Carol A Finn, Ph.D.


Carol Finn is a research geophysicist with the Geology, Geophysics and Geochemistry Science Center in Denver, CO specializing in the application of magnetic, gravity and electromagnetic data, to develop framework geological models in support of resource and volcano hazards assessments and fundamental Earth Processes. She has worked all over the world. Her current research is on imagining Yellowstone's iconic thermal features, 3D modeling of layered mafic intrusions and their platinum group element potential and Cascades and Alaska landslide hazards.


  • Ph.D. Geophysics, University of Colorado, 1988
  • M.S. Geophysics, University of Colorado, 1984
  • B.S. Geology, Wellesley College, 1978

Professional Experience

  • 1978-present, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO

Research Interests

Carol is an expert on the application of magnetic, gravity and electromagnetic data, along with other geophysical techniques, to identify the subsurface distribution of

  • hydrothermal alteration and causative sub-volcanic intrusions as well as ground water as they relate to both landslide hazard assessment and systematics of hydrothermal systems
  • layered mafic intrusions, including the Bushveld, Stillwater and Duluth complexes, in support of assessments of platinum group element potential
  • crystalline basement related to global mineral resource assessments (Algeria, Mauritania, Afghanistan, South Africa, Uzbekistan, United States)


  • 2000-2005 Adjunct faculty member, Dept. of Geological Sciences, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Professional Societies

  • American Geophysical Union
  • Geological Society of America

Academic and Professional Service

  • AGU Thriving Earth Exchange Board Member (2016-present)
  • Past President, American Geophysical Union (2015-2016)
  • President, American Geophysical Union (2013-2014)
  • President-Elect, American Geophysical Union (2011-2012)
  • General Secretary, American Geophysical Union (2006-2010)

Honors, Awards, Recognition, Elected Memberships

  • 2011 - DOI Meritorious Service Award
  • 2007 - DOI Superior Service Award
  • 2004 - Elected Geological Society of America Fellow
  • 2003 - US Board of Geographic Names named Finn Spur in Antarctica (79° 17' S, 156° 37' E) after me in recognition of my management of Antarctic aerogeophysical field projects.
  • 2001-2002 - Awarded senior Gledden Research Fellowship, Centre for Global Metallogeny, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia
  • 1990-1992 - Awarded Science and Technology Fellowship, Geological Survey of Japan, Tsukuba, Japan