Cynthia Fadem, Ph.D.
Associate professor of earth and environmental science; 3-2 engineering program liaison
Department: Environmental Sustainability
Earth and Environmental Science
Program: 3-2 Pre-Engineering
Athletics, Wellness and Physical Education
Location: Dennis Hall Room 329
801 National Road
Richmond, Indiana 47374
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. I come from St Louis via Philadelphia and New York City, and I have advanced degrees in both Anthropology and Earth & Planetary Sciences. Working as a consultant in addition to teaching at Earlham, my work takes me and my Earlham students to the U.S. West, Tanzania and Armenia, among other places. I am also heavily involved in professional society disciplinary leadership and mentorship in geoarchaeology. If interested, please view my curriculum vitae for full career, publication, and presentation details.
I love museums and music and play violin in the Richmond Community Orchestra.
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’s a pleasure to teach our students who are eager to understand and improve our world.
I also appreciate Earlham’s supportive teaching-learning community, because I’m interested in pedagogical innovation and continually improving my teaching practice for inclusion. I appreciate being free to design my courses the way I want and having my course materials be my responsibility. It’s a lot of work, but no one tells Earlham faculty they have to do things a certain way or use a certain curriculum. I think that’s critical to providing the best, most effective education!
- Ph.D., Washington University
- M.A., Washington State University
- M.A., Washington University
- B.A., Hamilton College
- Geological Society of America – I serve as past chair & webmaster of GSA’s Geoarchaeology Division.
- Society for Archaeological Sciences
- Register of Professional Archaeologists – I am registrant #17279.
- Sigma Xi: The Scientific Research Honor Society – I am a full member.
- Phi Sigma Iota: International Foreign Language Honor Society – I am a lifetime member.
- National Association of Geoscience Teachers
- Geochemical Society
- Society for American Archaeology
- American Quaternary Association
Earlham students work with me on the following projects:
- The Olduvai Paleoanthropology and Paleoecology Project – Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
- Northern Chaco Outliers Project, Basketmaker Communities Project, & Pueblo Farming Project — Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, Colorado USA
- Investigating the Environmental Justice Legacy of HOLC “Redlining” Maps – team and testing throughout the US
- Lori Depression Paleoanthropology Project — Debed River Valley, Armenia
- Mummy Cave Paleoenvironmental Re-excavation — Shoshone River Valley, Wyoming, USA
- Early Farming in Dalmatia Project — Central Dalmatia, Croatia
I study the broad fields of geoarchaeology, environmental science, and geoscience education. I analyze soils, stable isotope chemistry, geomorphology, and geochemistry of archaeological site materials to reconstruct paleoenvironments and understand site taphonomy. I also study lithic and ceramic artifacts and their provenance. Utilizing climate science, GIS, and the observed behavior of natural soil and water systems, I aim to resolve questions about archaeological sites, human societies, and natural resource use.
A list of my published works are available at my curriculum vitae.