Faculty Profile

Alyson Thibodeau

Associate Professor of Geosciences (2015)

Contact Information


Kaufman Hall Room 133


Dr. Thibodeau uses isotopic measurements to decipher both the geologic and human past. In particular, she applies metal isotopes (Pb, Sr, Hg, U-Pb) as both tracers and chronometers of earth surface process and to questions of provenance, especially in archaeology. Her current and past research areas include: the fate and source(s) 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 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 pre-hispanic groups in both the Southwest United States and Mexico.


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

2023-2024 Academic Year

Fall 2023

GEOS 151 Foundations of Earth Sciences
How do mountains and oceans form? Why do the positions of continents shift? Can rocks bend or flow? What is the history of life on our planet? This course explores the materials that make up the Earth and the processes that shape it, both at and below the surface. Students will take field trips around the Carlisle area as well as complete analytical and computer laboratory activities in order to acquire basic field, laboratory, and computer modelling skills. This course serves as a gateway to the Earth Sciences major, but is also appropriate for non-majors. Three hours of lecture and three hours of lab per week.

ERSC 218 Geographic Information Systems
Cross-listed with ARCH 218-02, ENST 218-02 and GISP 218-02.

GISP 218 Geographic Information Systems
Cross-listed with ARCH 218-02, ERSC 218-02 and ENST 218-02.

ERSC 500 Independent Study

GEOS 500 Independent Study

Spring 2024

GEOS 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.

GEOS 560 Stu/Faculty Collaborative Rsch