Dr. Carla Montgomery

As a new faculty member in the Geology Department at NIU, Carla Montgomery was asked to teach the general-education course in environmental geology, a field she had never formally studied. She found she enjoyed it a great deal, except for the fact that none of the existing textbooks in the subject worked for her students. So, encouraged by the students, she eventually wrote her own.
Carla received her undergraduate degree with a double major in mathematics and geology from Wellesley College and her master’s degree in geology from Dartmouth College. She “discovered” the then-growing field of geochemistry while in graduate school, and was so fascinated by its power to address a variety of geologic and cosmologic questions that she went on to become the first woman to earn the Ph.D. in geochemistry at MIT. As a faculty member at NIU, where she taught for more than thirty years, she particularly enjoyed sharing the theoretical elegance and practical applications of elemental and isotopic geochemistry with students.