, which she has been monitoring since 2001 when they were first discovered locally. Pennsylvania SeaGrant provided the initial funding, and many undergraduate students have worked on this project, either as volunteers, independent study students, or part of a class project.
She contributes time and energy in a variety of arenas on campus and in the wider community, including peer reviews of grant proposals, recruitment events for prospective students, honorary captain for women’s athletic events, and workshops for local environmental groups. She belongs to several professional and conservation organizations, including Association of American Geographers and French Creek Valley Conservancy.