Sarah K. Carmichael

Associate Professor: Fluid-Rock Geochemistry and Biomineralogy

Dr. Carmichael joined the department in 2007 after a postdoc at the University of New Hampshire 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; she has studied fluid-rock reactions in carbonate sediments and carbonatite volcanic deposits, geochemical signals preserved through mass extinctions, controls on the formation of organic-rich shales, microbially mediated redox reactions in karst, and metasomatism at mid-ocean ridges.

Her current research explores the geomicrobiology of cave mineral deposits, the role of microbes and climate in manganese ore formation, the geochemistry of mass extinctions preserved in sediments in Asia and Europe and the tectonic and paleoclimate controls on Late Devonian shale gas deposits, and the alteration mineralogy of carbonatite and silica deficient volcanic rocks in Tanzania.

Dr. Carmichael is a member of the Appalachian Studies Faculty and teaches introductory, interdisciplinary, and advanced undergraduate classes.  She recently 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.


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

Courses Taught

  • GLY 1101 - Introduction to Physical Geology
  • GLY 2301 - The History of Coal from the Pennsylvanian to the Present (cross-listed with Appalachian Studies)
  • GLY 2745 - Preparation of Geologic Reports
  • GLY 3715 - Petrology & Petrography


Physical Address
Department of Geology
033 Rankin Science West
572 Rivers Street
Boone, NC 28608

Postal Address
Department of Geology
Appalachian State University
ASU Box 32067
Boone, NC 28608-2067

Phone: 828-262-3049
Fax: 828-262-6503

Dr. Bill Anderson

Anthony Love

Sarah Carmichael
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