About the Lab

Dr. Smith and his research team conduct a variety of research projects on how human systems plan for and respond to changes in natural systems.

From small streams and tributaries, whose flow-rates have been altered, to large forested landscapes, impacted by increasingly frequent outbreaks of invasive pests, climate change is affecting natural systems at multiple spatial scales. As a result, the human benefits provided by those natural systems are changing as well. These benefits include everything from the psychological and physiological benefits that can come from recreating outdoors, to the provisioning of clean air and water. Our research focuses on understanding how people (both individuals and communities) plan for and respond to future climate-driven shifts to valued ecosystem services. All of our work is interdisciplinary, blending data and methods the fields of psychology, sociology and geospatial analytics. Recently, our work has focused on quantifying and modeling the linkages between hydroclimatic systems and contingent human behavior.