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Dr. Carol Harden

Specialties: geomorphology, water resources, Latin America
See AlsoCurriculum Vitae


Once known to the farmers of the Andes as “the lady who brings the rain,” Dr. Carol Harden studied the interactions of human activities and physical / hydrological processes in mountain watersheds. Her research was based in the Ecuadorian Andes and in southern Appalachian watersheds. Dr. Harden served as president of the American Association of Geographers (2009-2010) and was honored to receive that association’s Lifetime Achievement Honors in 2021. Dr. Harden is a Fellow of the American Association of Geographers, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Explorers’ Club. She was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Physical Geography (2011–2019), a member of the Research & Exploration Committee of the National Geographic Society (2009-2017), and chair of the Geographical Studies Committee of the National Academy of Sciences (2016–2020). After retiring from the University of Tennessee in 2014, she relocated to Middlebury, Vermont, where she is an elected member of the town’s Conservation Commission and, in 2021–2022 a visiting professor of geography at Middlebury College.

Contact Information

Dr. Carol P. Harden
Ph.D., Colorado
Professor Emerita
304 Burchfiel Geography Bldg.
Knoxville, TN 37996-0925

Her courses link human activity and the physical environment.  These include courses on water resources, climate change and human response, and people and environment.  At the graduate level, Harden teaches watershed dynamics and occasional seminars on human-environment interactions.