Franklin & Marshall College Franklin & Marshall College

Carol B. Dewet

Dr. E. Paul & Frances H. Reiff Professor of Geosciences
Office: HAC104

Professional Biography

I began my secondary education at Smith College (double major english & geology), followed by a M.Sc. at University of Massachusetts (geology) and then to the University of Cambridge, England, for my Ph.D. (geology). Being a student at Cambridge was a life-changing experience, and gave me insight into the European research community. While at Cambridge I met and married my husband, also a geologist, who is originally from South Africa. I completed a post-doc at the University of Kentucky while he taught there and we had our first child. Then we moved to Franklin & Marshall College, where we share one faculty position. This allows us the flexibility to spend time raising our three children while pursuing our professional careers. I have been involved in issues related to careers and motherhood since I began at F&M, and served as Special Assistant to the President and Provost on Women’s and Family Issues to help the College find better ways to support faculty and staff in balancing their professional and personal lives. I received the Biggs Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Geological Society of America, the Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching from F&M, have received American Chemical Society/Petroleum Research Fund and National Science Foundation grants, and have numerous publications in geology and also in women & science. I served as Special Assistant to the President for Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability at F&M, helping to create the Wohlsen Center for the Sustainable Environment and wrote the College’s “green” white paper on Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability. 


B.A. 1981, Smith College
M.Sc. 1984, UMass, Amherst
Ph.D. 1989, University of Cambridge, England

Research Interests

Sedimentology, with primary specialization in carbonate deposition & diagnesis. Specific research interests include shelf margin depositional systems, particularly microbialite bioherms & their cementation. I am interested in the geochemistry (isotopes & trace elements) of submarine cements & radiaxial fibrous calcite and their diagenetic response to burial. Another research interest is in rift valley lacustrine deposits and tufas. The Triassic-Jurassic Newark Supergroup lakes experienced periods of limestone deposition which reflects changes in the tectonic and/or climatic regime.

Grants & Awards

Recipient of the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, 2008
Recipient of the Geological Society of America Donald L. & Carolyn N. Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award, 2000
Special Assistant to the Provost and President on Women’s and Family Issues, 2006 –2007
Special Assistant to the President on Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability, 2008 – 2009
Associate Dean of the Faculty, 2009 – 2012


de Wet, Carol, 2010, Reaching Critical Mass: Women in Faculty and Administrative Roles. Forum on Public Policy Online. Vol. 2010, No. 2.  

de Wet, C.B., Hopkins, F., Rahnis, M., Murphy, M., and Dvortetsky, R., (in press), High Energy Shelf Margin Carbonate Facies: Microbial Sheet Reefs, Ooid Shoals, and Intraclast Grainstones; Ledger Formation (Middle Cambrian), Pennsylvania, in Wilson, J.L., Derby, J., Morgan, W., and Fritz, R., eds., Great American Carbonate Bank, American Association of Petroleum Geologists Special Publication.

de Wet, C. B., and Davis, K., 2010, Preservation Potential of Microorganism Morphologies in Tufas, Sinters, and Travertines Through Geologic Time, Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments, v. 90, p. 139-152.

Roure, Cara, Ashley, Gail, de Wet, Carol, Dvoretsky, R.*, Park, L., Hover, V., Owen, B., and  McBrearty, Sally, 2008, Tufas as a record of perennial freshwater in semi-arid rift basin, Kapthurin Formation, Central Kenya, Sedimentology, v. 56, p. 1115-1137.

de Wet, C. B., 2008, Career scientists and the shared academic position, in Monosson, E., ed., Motherhood: The elephant in the laboratory, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.

de Wet, C.B. and Hopkins, D. A., 2006, Ooid shoals, microbialite reefs and shoreface sands, the Ledger Formation, LWB Refractories site, York Co., Pennsylvania, in de Wet, A.P., ed., Four Field Trips in Central Pennsylvania, Field Trip Guidebook, Northeastern Section Annual Meeting, Geological Society of America, Camp Hill/Harrisburg, PA, p. 1-26.

