Stephen Smith Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology

Stephen Smith

Science Addition 217


Ph.D., Geology, North Carolina State University, 2016
M.S., Oceanography, University of Rhode Island, 2010
B.S., Geology, Bucknell University, 2008


I'm interested in the various processes that work to shape Earth's surface over both short and long timescales. Some of the questions I seek to answer are:

1. What are the primary drivers of landscape evolution?
2. What are the rates of erosion for specific areas, and are these rates highly variable or generally constant?
3. What hazards are caused by the processes currently shaping the landscape?
4. What role, if any, do humans play in changing the nature of active geologic processes?

To answer these questions (and others), I use a variety of techniques to collect and analyze data, including field mapping, sediment coring, remote sensing, cosmogenic radionuclide abundance, and many other approaches that typically extend across the disciplines of geomorphology, sedimentology, and geochronology.

My most recent projects involve work in the Olympic Mountains of Washington and the Hangay Mountains of Mongolia.

Selected Publications

Smith, S.G., Wegmann, K.W., Ancuta, L.D., Gosse, J.C. and Hopkins, C.E., 2016. Paleotopography and erosion rates in the central Hangay Dome, Mongolia: Landscape evolution since the mid-Miocene. Journal of Asian Earth Sciences, 125, pp.37-57.

Smith, S.G., Wegmann, K.W., Leithold, E.L., and Bohnenstiehl, D.R., 2016. A ~4000 year record of hydrologic variability from the Olympic Mountains, Washington. In review.

Leithold, E.L., Wegmann, K.W., Bohnenstiehl, D.R., Smith, S.G., Noren, A., and O'Grady, R., 2016.
Upland response to large earthquakes in Cascadia—Insights from the sedimentary record of Lake Quinault, Washington. In review.