Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Carola Stearns

photo of Carola Stearns

Carola Stearns is a field geologist and geophysicist with over 40 years of experience enthusiastically sharing her fascination with the Earth and how it works.  She earned a Ph.D at the University of Michigan, has worked in exploration for major oil companies, taught at universities, and maintains a research affiliation with the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan.  She has worked with archaeologists on both prehistoric and classical sites around the Mediterranean and in the southwest of the US.  Her diverse research interests include tectonics as well as climatic geomorphology, especially as it relates to human history.  She has lectured as a park ranger at the Grand Canyon, on trips for the UM Alumni Association, and in Ann Arbor training docents for the botanical gardens, arboretum and the public school’s environmental education program.  Currently she works part-time as an interpretive guide in Santa Fe. 

What Our Travelers Say

Can't say enough about her!  Such a great addition to the trip!  Loved the lectures and how she talked about each area when we were literally there.  

- Maureen G., Journey through New Zealand

Carola did an excellent job with lecture preparation, visuals, and making the content for guests easy to understand.  She was always enthusiatic, warm and friendly, and her great interest in geology was infectious.  

- Cathy B., Patagonian Explorer

She was extremely knowledgeable and passionate about the subject - always available and eager to answer our questions.  Her lectures were well prepared, chock full of relevant material and presented in a clear and understandable manner. 

- Diane K., Alaska's Natural Wonders

Upcoming Tours

Alaska's Natural Wonders: Denali to Kenai Fjords

11 days | Starting at: $7,697
Jul 8, 2022 - Jul 18, 2022
Aug 30, 2022 - Sep 9, 2022
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A Voyage along the Great Lakes

8 days | Starting at: $7,120
Sep 18, 2022 - Sep 25, 2022
Aug 28, 2023 - Sep 4, 2023

From Toronto to Milwaukee
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Around the World by Private Jet: A Classic Journey

24 days | Starting at: $109,950
Oct 29, 2022 - Nov 21, 2022
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Patagonian Explorer

16 days | Starting at: $9,882
Dec 6, 2022 - Dec 21, 2022

Argentina and Chile by Land and Sea Featuring a four-night cruise aboard Stella Australis
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Splendors of Australia and New Zealand

22 days | Starting at: $10,784
Feb 15, 2023 - Mar 8, 2023
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Splendors of Morocco

14 days | Starting at: $6,479
Mar 28, 2023 - Apr 10, 2023

From Imperial Cities to the Sahara
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Bryce, Zion, and the Grand Canyon

10-11 days | Starting at: $4,595
May 10, 2023 - May 20, 2023
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Alaska's Glaciers and the Inside Passage

8 days | Starting at: $4,995
Jul 13, 2023 - Jul 20, 2023

A Cruise from Vancouver to Juneau
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