University of Idaho - I Banner
A student works at a computer


U of I's web-based retention and advising tool provides an efficient way to guide and support students on their road to graduation. Login to VandalStar.


Department of Earth and Spatial Sciences

Physical Address:
McClure 201

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3021
Moscow ID, 83843-3021

Geography: 208-885-6216
Geology: 208-885-6192

Alistair Smith

Alistair M.S. Smith

Professor and Department Chair


McClure 201



Mailing Address

Department of Earth and Spatial Sciences
University of Idaho
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3025
Moscow, Idaho 83844-3025

  • Ph.D., Geography, 2004 — King’s College London, University of London
  • M.Sc., Physics, 2000 — King’s College London, University of London
  • B.Sc., Physics, 1999 — University of Edinburgh

Fillmore SD, McCaffrey SM, Smith AMS. 2021. A Mixed Methods Review of Decision Factors Related to the Utilization of Managed Wildfire on Federal Lands, USA. Fire, 4, 3, 62. doi.10.3390/fire4030062

Partelli-Feltrin R, Smith AMS, Adams HD, Kolden CA, Johnson DM. 2021. Short- and long-term effects of fire on stem hydraulics in Pinus ponderosa saplings, Plant, Cell, and Environment, 44, 3, 696-705. doi: 10.1111/pce.13881

Partelli-Feltrin R, Johnson DM. Sparks AM, Adams HD Kolden CA, Nelson AS, Smith AMS. 2020. Drought increases vulnerability of Pinus ponderosa saplings to fire-induced mortality, Fire, 3, 56. doi: 10.3390/fire3040056

Stenzel JE, Bartowitz KJ, Hartman MD, Lutz JA, Smith AMS, Kolden CA, Law, B.E., Swanson ME, Larson AJ, Parton WJ, Hudiburg TW. 2019. Fixing a snag in estimating carbon emissions from wildfires, Global Change Biology, 25, 11, 3985-3994. doi: 10.1111/gcb.14716

Steady WD, Partelli-Feltrin R, Johnson DM, Sparks AM, Kolden CA, Talhelm AF, Lutz JA, Boschetti L, Hudak AT, Nelson AS, Smith AMS. 2019. The survival of Pinus Ponderosa saplings subjected to increasing levels of fire intensity and impacts on post-fire growth, Fire, 2, 2, 23. doi: 10.3390/fire2020023

Meddens AJH, Kolden CA, Lutz JA, Smith AMS, Cansler A, Abatzoglou JT, Meigs GW, Downing WM, Krawchuk MA. 2018. Fire refugia: What are they and why do they matter for global change? BioScience, 68, 12, 944-954. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biy103

Smith AMS, Strand EK. 2018. Recognizing Women Leaders in Fire Science: Revisited, Fire, 1, 3, 45. doi: 10.3390/fire1030045

Tinkham WT, Mahoney PR, Smith AMS, Falkowski MJ, Woodall C, Donke G, Hudak AT. 2018. Applications of the United States Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis dataset: A review and future directions, Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 48, 11, 1251-1268. doi: 10.1139/cjfr-2018-0196

Smith AMS Kolden CA, Bowman DMJS. 2018. Biomimicry can help humans to sustainably coexist with fire. Nature Ecology and Evolution, 2, 1827-1829. doi: 10.1038/s41559-018-0712-2

Smith AMS, Kolden CA, Prichard SJ, Gray RW, Hessburg PF, Balch JK. 2018. Recognizing Women Leaders in Fire Science, Fire, 1, 2, 30. doi: 10.3390/fire1020030

Sparks AM, Talhelm AF, Partelli-Feltrin R, Smith AMS, Johnson DM, Kolden CA, Boschetti L. 2018. An experimental assessment of the impact of drought and fire on western larch mortality and recovery. International Journal of Wildland Fire, 27, 7, 490-497. doi: 10.1071/WF18044

Sparks AM, Kolden CA, Smith AMS, Boschetti L, Johnson DM, Cochrane MA, 2018. Fire intensity impacts on post-fire response of temperate coniferous forest net primary productivity, Biogeosciences, 15, 4, 1173-1183. doi: 10.5194/bg-15-1173-2018

Kolden CA, Bleeker TM, Smith AMS, Poulos HM, and Camp AE, 2017. Fire effects on historical refugia in contemporary wildfires, Forests, 8, 10, 400. doi: 10.3390/f8100400

Hyde JC, Yedinak KM, Talhelm AF, Smith AMS, Bowman DMJS, Johnson F, Lahm P, Fitch M, Tinkham WT. 2017. Air quality policy from fire management responses addressing smoke from wildland fires in the United States and Australia, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 5, 347-363. doi: 10.1071/WF16154

