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

Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords Voyage

8 days | Starting at: $6,880
Jun 8, 2024 - Jun 15, 2024

Aboard the 184-guest Le Champlain, Le Bellot, or Le Laperouse
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Adventure in Iceland

11 days | Starting at: $6,595
Jul 4, 2024 - Jul 14, 2024
Jul 3, 2025 - Jul 13, 2025
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Alaska's Natural Wonders: Denali to Kenai Fjords

11 days | Starting at: $8,297
Aug 25, 2024 - Sep 4, 2024
Jun 3, 2025 - Jun 13, 2025
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Patagonian Explorer

16 days | Starting at: $11,095
Oct 31, 2024 - Nov 15, 2024

Argentina and Chile by Land and Sea Featuring a Four-night Cruise
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Cruising the Caribbean’s Windward Islands

9 days | Starting at: $5,780
Jan 30, 2025 - Feb 7, 2025

From St. Lucia to Barbados aboard the 184-guest Le Bellot or Le Champlain
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Machu Picchu and the Galápagos

16 days | Starting at: $9,795
Mar 15, 2025 - Mar 30, 2025
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Splendors of Australia and New Zealand

22 days | Starting at: $10,595
Apr 9, 2025 - Apr 30, 2025
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Treasures of the Alps: Swiss Trains and Italy's Lake District

14 days | Starting at: $7,692
Aug 7, 2025 - Aug 20, 2025
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Splendors of Morocco

14 days | Starting at: $7,079
Sep 9, 2025 - Sep 22, 2025

From Imperial Cities to the Sahara
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