de Wet, C. B., Frey, H.M.*, Gaswirth, S. B.*, Mora, C. I., Rahnis, M.A. and Bruno, C.R.*, 2004, Origin of Meter-scale Cavities and Herringbone Calcite Cement In a  Cambrian Microbial  Reef, Ledger Formation, (U.S.A.), Journal of Sedimentary Research v. 74, p. 914-923.

de Wet, C.B., Mora, C.I., Gore, P., and Gierlowski-Kordesch, E., and Cucolo, S.J.*, 2002, Deposition and geochemistry of lacustrine and spring carbonates in Mesozoic rift basins, eastern North America, in Renaut, R. and Ashley, G.M., Ed., Sedimentation in Continental Rifts, Society for Sedimentary Geology Special Pub. No. 73, p. 309-325.

de Wet, C.B., Ashly, G.M., and Kegel, D.P., 2002, Biological Clocks and tenure timetables: restructuring the academic timeline, Geological Society of America Today, v. 12, No. 11 p.24.

de Wet, C.B., Dickson, J.A.D., Wood, R.A., Gaswirth, S.B., and Frey, H.M., 1999, A New Type of Shelf Margin Deposit: Rigid Microbial Sheets and Unconsolidated Grainstones Riddled with Meter-Scale Cavities, Sedimentary Geology, v. 128, p. 13-21.

de Wet, C.B., Hopkins, D.A., and Gaswirth, S.B.*, 1999, Middle Cambrian Ledger Formation, southcentral PA, in Beck, B., Pettit, A., and Herring, J., eds., Hydrogeology and engineering geology of sinkholes and karst, Proceedings of the 7th multidisciplinary conference on sinkholes and the engineering and environmental impacts of karst, Harrisburg, A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, p. 452-458.

de Wet. C.B., 1998, Deciphering the Sedimentological Expression of Tectonics, Eustasy and Climate: A Basinwide Study of the Corallian Formation, Southern England,  Journal of Sedimentary Research, v. 68, p. 653-667.

de Wet, C.B., Yocum, D.A.* and Mora, C.I., 1998, Carbonate lakes in closed basins: sensitive indicators of climate and tectonics; and example from the Gettys-burg Basin (Triassic), Pennsylvania, USA, in Shanley, K.& McCabe, P., eds. 1998, Relative Role of Eustasy, Climate and Tectonism in Contintental Rocks, SEPM Spec. Publ, No.59, SEPM, Tulsa. OK, p. 191-209.

de Wet, C.B., Moshier, S.O., Hower, J.C., de Wet, A.P., Brennan, S.T*., Helfrich, C.T., and Raymond, A.L., 1997, Disrupted Coal and Carbonate Facies within Two Pennsylvanian Cyclothems, Southern Illinois Basin, USA, Geological Society of America Bulletin, Geological Society of America Bulletin v. 109, p. 1231-1248.

de Wet, C.B., and de Wet, A.P., 1997, Sharing Academic Careers: An alternative for pre-tenure and young family dual-career faculty couples, Journal of Women and Minorites in Science and Engineering, Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering v. 3, p. 203-212.

de Wet, C.B.,and de Wet, A.P., 1995, Making it work together: Spouses on the tenure track, Geotimes v. 40, p. 17-19.

de Wet, C.B., Moshier, S.O., Hower, J.C., and Rimmer, S.N., 1991, Depositional and diagenesis of a marine-swamp margin: the Providence limestone and adjacent coals, western Kentucky, in Lomando, A.J., and Harris, P.M., eds., SEPM Core Workshop No 12, Mixed Carbonate-Siliciclastic Sequences, SEPM, Tulsa, P. 169-204.

de Wet, C.B., and Hubert, J.H., 1989, The Scots Bay Formation, Nova Scotia, Canada: a Jurassic lake with silica-rich hydrothermal springs, Sedimentology v. 36, p. 857-874.

