CSUN  Wordmark
Page Description

The following page is a two column layout with a header that contains a quicklinks jump menu and the search CSUN function. Page sections are identified with headers. The footer contains update, contact and emergency information.


Facilities and Programs


Department of Geography
150 Sierra Hall
CSU Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8249

Hours: M-F (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m)
Phone: (818) 677-3532
Fax: (818) 677-2723



Dr. Julie Laity Ph.D.


Julie Laity

Contact Information

  • Dr. Julie Laity
  • Office Location: Sierra Hall, Room 130-H
  • Email: julie.laity@csun.edu
  • Office Phone: (818) 677-3523


  • Ph.D, 1982, University of California, Los Angeles
  • MA, 1976, University of California, Los Angeles
  • BA, 1973, University of California, Los Angeles

Courses Taught

  • Physical Geography (101)
  • Weather (103)
  • The Atmosphere (311),
  • Geomorphology (365)
  • Hydroclimatology (414)
  • Arid Environments (467)
  • Senior Thesis (490) and numerous undergraduate seminars in physical geography.

Selected Publications and Presentations

Laity, Julie E., 1992. Ventifact evidence for Holocene wind patterns in the east-central Mojave Desert. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Suppl.-Bd. 84, p. 73-88.

Laity, Julie E., 1994 Landforms of aeolian erosion. In A. Abrahams and A. Parsons (Eds.) Geomorphology of Desert Environments, London: Chapman & Hall, 506-35.

Laity, Julie E., 1995. Wind abrasion and ventifact formation in California. In V.P. Tchakerian (Ed.) Desert Aeolian Processes. London: Chapman and Hall, 295-321.

Breed, C.S., J.F. McCauley, M.I. Whitney, V.P. Tchakarian and J.E. Laity, 1997. Wind erosion in drylands. In D.S.G. Thomas (Ed.), Arid Zone Geomorphology (2nd Edition). Chichester: Wiley, 437-464.

Laity, Julie E., 2000. Yardangs. In Thomas D. and A. Goudie (Eds.), The Dictionary of Physical Geography, Blackwell Publishers Ltd., Oxford p. 537.

Laity, J.E., 2002. Desert Environments. In Physical Geography of North America (A.R. Orme, Ed.), Oxford University Press, p. 380-401.

Greeley, R., N.T. Bridges, R.O. Kuzmin, and J.E. Laity, 2002, Terrestrial analogs to wind-related features at the Viking and Pathfinder landing sites on Mars. Journal of Geophysical Research (Planets), V.107, No. E1, p. 5-1 to 5-21.

Research and Interests

My research has principally involved the study of aeolian, fluvial, and groundwater systems in deserts. My first area of interest was groundwater sapping processes on the Colorado Plateau and Mars. My recent research has focused on wind erosion, rock abrasion, and the human impact on deserts, including problems of dune encroachment and dust generation. One project involves the study of ongoing processes of abrasion and ventifact formation, for which a fully automated weather station has been established in the Little Cowhole Mountains of the Mojave Desert. This work has been in conjunction with Tim Boyle, a graduate student in our department and the department Weather Observer. A second study examines wind erosion and climate change during the past 10,000 years in the southwestern United States. A third area of research is environmental degradation and groundwater overdraft in the Lower Mojave Valley, which has resulted in the death of native vegetation, the reactivation of ancient dune systems, and problems associated with blowing sand. Additionally, I have investigated the location, timing and frequency of dust events in this region.