Gregory J. Smith has been named the new director of the U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) National Wetlands Research Center, headquartered in Lafayette, LA. He replaces Robert E. Stewart, Jr., who has retired from the Department of the Interior after 30 years of service, 25 of those years as director of the center. (See related Sound Waves article, Robert E. Stewart Receives Gulf Guardian Award Before Retiring After 30 Years of Service to DOI.)
Smith said, "I am honored to join the talented and dedicated staff of the National Wetlands Research Center, and I look forward to building on the important partnerships and science programs that have been a hallmark of the center's history."
Stewart said of his replacement, "The center is indeed fortunate to have Dr. Smith as a new director. He has exactly the right skills and experience to lead the center in the 21st century."
Smith has more than 25 years of ecological research and management experience, with a background in population dynamics and environmental toxicology. He has worked in Federal research as well as with a nongovernmental organization and in the private sector. He has developed international science programs in fisheries, invasive species, and ecological research.
Most recently, Smith was the wildlife-program coordinator at USGS headquarters in Reston, VA, where he has served in various positions. From 2001 to 2002, he was the science advisor to the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies in Washington, DC. He was acting USGS eastern regional chief biologist from 1997 to 1998 and director at the USGS Great Lakes Science Center, Ann Arbor, MI, from 1996 to 1997. There he managed an ecological-research program that included fisheries, wetlands, ecosystem processes, and invasive species.
From 1989 to 1996, Smith was a laboratory manager and later the laboratory director for a private environmental-toxicology corporation in Maryland. The corporation provided scientific studies on marine and freshwater organisms and terrestrial wildlife species to assess the ecological impacts of chemicals for registration by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
From 1988 to 1989, Smith managed the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's analytical-chemistry program, providing support for research and field investigations involving environmental contaminants. He began his Federal research career at the USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD, after a postdoctoral fellowship with the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Smith received a bachelor's degree in biology in 1978 from Northern Michigan University in Marquette, MI. He received a master's degree in wildlife ecology in 1980 and a Ph.D. in wildlife ecology and veterinary science in 1984 from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Smith is a member of the Wildlife Society and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He has served on numerous scientific-review panels and authored a major publication on the impacts of pesticides on wildlife. Smith was born in Marquette and now resides in Lafayette. He and his wife, Kathy, have two children, Jennifer and Andrew.
in this issue:
Smith Director of National Wetlands Research Center