Suchecki, R.K., Hubert, J.F., and Birney de Wet, C.B., 1988, Isotopic imprint of climate and hydrogeochemistry on terrestrial strata of the Triassic-Jurassic Hartford and Fundy rift basins, J. Sed. Petrology v. 58, p. 801-811.

de Wet, C.B., 1987, Deposition and diagenesis in an extensional basin: the Corallian Formation (Jurassic) near Oxford, England, in Marshall, J.D. (ed.) Diagenesis of Sedimentary Sequences, Geological Society Special Publication No. 35, p. 339-353.

*denotes student author

Recent Abstracts

Ashley, G.M., Roure, C.A. de Wet, C.B., Hover, V.C.,2004, A tufa event in an arid rift valley (Kenya): Climate or tectonics, Geological Society of American Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, p. 250.

Frey, H.M*. and de Wet, C.B., 1991, Shelf-Margin instability and the formation of meter-scale, horizontal cavities in Cambrian microbialite [Abst], American Association of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting Official Program, v.8, p. A43.

de Wet, C.B., 1997, Cambrian fibrous cements within an algal-dominated reef complex, Ledger Formation, York Co., Pennsylvania [Abst.], Geological Society of American Annual Meeting, Abstracts with Programs, v.29, p. A-269.

Gaswirth, S.B.* and de Wet, C.B., 1997, Geochemical variations within mid-late Cambrian fibrous cements, York County, Pennsylvania [Abst.], Geological Society of America, Northeast Section, Abstracts with Programs, v.29, p.47.

de Wet, C.B., Gierlowski-Kordesch, E., and Gore, P.J.W., 1996, Variation in lacustrine and spring carbonate deposition and diagenesis: Northern, central and southern rift basins, eastern North America, [Abstr.], Aspects of Triassic-Jurassic Rift Basin Geoscience research meeting, p. 133.

de Wet, C.B.,1995, Ooids and Earthquakes - evidence from the western Newark Basin (Triassic), Pennsylvania, [Abst], Geological Society of America, Northeast Section, Abstracts with Programs, v. 27, p. 39.

de Wet, C.B., and Yocum, D.A.*, 1994, Carbonate lakes as sensitive indicators of Paleoclimate and Tectonics: the Triassic Gettysburg Basin, South-Central Pennsylvania, [Abst.], American Assoc. of Petroleum Geologists Annual Meeting, p. 133.

Watts, S.P.* and de Wet, C.B., 1994, Triassic, Fluvial Sandstones and overbank mudstones, Rheems, Pa., [Abst.], Geological Society of America, Northeast Section, v.26, p. 8.

Brennan, S.T.* and de Wet, C.B., 1994, The Depositional History the Providence Limestone, Illinois Basin, Western Kentucky [Abst.], Geological Society of America,  Northeast Section, v. 26, p.81.

Yocum, D.A.* and de Wet, C.B., 1994, Freshwater Carbonate Deposits of Gettysburg Basin (Triassic), Pennsylvania, [Abstr.], Geological Society of America, Northeast Section, v.26, p.81.

*denotes student author

Student Collaborations

Summary of Honors Degrees: 6

Summary of Undergraduate Involvement Research Funding: 7 Hackman Scholars; 3 Lesor Scholars; 6 Keck Consortium; 1 Council on Undergraduate Research Fellowship; 1 PA State Geological Survey; 6 American Chemical Society-Petroleum Research Fund Grant Support

Summary of Undergraduate Co-Authored Publications: 6 Keck Symposium abstracts; 3 AAPG Annual Meeting abstracts; 8 Northeastern Section Geological Society of American Meeting abstracts; 2 GSA Annual Meeting Abstracts; 1 SEPM Special Publication, 1 Geological Society of America Bulletin article; 1 Sedimentary Geology article, 1 Journal of Sedimentary Research article; 2 Sedimentology articles, 3 in prep.

Summary of Graduate School Attendance: 19 of the 27 students I have supervised have gone or are going to graduate school in sedimentology or a related field (M.Sc. degrees) ; 6 are now in Ph.D. programs or have completed Ph.D.’s.

Course Information