Dr. Grant Smith holds a Ph.D. in Science Education from Oregon State University with expertise geology
interpretation (i.e. park ranger presentations) and college teaching. He also holds a M.S. degree in
geology from Washington State University with a focus on archaeological geology and desert
geomorphology. In the thirteen years between receiving his master’s degree and the start of his Ph.D.
studies, Dr. Smith served as a consulting geoarchaeologist/geomorphologist throughout the western
United States. His archaeological projects during that time include historic and prehistoric sites in
Arizona, California, Colorado, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont,
and Wyoming. Out of that time, Dr. Smith produced many technical reports and some refereed journal
articles on geoarchaeology.
Dr. Smith’s current research interests include ways to improve interactions between park rangers and
visitors (resource interpretation), especially with regards to science content. He believes that insights
into improving resource interpretation are not only gained through academic studies but also through
being a practitioner of interpretation. To that end, Dr. Smith has served as an interpretive ranger with
the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (at Silver Falls State Park) and the National Park Service
(Mt. Rainier National Park).
Dr. Smith has served as part of the Western Oregon University Earth Science Department since 2008 and
enjoys helping non-science majors find ways in which science can be relevant to their own lives.
Office: Ed 156