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Your Success Story Is Waiting. The Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate programs produce well-trained students who produce important research and go on to successful careers in their fields. Our students present their results at national and international meetings and publish their work in major journals.

Alumni Spotlight

Tamara Carley, MS’10 and phd’14

Tamara Carley, wearing a blue puffer jacket and khaki hat, standing on a windy beach with the ocean and hills in the background
Tamara Carley, MS’10, PhD’14, on a field research trip

Dissertation: The generation and evolution of silicic magma and juvenile crust: Insight from the Icelandic zircon record

Associate Professor of Geology, Lafayette College

Tamara Carley studied environmental sciences as a Whitman College undergraduate and became interested in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Ph.D. program after meeting professor Calvin Miller at a Geological Society of America conference. A star researcher, Tamara won grants from the NSF, GSA, IBM, and more to further her studies of supervolcano destabilization, Icelandic rhyolites, and early Earth crust construction under the mentorship of Miller and Guil Gualda

“I always knew I wanted to become a geology professor at a liberal arts college like Whitman, and Vanderbilt was the perfect place for me to prepare for that career,” Tamara says. By pairing her work in EES with fellowships at the Vanderbilt Center for Teaching, she was able to complete both the scientific and pedagogical training she needed to land her dream job. Now an associate professor in Lafayette College’s Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences, Tamara teaches classes in mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry; leads field research in Iceland; and mentors her department’s RUMBLE (Research Unit for Magma, Bedrock, Lava and Eruptions) research group.

Where Are They Now?

Year GraduatedCurrent Position
2020Post-doctoral fellow, University of Toronto Mississauga
2019Research Scientist, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center
2019Assistant Professor, Wofford College
2018Post-doctoral fellow, University of Florida
2017Assistant Professor, Radford University
2016Clastics Geologist, Shell Corporation
2015Assistant Professor, Illinois State University
2014Research Associate, Oklahoma Museum of Natural History
2014Assistant Professor, Stanford University
2014Assistant Professor, Hanover College
2014Associate Professor, Lafayette College
2013Associate at Abt Associates
2013Assistant Professor, East Carolina University, Coastal Studies Inst.
2012Post-doctoral fellow, NASA Lunar Planetary Institute
2011Senior Lecturer, Vanderbilt University
2010Assistant Professor, California State University, Fresno
2007Senior Research Scientist, Arizona State University
2006Tenured Professor at University of Edinburgh