Abatzoglou JT, Kolden CA, Williams AP, Lutz JA, Smith AMS. 2017. Climatic influences on inter-annual variability in regional burn severity across western US forests, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 4, 269-275. doi: 10.1071/WF16165

Bowman DMJS, Williamson G, Kolden CA, Abatzoglou, JT Cochrane MA, Smith AMS. 2017. Human exposure and sensitivity to globally extreme wildfire events, Nature: Ecology and Evolution, 1, 0058. doi: 10.1038/s41559-016-0058

Smith AMS, Talhelm AF, Johnson DM, Sparks AM, Yedinak KM, Apostol KG, Tinkham WT, Kolden CA, Abatzoglou JT, Lutz JA, Davis AS, Pregitzer KS, Adams HD, Kremens RL. 2017. Effects of fire radiative energy density doses on Pinus contorta and Larix occidentalis seedling physiology and mortality, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 1, 82-94. doi: 10.1071/WF16077

Sparks AM, Smith AMS, Talhelm AF, Kolden CA, Yedinak KM, Johnson DM. 2017. Impacts of fire radiative flux on mature Pinus ponderosa growth and vulnerability to secondary mortality agents, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 26, 1, 95-106. doi: 10.1071/WF16139

Smith, AMS,, Kolden, CA, Paveglio, T, Cochrane, MA, Mortitz, MA, Bowman, DMJS, Hoffman, CM, Lutz, J, Queen, LP, Hudak, AT, Alessa, L, Kliskey, AD, Goetz, S, Yedinak, KM, Boschetti, L, Higuera, PE, Flannigan, M, Strand, EK, van Wagtendonk, JW Anderson, JW Stocks, BJ and Abatzoglou, JT. 2016. The science of firescapes: achieving fire resilient communities, BioScience, 66, 2, 130-146. doi: 10.1093/biosci/biv182

Smith AMS, Sparks AM, Kolden CA, Abatzoglou JT, Talhelm AF, Johnson DM, Boschetti L, Lutz JA, Apostol KG, Yedinak KM, Tinkham WT, Kremens RJ. 2016. Towards a new paradigm in fire severity research using dose-response experiments, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 25, 158-166. doi: 10.1071/WF15130

Smith, AMS,, Kolden, CA, Tinkham, WT, Talhelm, A, Marshall, JD, Hudak, AT, Boschetti, L, Falkowski, MJ, Greenberg, JA, Anderson, JW, Kliskey, A, Alessa, L, Keefe, RF, and Gosz, J. 2014. Remote Sensing the Vulnerability of Vegetation in Natural Terrestrial Ecosystems, Remote Sensing of Environment, 154, 322-337. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2014.03.038

Lentile, LB, Holden, Z, Smith AMS, Falkowski MJ, Hudak, AT, Morgan, P, Lewis, SA, Gessler, PE and Benson, NC. 2006 Remote sensing techniques to assess active fire and post-fire effects, International Journal of Wildland Fire, 15, 3, 319-345. doi: 10.1071/WF05097

Smith AMS, Wooster MJ, Drake NA, Dipotso FM, Falkowski MJ, and Hudak, AT., 2005. Testing the Potential of Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing for Retrospectively Estimating Fire Severity in African Savanna Environments, Remote Sensing of Environment, 97, 1, 92-115. doi: 10.1016/j.rse.2005.04.014

Smith AMS, Wooster MJ, Powell, AK and Usher, D, 2002, Texture based feature extraction: application to burn scar detection in Earth Observation Imagery, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 23, 1733-1739. doi: 10.1080/01431160110106104

2017 Research and Creative Activity Excellence Award, University of Idaho
2016 Presidential Mid-Career Award, University of Idaho
2012 Alumni Award of Excellence, University of Idaho
2012 Outstanding Continuing Education and Service Award, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho
2011 Outstanding Researcher, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho
2009 Outstanding Researcher, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho


Conducting several projects that examine the mechanisms of how increasing heat from fires impacts both the rate of mortality of plants from fires, but also the degree to which post-fire recovery is reduced in the plants that survive.

Researching ways to increase community and home resilience to wildfires, such as evaluating the quantity of embers generated from different garden plants.


Department of Earth and Spatial Sciences

Physical Address:
McClure 201

Mailing Address:
875 Perimeter Drive MS 3021
Moscow ID, 83843-3021

Geography: 208-885-6216
Geology: 208-885-6192