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About Carol Frost

My research involves applying geochemical and isotopic techniques to understand the origin and evolution of the continental crust. A variety of problems fall under the broad topic of crustal evolution; hence I work on rocks of different ages, from Archean to Recent, and on different types of geologic materials, including igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks, as well as natural waters and organic materials such as coal and crude oils.
An enduring research interest is the evolution of Precambrian continental crust, with particular focus on the Wyoming province. My current funded research in this area is in the Teton Range, where together with Susan Swapp and Ron Frost I am investigating what appears to be the oldest high-pressure metamorphism in North America. We interpret these rocks to record an ancient continent-continent collision.
Another long-standing interest is in tracing sediment recycling and provenance with Nd isotopes. Currently I am studying the accreted terranes of the Blue Mountains of Oregon with Art Snoke and PhD student Jason Mailloux, and sediment transport in a modern arid river system, also with Jason Mailloux.
More recently I have developed an interest in the application of radiogenic isotopic tracers to problems related to energy and the environment. Our recent results suggest that different groundwater aquifers in Wyoming have distinctive Sr isotopic compositions, enabling Sr isotope ratios to be used to identify contamination and mixing between aquifers. We've also shown that groundwaters from coal and sandstone aquifers in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming have distinct Sr and C isotopic compositions. This allows us to monitor changes in groundwater hydrology that result from dewatering during coal bed methane production or from surface mining activity and to trace these waters following discharge at the surface.
Finally, I am serving as PI on several multi-investigators projects that prepare for a geological carbon sequestration demonstration in Wyoming. This research includes site characterization of the highest priority geologic formations for CO2 storage in southwestern Wyoming and evaluation of depleted compartmentalized gas fields in the Powder River Basin of northeastern Wyoming. The projects include geologic, geophysical, experimental and modeling components necessary to provide information necessary for successful injection and storage of carbon dioxide in deep saline aquifer and depleted oil and gas fields.
I was selected to receive the George Duke Humphrey Award, the University of Wyoming’s top faculty award for excellence in teaching, research and service, in 2008. In 2007 the student body of the College of Arts and Sciences elected me a "Top Ten Teacher." I was named the 2001 Wyoming Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Council for Advancement and Support of Education. In 2000 I was selected for UW's highest teaching award, the Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award, and in 1998-1999 I was recognized for Extraordinary Merit in Teaching in the College of Arts and Sciences.


Present Professor of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming


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Contact Information

Office Phone(s): 307-766-4121 or 307-766-6254
Fax Phone: (307) 766-2608
P.O. Box 3006
Laramie, Wyoming 82071-3006
Office(s): Old Main 206 & ESB 3044


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