As my list of degrees indicates I have followed a circuitous path to my present status as botanist turned writing teacher. An English major in college, I studied and wrote about some 17th century naturalist/poet types—Sir Thomas Browne (the eccentric and delightful author of Religio Medici and "Hydrotaphia or Urn Burial"), Henry Vaughn, and Thomas Traherne—with K. Laurence Stapleton, a Milton and Thoreau scholar. Following graduation, I worked for three years in botanic gardens as a work/study student (Kew Gardens, UK) and Botanical Instructor (Brooklyn Botanic Garden, NYC). An interest in the morphology and anatomy of plants led to a Master’s and Ph.D. For my research I specialized in the electron microscopy of latex cells. The scales tipped towards wordsmithing when I moved into scientific editing for the Ecological Society of America and the Botanical Society of America. I bring all this experience to the teaching of writing, a craft that is infinitely challenging for an instructor. I have recently extended my wordsmithing background by completing an MFA in Creative Writing through Southern New Hampshire University's low-residency MFA program.
- Expository Essay
- Science Writing
- Technical Writing
- Writing as a Naturalist
- Creative Nonfiction
- Personal Essay
- Academic Writing for the Sciences
- B.A. English, Bryn Mawr College, 1972
- M.A. Botany, University of Texas at Austin, 1977
- Ph.D. Plant Biology, Cornell University, 1988
- M.F.A. Southern New Hampshire University, 2011
- Lawson, E. 1990. Review of An Island Garden by Celia Thaxter. Fine Gardening No. 11-12.
- Lawson, E., and M. V. Parthasarathy. 1989. X-ray analysis of various plant lattices. American Journal of Botany 76: 193.
- Lawson, E., and M. V. Parthasarathy. 1989. Microfilaments in the laticifers of Cryptostegia grandiflora R.Br. (Asclepiadaceae). American Journal of Botany 76: 43.
- Hatting, M. J., S. V. Beer, and E. W. Lawson. 1986. Scanning electron microscopy of apple blossoms colonized by Erwinia amylovora and E. herbicola. Phytopathology 76: 900-904.
- Whalen (Lawson), E., and M. V. Parthasarathy. 1984. Fibrillar components in negatively stained latex of Cryptostegia grandiflora. American Journal of Botany 71: 53.
- Lawson, Elizabeth. "For a Northern Flying Squirrel Seen on November 23, 1982." Dire Elegies: 59 Poets on Endangered Species. Foothills Press, 2006.
- Come Into the Garden Now (a one-evening lecture on famous garden writers), Cornell Plantations (March 1988)
- How to Know the Ferns (a four-part lecture and field trip course), Cornell Plantations (June 1987)
- Trailing the Wild Arbutus with Gun and Camera (a one-evening lecture on the famous plant hunters and their plant introductions), Brooklyn Botanic Garden (March 1975)
- "Inseeing the Landscape" (75-minute workshop). Presented at the 10th Annual AEPL Conference (Assembly for Expanded Perspectives in Learning).