Dr. Laurence C. Smith is Professor and Vice-Chair of Geography and Professor of Earth & Space Sciences at UCLA. He earned a B.S. in Geological Sciences from the University of Illinois (1989), M.S. in geological sciences from Indiana University (1991), and Ph.D. in Earth and atmospheric sciences from Cornell University (1996). He has published more than sixty research papers including in the journals Science and Nature.
In 2006, he briefed Congress on the likely impacts of northern climate change, and in 2007 his work appeared prominently in the Fourth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2006-2007 he was named a Guggenheim Fellow by the John S. Guggenheim Foundation in New York. He has won more than $5M in external grant funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for his research on northern climate change. Other honors include a NASA Young Investigator award (2000), Finalist for NASA’s Presidential Early Career Award (2002), and a Bellagio Residency from the John D. Rockefeller Foundation (2007).
In 2010 he published a book THE WORLD IN 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future (Dutton: New York) which describes cross-cutting themes of population demographics, globalization, natural resource demand, and climate change. His work has received media coverage in The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, NPR, CBC Radio, Discover Magazine and others.