fademcy, Academics | Earlham College - A national liberal arts college in the Midwest Skip to Content
Cynthia Fadem
Associate Professor of Geology; 3-2 Engineering Program Liaison

Cynthia Fadem teaches a wide variety of geology courses and has participated in research projects in places as far flung as Armenia, Croatia and the Western United States. She routinely includes students in her research.

Cynthia says, “I'm from St Louis via Philadelphia and New York City. I love museums and music. I enjoy video games, soccer, and playing violin. I see the Earth as a book waiting to be read and humanity's imprint on its surface as a puzzle waiting to be solved.”

Contact Info

Campus Mail
Drawer 132



329 Dennis Hall

Office Hours
By Appointment


  • Geology
  • Environmental Science
  • Museum Studies
  • Archaeology
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Pre-Engineering
  • Sustainable Agriculture Integrated Pathway


  • Ph.D., Washington University
  • M.A., Washington State University
  • M.A., Washington University
  • B.A., Hamilton College

Selected Courses:

GEOL 113: Climates Future, Climates Past
GEOL/SOAN 114: Archaeology
GEOL 201: Earth & the Environment
GEOL 202: Meteorology
GEOL 316: Geochemistry & Environmental Change
GEOL 430: Water
GEOL 431: Soils & Sustainable Agriculture
GEOL 432: Climate Systems
GEOL 481: Field Studies
GEOL 483: Teaching Assistants
GEOL 486: Student Research
GEOL 487: Research Assistants
GEOL 488: Senior Capstone

Curriculum Vitae

Geoarchaeology - the application of earth science in archaeological investigation. I attempt to unify ‘traditional’ geoarchaeology (sedimentology and pedology) and archaeometry (instrumental analysis) in the service of (1) understanding site-specific paleoenvironments and resource distributions, and (2) investigating natural and anthropogenic mitigations to site integrity.

Paleoclimatology & Paleoecology - the study of past climate change & of the relationships of living things to changing environments. Understanding the interrelationship of humans and their past environments involves both these fields of study. Paleoenvironmental reconstruction is dependent on the scale and nature of the climate-recording mechanisms employed.

Isotope Geochemistry - measurement and interpretation of isotope abundances in earth materials. Organic and inorganic chemical reactions often incorporate bias with respect to nuclide mass. In some materials stable isotope abundances relate to climate conditions at the time of their formation, making these measurements powerful paleoenvironmental indicators. 

Related interests: Archaeology, Human Behavioral Ecology, Pedology, GIS, Quaternary Geology, Sedimentology, Geomorphology, Petrography, Forensics, Hydrology, Hydrogeology, Climatology, Meteorology.


I love teaching at Earlham because our students are truly engaged in the material - whether it's a class for their major or general education. It is a pleasure to teach our students who are eager to understand and better our world.

Earlham students are an integral part of my work on the following projects:

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts, including the sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.