Geoffrey M. Smith


Associate Professor and Executive Director of the Great Basin Paleoindian Research Unit (GBPRU)
Ph.D., University of Wyoming (2010)
Ansari Business Building, Room 621
(775) 682-7687

Knowledge in a Nanosecond Video Profile 

Office Hours: Tuesdays/Thursdays 10:30-12:00 PM


The Paleoindian-Archaic transition in the Great Basin; Great Basin prehistory and paleoecology; lithic technological organization; hunter-gatherer mobility; peopling of the New World.


I have been working in the Great Basin since 2001 and have primarily focused my research on the archaeology of the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene, ca. 11,500-7,500 radiocarbon years ago. Specifically, I have worked to develop a better understanding of Paleoindian mobility through analyses of lithic technology and source provenance studies of obsidian artifacts in the Black Rock Desert-High Rock Country of northwest Nevada and, more recently, south-central Oregon. Although I am particularly interested in Paleoindian mobility, I am also concerned with how environmental, demographic, and social conditions contributed to diachronic changes in hunter-gatherer adaptation in the Great Basin.

As Executive Director of the Great Basin Paleoindian Research Unit (GBPRU), I am actively involved in fieldwork throughout the Great Basin each summer and am currently directing the analysis of assemblages from Last Supper Cave, Paiute Creek Shelter, Warner Valley, Guano Valley, and other sites in the region. I welcome inquiries from prospective undergraduate and graduate students interested in Paleoindian archaeology and Great Basin prehistory.


  • Anth 202 Introduction to Archaeology
  • Anth 350 The Archaeology of Nevada
  • Anth 446/646 Archaeological Methods
  • Anth 448a/648a Field School in Archaeology
  • Anth 449b Lithic Artifact Analysis
  • Anth 493r/693r Analytical Methods and Research Design in Anthropology
  • Anth 723 Lithic Technological Organization
  • Anth 740 Great Basin Prehistory and Paleoecology
  • Anth 741 Peopling of the Americas