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Kelly D. Thomson, PhD

I am a Geologist interested in applying geochronology and thermochronology to sedimentary rocks in order to understand the evolution of Earth’s surface and investigate interactions between tectonics, climate, and surface processes.

I joined the USGS as a Geologist in 2022 to work on the National Geochronology Database. Prior to joining the USGS I was a postdoctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Department. There I helped build a new low-temperature thermochronology lab and worked to revitalize a 20 year old, custom built He extraction line for (U-Th)/He thermochronology. I received my M.Sc. (2016) and Ph.D. (2020) from the University of Texas at Austin, Jackson School of Geosciences where I investigated ancient and modern sediment routing systems with detrital geochronology and thermochronology. I was born and raised in Juneau Alaska and received my B.Sc. from the University of Alaska Anchorage (2013).  

Professional Experience

  • Geologist, U.S. Geological Survey (2022-present) 

  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology (2021-2022)

  • Instructor, Gallatin Community College – Montana State University (2019-2021)

  • Graduate Research Assistant, University of Texas at Austin (2019-2020) 

  • Equinor (Statoil) Graduate Research Fellow (2014 – 2019) 

  • Field Technician, Alaska Dept of Fish and Game (2014) 

  • Junior Geologist, Alaska Earth Sciences (2013) 

  • Teaching Assistant, University of Alaska Anchorage (2012-2013) 

  • Geotechnical Core Logger, Kiska Metals (2011) 

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin (2020)

  • M.Sc., Geological Sciences, University of Texas at Austin (2016) 

  • B.S, Geological Sciences, University of Alaska Anchorage (2013)

Science and Products