Areas of Expertise

The interactions between tectonics, climate, and erosion; Earth surface processes; tectonic geomorphology; stable isotope geochemistry and its applications to paleo-elevation, -climate, and -hydrology; fluvial and alluvial depositional environments; sediment provenance and drainage evolution through detrital mineral geochronology; sedimentology and stratigraphy; major, trace element, rare earth element, and stable isotope compositions of volcanic glass; Laramide tectonics and drainage system responses.


Research Locations



Current Research Programs & Projects

Cenozoic Paleotopography of Northern California and Nevada

Eocene Fluvial System Dynamics across the "Nevadaplano"

Comparison of Late Eocene floras from California and Oregon

Hydration and Alteration Processes in Felsic Volcanic Glass

History of Cenozoic uplift and forearc basin evolution in the southern Peruvian Andes

Drivers for basin formation and lacustrine evolution through the Eocene sedimentary record in eastern Nevada and the implications for the timing and magnitude of Basin and Range extension


Jackson Postdoctoral Fellowship - Jackson School of Geosciences; The University of Texas at Austin (2011)

McGee Research Grant - School of Earth Sciences; Stanford University (2006 - 2007)

AAPG Grant-in-Aid - American Association of Petroleum Geologists (2006 - 2007)

GSA Student Grant - Geological Society of America (2006 - 2007)

NCGS Graduate Research Grant - Northern California Geological Society (2006 - 2007)

Stanford Graduate Fellowship - Stanford University (2005 - 2007)

Duncan Stewart Fellowship - Geology Department; Carleton College (2002 - 2003)

Independent project advisor, Amanda Wilson '15 and Nikki Seymour '13, Jackson School of Geosciences (2012)

Co-Leader, Earth & Environment Department Field Trip to Death Valley, Franklin & Marshall College (2011)

Committee Member, Honors Defense: Katherine Datin '11, Franklin & Marshall College (2010 - 2011)

Coach, Code Blue, Women's Ultimate Frisbee Team, Franklin & Marshall College (2010 - 2011)

Member, GES Department Seminar Committee, Stanford University (2009 - 2010)

Reviewer, National Science Foundation - Division of Earth Sciences; Geology; Geological Society of America Bulletin; Geosphere; Journal of Structural Geology; Journal of Sedimentary Research (2009 - 2012)

Member, Geochronology Faculty Search Student Committee, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)

Co-Organizer, "Brown Bag" Student Research Seminar, Stanford University (2007 - 2008)

Organizer, "Convergent Margins" Department Field Trip, Stanford University (2007)

Organizer, Silicic Volcanism Seminar, Stanford University (2006)

Cassel and Graham, 2011, Geological Society of America
Link to pdf of Cassel and Graham, 2011, Geological Society of America: Paleovalley morphology and fluvial system evolution of Eocene–Oligocene sediments (“auriferous gravels”), northern Sierra Nevada, California: Implications for climate, tectonics, and topography Geological Society of America Bulletin, September 2011, v. 123, no. 9-10, p. 1699-1719, first published on June 14, 2011, doi:10.1130/B30356.1

Cassel et al., 2012, Geosphere
Link to full pdf on Geosphere's website to: ORIGIN AND EVOLUTION OF THE SIERRA NEVADA AND WALKER LANE THEMED ISSUE Elizabeth J. Cassel, Stephan A. Graham, C. Page Chamberlain, and Christopher D. Henry, Early Cenozoic topography, morphology, and tectonics of the northern Sierra Nevada and western Basin and Range Geosphere, April 2012, v. 8, p. 229-249, first published on February 15, 2012, doi:10.1130/GES00671.1

Cassel et al., 2012, American Journal of Science
Link to full text of: Elizabeth J. Cassel, Marty Grove, and Stephan A. Graham, 2012, Eocene drainage evolution and erosion of the Sierra Nevada batholith across northern California and Nevada, American Journal Science, v. 312, pgs. 117-144.