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School of Earth and Climate Sciences

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Sean Smith

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Assistant Professor


Contact Information
Phone: 207-581-2198
Fax: 207-581-2202

School of Earth and Climate Sciences
5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center
Room 213

Related Web Sites

Recent Publications

Filoso, S., S.M.C. Smith, M.R. Williams, and M.A. Palmer. 2015. The Efficacy of Constructed Stream–Wetland Complexes at Reducing the Flux of Suspended Solids to Chesapeake Bay. Environmental Science and Technology. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.5b00063

Parr, T.B., C.S. Cronin, T. Ohno, S.E.G. Findlay, S.M.C. Smith, and K.S. Simon. 2015. Urbanization changes the composition and bioavailability of dissolved organic matter in headwater streams. Limnology and Oceanography, doi: 10.1002/lno.10060

Smith, S.M.C. and P.R. Wilcock. 2015. Upland Sediment Supply and its Relation to Watershed Sediment Delivery in the Contemporary Mid-Atlantic Piedmont (U.S.A.), Geomorphology, Vol. 232, pp. 33-46,  Access Link,3sl3Owk0

In the News

Student Research Spotlight: Looking for Warning Signs Beneath the Surface.  Sen. George J. Mitchell Center News (2/18/15)

Publication finds upland sources contribute to sediment loads.  Sen. George J. Mitchell Center News (1/29/15)

Researchers raft down Penobscot River to map changes.  Bangor Daily News (6/25/14)

Research Focus and History

My teaching and research focuses on watershed geomorphology with attention to processes that influence the morphology and stability of hillslopes and waterways, and that govern the flux of water, sediment and nutrients in the contemporary landscape. Topics of my past and present research include stream channel morphology and stability, surface flow patterns in headwater drainage basins, watershed sediment budgets, and modern watershed best management and rehabilitation practices. I am particularly interested in projects seeking to identify, quantify and explain changes to landscapes caused by human activities.

Much of my work is inspired by interests in advancing the measurement, description and prediction of environmental impacts across spatial scales ranging from single hillslopes to large watersheds and time scales spanning from a single rainfall event to millennia. I have extensive experience working in the Mid-Atlantic region of North America in collaboration with partners involved with the USEPA Chesapeake Bay Program. I currently have a joint appointment with the Senator George J. Mitchell Center and Maine’s Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI). Ongoing activities include participation in several interdisciplinary projects in the SSI portfolio, “Sustaining and Restoring Urban Stream Resources in Maine” and “Safeguarding a Vulnerable Watershed (Sebago Lake)”. I am also involved in the New England Sustainability Consortium that seeks to find solutions related to bacteria pollution problems affecting beaches and shellfish areas in the Gulf of Maine coastal estuaries. In 2015 I am initiating a new project with the Maine Agricultural and Forest Experiment Station that is focused on “Patterns, Processes and Practices in the Headwaters of Central and Coastal Maine”.

All of these projects involve research activities in the school’s Watershed Process Research Group in collaboration with SSI colleagues, government agencies, and other project stakeholders.


Photos from the field….


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Additional Links

Contact Information

School of Earth and Climate Sciences
5790 Bryand Global Sciences Center
Orono, ME 04469-5790
Phone: (207) 581-2152 | Fax: (207) 581-2202E-mail:
The University of Maine
Orono, Maine 04469