Carmala Garzione

University of Arizona College of Science

By Tiffany Kjos

As a geologist, Carmala “Carmie” Garzione spent years digging up clues to the past. As dean of the University of Arizona College of Science, she is firmly focused on the future.

“We’re going through a time of transformation as a college, and in the sciences in general,” said Garzione. “And the College of Science at the University of Arizona is one of those places where we are contributing much more, diversifying the culture, the perspectives, and people in the sciences.” 

This is the second time Garzione has called Tucson home. She grew up outside of Washington, D.C., and earned a bachelor’s degree in geology at the University of Maryland, College Park, then came here for her master’s degree and doctorate in geosciences, focusing on the climate and tectonic history of mountain belts. 

“University of Arizona is one of the best geosciences programs in the country, so I applied there for graduate school,” Garzione said. “Tucson is surrounded by mountains and outstanding geologic history, and the rocks are 100% exposed, so it was an excellent place to study.”

After UArizona, she went to the University of Rochester to teach and research. Garzione moved to the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2019 and returned to Tucson in 2021 to lead the College of Science, with 14 departments and numerous specialties. She also serves on the Deans Advisory Board of BIO5 Institute, which supports student scholars with internships in biology and life science disciplines.

“One of the most fulfilling parts of this job is expanding opportunities for a diverse community of learners and young scientists,” Garzione said.

The College of Science’s outreach includes Mount Lemmon SkySchool, where K-12 students conduct field experiments; K-12 field trips and summer camps at Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium; and K-12 summer camps and tours at UArizona’s Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research.

“Sharing the impact and importance of science with the community is incredibly important to Carmie,” said Michael Luria, the college’s assistant dean of corporate and community engagement. “She cares deeply about our students, research and how the college can positively impact the community, near and far.”

“Learning and experimentation that brings people joy and enables them to access more experiences is an important part of what we do at the university, but it’s also an important part of how we nurture our children as they grow up,” Garzione said.

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