Dr. Elena Traister

Professor, Environmental Studies

Elena Traister
(413) 662-5303
Center for Science & Innovation 225F


Ph.D., University of New Hampshire, 2010

M.E.Sc., Yale University,
School of Forestry and EVS, 2005

B.A., Williams College, 2001


Courses Taught

ENVI 100: Entering Student Seminar

ENVI 150H: Honors Introduction to Environmental Systems

ENVI 260: Green Living Seminar

ENVI 310: Politics & Environmental Policy 

ENVI 320: Methods of Environmental Research

ENVI 350: Ecology & Management

Research/Creative Interests

Sustaining a human population of more than seven billion presents us with pressing challenges and opportunities. How do we provide for the well-being of all of these people and, at the same time, conserve our natural heritage: the forests, streams, deserts, lakes, grasslands, and oceans, and the biodiversity contained within them?

My research has primarily focused on stream conservation. I am involved with measuring, locating, examining impacts of, and working collaboratively to clean up sources of freshwater contamination. I also partner with state and local institutions to plan and monitor ecological effects of river restoration projects.

I believe that college students have a unique opportunity to directly apply their knowledge of environmental systems to local conservation efforts while they are in school; by sharing their expertise early, students can make a lasting environmental impact while at the same time gaining valuable hands-on professional experience.

In addition to aquatic ecology, I also teach introductory environmental studies courses and an upper-level course on environmental policy. The Green Living Seminar, focused every spring on a different theme, is structured around a weekly public lecture series and teams of students working collaboratively on a related project with a community partner. Almost all of my courses incorporate partnerships with other institutions working on environmental issues.


Traister, E.M., McDowell, W.H., Kram, P, Fottova, D., and K. Kolarikova. Persistent effects of acidification on stream ecosystem structure and function. 2013. Freshwater Science 32: 586-596.

Kram, P., Oulehle, F., Stedra, V., Hruska, J., Shanley, J.B., Minocha, R., and E. Traister. 2010. Geoecology of a forest watershed underlain by serpentine in Central Europe. Northeastern Naturalist 16:309-328.

Kram P., Traister E., Kolarikova K., Oulehle F., Skorepa J., Fottova D. (2008) Potocni makrozoobentos deviti vybranych povodi site GEOMON (In Czech , English abstract: Stream benthic macroinvertebrates of nine selected catchments of the GEOMON network). Zpravy o geologickych vyzkumech za rok 2007 (Geoscience Research Reports for 2007), 162-168, Ceska geologicka sluzba (Czech Geological Survey), Praha, in press.

Traister, E.M. and S. Anisfeld. 2006. Variability of Indicator Bacteria at Different Time Scales in the Upper Hoosic River Watershed. Environmental Science and Technology 40: 4990-4995.