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

Splendors of Morocco

14 days | Starting at: $6,679
Mar 28, 2023 - Apr 10, 2023
Mar 31, 2024 - Apr 13, 2024

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

11 days | Starting at: $5,195
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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A Voyage along the Great Lakes

8 days | Starting at: $6,980
Aug 28, 2023 - Sep 4, 2023

From Toronto to Milwaukee Aboard the 184-guest Le Dumount-d'Urville or Le Champlain
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Splendors of Australia and New Zealand

22 days | Starting at: $10,784
Sep 23, 2023 - Oct 14, 2023
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Patagonian Explorer

16 days | Starting at: $10,182
Dec 2, 2023 - Dec 17, 2023

Argentina and Chile by Land and Sea Featuring a Four-night Cruise
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Journey Through New Zealand

16 days | Starting at: $8,374
Feb 22, 2024 - Mar 8, 2024

From Auckland to Queenstown
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Scottish Isles and Norwegian Fjords Voyage

8-10 days | Starting at: $6,800
Jun 8, 2024 - Jun 15, 2024

A Cruise aboard Le Dumont-d’Urville or Le Champlain
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Adventure in Iceland

11 days | Starting at: $6,292
Jul 4, 2024 - Jul 14, 2024
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Alaska's Natural Wonders: Denali to Kenai Fjords

11 days | Starting at: $7,897
Aug 25, 2024 - Sep 4, 2024
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