Dr. Roderic A. Parnell, Jr.

Rod Parnell Picture


Ph.D. Dartmouth College, 1982
M.S. University of Massachusetts Amherst, 1977
A.B. Middlebury College, 1975


Office: Frier Hall (bldg #12), room 207; Applied Research Development (bldg #56), room 124
Phone: 928-523-3329

Research interests

Rod is coordinator of academic sustainability programs, past chair of the Environmental Caucus, and Professor of Earth Sciences and Environmental Sustainability at Northern Arizona University.  He is the President of the National Council of Environmental Deans and Directors and a member of the boards of directors of the National Council for Science and the Environment and of Arizona Forward. As coordinator of academic sustainability at NAU, he has worked to improve sustainability curricula across campus, to promote and support academic programs with sustainability emphases, to reduce redundancy in sustainability and environmental coursework, and to work with the finance and administration division to promote sustainability-related internships and research. His current research focuses on the application of biogeochemistry and geomorphology to the sustainable management of river systems in the Western US, and on the transformation of environmental curricula to incorporate more sustainability. He has worked on the effects of acid rain, volcanic emissions, and sulfide mineral deposits on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. He has received more than $11 million in research funding from federal and non-governmental organizations in the US, Europe, and Latin America, resulting in over 140 journal articles and papers presented at national and international meetings. As the founding director of the Colorado Plateau Cooperative Ecosystems Studies Unit, he worked to integrate federally funded environmental research across the Colorado Plateau and assisted in the establishment of a national network of CESUs. He has advised 38 graduate students and 24 undergraduate researchers who have successfully completed their degrees. He has been the chair or director of several earth sciences and environmental academic programs. He received a PhD in Geology from Dartmouth College a MS from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and a BA from Middlebury College. He has also been a faculty member at St. Lawrence University and the University of Virginia.




Nathan D. Schott, Helen C. Fairley, Joseph E. Hazel, Jr., Matt Kaplinski, and Roderic A. Parnell. 2012, Gully Monitoring in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona, 1996 to 2010 with Emphasis on Documenting Effects of the March 2008 High-Flow Experiment. US Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-XXXX

Kaplinski, M., J. Hazel, J.E., Parnell, R. A., Jr., and N. Schott. 2008. Campsite Area Monitoring in the Colorado River Ecosystem, 1998-2006, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. Coming Together: Coordination of Science and Restoration Activities for the Colorado River Ecosystem. US Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2010-5135. 12pp.

Kaplinski, M., J. Hazel, J.E., Parnell, R. A., Jr., Breedlove, Michael, and Keith Kohl. 2009. Monitoring Fine-Sediment Volume in the Colorado River Ecosystem, Arizona, Bathymetric Survey Techniques.  USGS Open File Report 2009-1207. 33pp.

Hazel, Joseph, E., Jr., Kaplinski, M., Parnell, R., Kohl, K. and Schmidt, J. 2008. Monitoring fine-grained sediment in the Colorado River ecosystem, Arizona: control network and conventional survey techniques.  U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2008-1276.

Hazel, Joseph E. Jr., Kaplinski, M., Parnell, R.A. Jr., and Fairley, H.C. 2008. Aggradation and Degradation of the Palisades Gully Network, 1996 to 2005, with Emphasis on the November 2004 High-Flow Experiment, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. U.S. Geological Survey. Open-File Report 2008-1264.

Kaplinski, M., Hazel, J.E. Jr., Parnell, R.A. Jr., Breedlove, M, and Schmidt, J.C.  2007. Integrating Bathymetric, Topographic, and LiDAR Surveys of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon to Assess the Effect of a Flow Experiment From Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River Ecosystem.  Hydrographic Society of America, proceeding of national meeting, Norfolk, VA.  22pp.

Springer, A.E., Stevens, L.E., Anderson, D.E., Parnell, R.A. Jr., Kreamer, D.K., and Flora, S.P. 2007. Comprehensive Springs Classification System: Integrating Geomorphic, Hydrogeochemical and Ecological Criteria. in Every Last Drop: Ecology and Conservation of Springs in Arid North America. University of Arizona Press. 

For a complete list of publications and additional information, please download Rod Parnell's CV.

President-Elect, National Council for Science and the Environment, Council of Environmental Deans and Directors

Past Chair and Associate Chair, Environmental Caucus