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 Fall 2019: Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:30-2:00 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, Leonard Rockshelter, the Little Steamboat Point 1 Rockshelter, 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

PUBLICATIONS (2010-Present)