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2023 Cleantech Panelist Speaker

Sarah Carmichael

Sarah Carmichael


Appalachian State University


Dr. Sarah Carmichael studies “tiny minerals that tell big stories.” She specializes in fluid-rock reactions and what tiny minerals can tell us about ecosystems and environments in deep time as well as in the present. Her current research explores the paleogeographic controls on Late Devonian mass extinctions, fluid-rock reactions in carbonates, the geomicrobiology of cave mineral deposits and the effect of human tourism on cave sediments and microbial ecosystems, and the role of microbes in manganese ore formation. Her research has taken her from the tops of mountains to the bottom of the ocean, and she became a National Geographic Explorer in 2018 and in 2022 was named one of the Explorers Club 50 – fifty people changing the world who the world needs to know about.

Dr. Carmichael is also a member of the Appalachian Studies Faculty and teaches introductory, interdisciplinary, and advanced undergraduate classes. She won a Board of Governors Teaching Award in 2020, and was inducted into Appalachian’s Academy of Outstanding Teachers in 2022.


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