Dr. Sarah K. Carmichael

Dr. Carmichael joined the department in 2007 after a postdoc exploring the bottom of the ocean with the DSV Alvin and ROV Jason.  She is a a geochemist who specializes in fluid-rock reactions in both ancient and modern environments. Her current research explores the geomicrobiology of cave mineral deposits and acid mine drainage sites, the role of microbes in manganese ore formation, the geochemistry of mass extinctions and the tectonic and paleoclimate controls on Late Devonian shale gas deposits, and the alteration mineralogy of carbonatite and silica deficient volcanic rocks at the Engare Sero footprint site in Tanzania.

Dr. Carmichael is a member of the Appalachian Studies Faculty and teaches introductory, interdisciplinary, and advanced undergraduate classes and is the faculty mentor for first generation students in the GES department.  She won the 2014 William C. Strickland Outstanding Junior Faculty Award and the 2013 Wayne D. Duncan Faculty Enrichment and Teaching Fellowship for Excellence in Teaching in General Education, and was named a Fellow of the Explorer's Club in 2016 and became a National Geographic Explorer in 2018.


  • B.A. Smith College
  • M.A. Johns Hopkins University
  • Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University

Courses Taught

  • GLY 1101 - Introduction to Physical Geology
  • GLY 2301 - Energy Extraction in Appalachia - Past, Present, and Future (cross-listed with Appalachian Studies)
  • GLY 2745 - Preparation of Geologic Reports
  • GLY 3715 - Petrology & Petrography
  • GLY 5500 - Geomicrobiology Research Methods

Website(s) and CV:

Title: Professor: Fluid-Rock Geochemistry and Biomineralogy
Department: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-8471