Tamara Carley, associate professor of geology and environmental geosciences, gives us a tour of her office space
One of Tamara Carley’s favorite places on Earth is 2,770 miles and an ocean away. As a volcanologist with a special focus on Icelandic volcanoes, the associate professor of geology and environmental geosciences travels to Iceland frequently to gather data that helps her unravel the geologic history of Iceland and place it in a global context. Her home base within Van Wickle Hall is filled with artifacts that showcase her professional and personal passions alike. Here, Carley gives us a tour of her office space.
Carley’s wall art showcases places she’s traveled to for research: Iceland, Madeira, New Zealand, and the desert southwest. Plus, the volcanoes from her home state of Washington.
“SCIENCE NERD SHOES”
“I found a company that makes shoes with STEM designs. This pair shows a landscape view of mountains and a cross-section view of the subduction zone that formed the mountains.”
Carley’s gift to herself after finishing her Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Vanderbilt. “I wanted to be able to cruise around Easton. I like living on the Hill and being so integrated with campus and the community.”
LEGO LEARNING KITS
Carley created at-home kits she mailed to each student in her mineralogy and petrology class. “It’s a chemistry-intensive course, which can be a little intimidating, so the Legos became an accessible way to model geochemical processes.”
“This was a gift from my best friend in high school in Washington state. We took an AP environmental studies course together, and that pointed me toward geology.”
Filled with sketches and observations, Carley’s collection of field notebooks dates back to her college years. “Keeping good field notes is really important. You can’t capture thoughts with photographs alone.”
Carley displays rocks and branches gifted to her from thoughtful students. “My office was so sparse when I first got here. Students brought me branches to help decorate. Now, they bring me rocks from places they travel. They’ll say, ‘I saw this dacite and thought of you.’”