Centralia College Awards Emeritus Status to Retiring Science Department Chair Lisa Carlson


The Centralia College Board of Trustees has awarded professor emeritus status to Dr. Lisa Carlson, a longtime botany and environmental sciences professor and chair of the college’s science department.

Emeritus status is given to faculty or staff in recognition of their commitment to the college and community and their record of professional excellence, according to Centralia College. The emeritus distinction is now included in Carlson’s official title.

“I’ve had the freedom to develop curriculum in the areas that I’m most passionate about, climate change and other environmental issues; forests and native plants; and inquiry-based science,” said Carlson. “And, most of all, I’ve loved the opportunity to work with outstanding colleagues and fabulous students.”

Carlson is retiring this month after 23 years at Centralia College. She previously received the Exceptional Faculty Award from the Centralia College Foundation in 2011 and the Hanke Faculty Achievement Award in 2019.

Carlson was the driving force behind the Kiser Natural Outdoor Learning Lab (KNOLL), an outdoor teaching space surrounding China Creek west of the Walton Science Center, according to Centralia College. KNOLL includes ecosystems that are representative of areas throughout Washington and serves as a hands-on learning lab for students in botany, environmental science, geology and biology classes.

Carlson also manages the campus greenhouse, leads wildflower walks for the Friends of Seminary Hill and volunteers with South Sound Prairies and the Capitol Land Trust.