Grand Teton to Welcome Dr. Bob Smith as Part of Summer Speaker Series

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Date: June 27, 2011
Contact: Jackie Skaggs, 307.739.3393

June 27, 2011


Grand Teton National Park will welcome Dr. Bob Smith, distinguished professor and professor emeritus of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, to the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center auditorium at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday evening, June 30 for a retrospective presentation on his prominent work in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The lecture is the third in a new summer speaker series sponsored by the park. Smith's presentation titled, A Living, Breathing, Shaking Career, will provide a window into his career researching and studying the powerful forces that have shaped the Teton and Yellowstone landscapes.

Dr. Smith has made outstanding contributions in the field of geology, specifically in association with Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks. Smith's lengthy career in studying and interpreting earthquakes, fault zones, and volcanoes-and their impacts on the geologic evolution of northwestern Wyoming-has generated a greater appreciation for, and increased knowledge of, the dynamic forces at work in the physical landscape of the world-renowned Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Smith holds a Ph.D. from the University of Utah and has served as a visiting professor at Columbia University, Cambridge University and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. His popular book with Lee Siegel, Windows Into the Earth: The Geologic Story of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks (2000, Oxford University Press) explains the geology of the parks, and he regularly provides 'real-time' feedback to personnel in both parks about seismic events throughout the region to encourage effective response planning to natural geologic hazards.

In 2008, he retired from teaching at the University of Utah, where he was a key founder of the university's seismic network-a system that operates more than 200 regional and urban seismic stations serving Utah, eastern Idaho, and western Wyoming (including Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks). Smith was a founder of, and remains a coordinating scientist for, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory-a facility that monitors volcanic and seismic activity in the greater Yellowstone area. He has also been integrally involved in planning and implementing the National Science Foundation-led EarthScope initiative, which uses high-precision instrumentation to explore the structure and evolution of the North American continent and the processes responsible for earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

In acknowledging Smith's impressive work, Superintendent Mary Gibson Scott said, "Dr. Smith supplies invaluable scientific information to help our staff, partners, and the visiting public better understand the physical forces that influence the landscapes that define this natural area".

The discussion is free and open to the public. Seating is available for the first 150 guests on a first come-first served basis. For further information, please contact the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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