Cari Johnson, PhD ’02, professor of geology and geophysics, and associate dean for research in the College of Mines and Earth Sciences at the University of Utah, is a sedimentologist and stratigrapher. Cari studies the evolution of ancient landscapes through the study of global sedimentary archives ranging from ‘deep time’ to the Anthropocene. The passion of her mentors during her undergrad at Carleton and several outstanding field-based opportunities led her then to pursue a PhD at Stanford University with Dr. Stephan Graham. Cari’s first Stanford field experience was a trip to the Tarim Basin in northwest China in 1996, an experience that—despite a brief period of house arrest after wandering a bit too far into the Tibetan Plateau—initiated some 25 years of continuing fascination with the tectonic evolution of Asia as recorded by sedimentary basins. Her field-based dissertation was a multi-disciplinary study of Mongolian rift systems and implications for petroleum system development. She has conducted around 15 field seasons in China, Mongolia and Russia and currently has projects in northern Mongolia, southern Utah and South Africa. She is mother to two girls and one Portuguese Water Dog. In her spare time, she can be found on the tennis court, riding any and all bikes and skis, or at her local boxing gym.
William R. Dickinson Award, Society for Sedimentary Geology (SEPM), 2021
Associate Editor, Basin Research, 2018-present
PinkPetro/Ally Energy GRIT Team Award, 2018
Grover E. Murray Memorial Distinguished Educator Award, AAPG, 2016
Geological Society of America Fellow, elected 2015
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