Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer

Faculty Profile

Alyson Thibodeau

Associate Professor of Earth Sciences (2015)

Contact Information

Kaufman Hall Room 133


Dr. Thibodeau uses isotopic measurements to decipher both the geologic and human past. In her research, she applies metals isotopes (Pb, Sr, Hg, U-Pb) as both tracers and chronometers of earth surface process and to questions of provenance, especially in archaeology. Her research areas include: the fate and source of trace metals (e.g. lead and mercury) in the environment, links between massive volcanism and mass extinctions in the geologic record, and determining the age of past fluid migration within potential repositories for nuclear waste. She also has an established history of collaboration with the archaeological community and applies isotopic tracers to identify or constrain the geologic sources of minerals, metals, and ceramics found in the archaeological record. To date, much of her work has focused on using isotopes to reconstruct the mining and exchange of turquoise by prehispanic groups in both the Southwest United States and Mexico.


  • B.A., Amherst College, 2004
  • M.S., University of Arizona, 2006
  • Ph.D., 2012

2022-2023 Academic Year

Fall 2022

ERSC 331 Geochemistry
An introduction to the origin, distribution, and behavior of elements in the geochemical cycles and processes of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Topics include the chemistry of magma, hydrothermal fluids, weathering, fresh and ocean waters, sediment digenesis, hydrocarbons, and metamorphism. Includes radiometric dating and stable isotope applications. Lab will focus on sampling, instrumental analysis, and data interpretation of earth materials. Prerequisites: 151 and CHEM 131 or 141, or permission of instructor. Offered every other year.