Carmichael Student Research Grants

The Ian S.E. Carmichael Research Award was established in 2018 to support graduate student research and related activities in the fields of igneous petrology and volcanology.

Ian Stuart Edward Carmichael (29 March 1930 - 26 August 2011) was a British-born American igneous petrologist and volcanologist who established extensive quantitative methods for research in the thermodynamics of magmas.  He obtained a B.A. and M.A. in geology from the University of Cambridge in 1954 and then traveled to Canada, where he prospected for copper and wintered in the Arctic. He returned to England and obtained his Ph.D. in 1958 at Imperial College London. His thesis, on Thingmuli volcano in eastern Iceland, addressed one of the most puzzling issues in Earth science at the time (before the days of isotope geochemistry and plate tectonics), namely, the origin of silicic magma from basalt in the absence of preexisting continental crust. In 1964 Carmichael moved to the United States and became a member of the faculty at University of California-Berkeley, where he remained throughout his life.

Carmichael applied thermodynamic theory, experiment, and the ground truth of fieldwork to the study of magmatic rocks. Throughout the arc of his career, he played a critical role in transforming igneous petrology from a discipline that was largely descriptive to one that is rigorously quantitative.  He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Geological Society of America, the Mineralogical Society of America, and the American Geophysical Union.  A more complete description of his work appears in Geochemical Society News (Lange, 2011).

Make a contribution to the Ian S.E. Carmichael Fund online.

Applying for a grant.

To be considered for an Ian S.E. Carmichael Graduate Student Research Grant, candidates should submit a research proposal to GSA’s Graduate Student Research Grants program.  Each year, GSA generally accepts proposals from 1 December through 1 February.  The proposals to be considered for a grant are forwarded to the Mineralogy, Geochemistry, Petrology, and Volcanology (MGPV) Division of GSA.  Criteria for selection by MGPV - how well the proposal integrates and depend on a range of geology (field) evidence that may be combined with lab work or modeling to answer the posed question or select the samples.  Will the study would make an important or interesting contribution.  Will the techniques to be used have a good chance of answering the question(s) posed.

Awardees (2018-)


Caitlin Bates, California State University, Fullerton, Ontario, CA, for their project:  Can low-volume magmatism generate large-scale eruptions? Petrologic investigations of the Jurassic Standard and King Creek plutons, CA, to test the hypothesis that they underwent melt loss to eruptions. (description)


Ami Ward, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Carrboro, NC, for her project: Investigating Post-Magmatic Alteration of Plutons through in situ B Isotope Analysis of the Late Cretaceous Tuolumne Intrusive Suite, CA. (description)


David Giovannetti-Nazario, University of Puerto Rico – Mayaguez Campus, Mayaguez, PR, for his project: Chemical Characterization of Garnets to Determine Zoning Patterns and Fluid Compositions in the Tibes “Skarn”, Puerto Rico (description)


Hailey Mundell, Pennsylania State University, for her project: How do Fluids Leave the Slab? An Investigation of the Scales of Reactive Fluid Flow on the Subduction Interface (description)


Allison Pease, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, for her project: Liquidus Determination of the (Fe, Ni)-S System with Implications for Planetary Cores (description)


Rebecca Degraffenried, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Manoa, HI for her project: Using Volatile Diffusion Profiles in Melt Embayments to Estimate Magma Ascent Rates (description)