Geoffrey M. Smith, Ph.D.

Regents' Professor and Executive Director of the Artemisia Archaeological Research Fund
Geoffrey Smith


Geoffrey M. Smith has worked in the Intermountain West since 2001 and primarily focuses on the archaeology of the Pleistocene-Holocene transition. He works to develop a better understanding of Paleoindian mobility through analyses of lithic technology and source provenance studies of obsidian artifacts. Although Smith is particularly interested in Paleoindian mobility, he is also concerned with how environmental, demographic and social factors contributed to diachronic changes in hunter-gatherer adaptation in the region.

As executive director of the Artemisia Archaeological Research Fund (AARF), Smith is actively involved in fieldwork throughout the Intermountain West each summer and am currently directing the analysis of assemblages from Last Supper Cave, Leonard Rockshelter, the LSP-1 Rockshelter, and surface collections from various pluvial lake basins in southeastern Oregon.

He welcomes inquiries from prospective undergraduate and graduate students interested in Paleoindian archaeology and Great Basin prehistory.

Research interests

  • Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Intermountain West
  • Great Basin prehistory and paleoecology
  • Lithic technological organization
  • Hunter-gatherer mobility
  • Toolstone conveyance
  • Peopling of the Americas

Courses taught

  • ANTH 202 Introduction to Archaeology
  • ANTH 350 The Archaeology of Nevada
  • ANTH446/646 Archaeological Methods
  • ANTH 448a/648a Field School in Archaeology
  • ANTH 449b Lithic Artifact Analysis
  • ANTH493r/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

Selected publications

  • 2022 Smith, Geoffrey M. (ed.) In the Shadow of the Steamboat: A Natural and Cultural History of North Warner Valley, Oregon. University of Utah Anthropological Papers No. 137, Salt Lake City.
  • 2022 Bradley, Erica J. Geoffrey M. Smith, and Kenneth E. Nussear. Ecological Niche Modeling and Diachronic Change in Paleoindian Land Use in the Northwestern Great Basin. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 45:103564.
  • 2022 Smith, Geoffrey M., Sara Sturtz, Anna J. Camp, Kenneth D. Adams, Elizabeth Kallenbach, Richard L. Rosencrance, and Richard E. Hughes. Leonard Rockshelter Revised: Evaluating a 70-year-old claim of a Late Pleistocene Human Occupation in the Western Great Basin. American Antiquity.
  • 2022 Rhode, Dave, Geoffrey M. Smith, Eric Dillingham, Haden U. Kingrey, and Nicole D. George. The Nye Canyon Paleo Site: An Upper Montane Mixed Fluted, Clovis Blade, an Western Stemmed Tradition Assemblage in Lyon Canyon, Nevada. PaleoAmerica 8(2):115-129.
  • 2021 Jazwa, Christopher S., Geoffrey M. Smith, Richard L. Rosencrance, Daron Duke, and Daniel Stueber. A Revised Calendar Age for the Paleoindian Buhl Burial from South-Central Idaho and its Relevance to the Western Stemmed-Clovis Debate in the Intermountain West. American Antiquity 86(1):173-182.
  • 2020 Bradley, Erica J., Geoffrey M. Smith, and Teresa A. Wriston. Possible Paleoindian Geophyte Use in Hawksy Walksy Valley, Oregon. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 40(2):129-143.
  • 2020 Smith, Geoffrey M., Daron Duke, Dennis L. Jenkins, Ted Goebel, Loren G. Davis, Patrick O’Grady, Daniel Stueber, Jordan Pratt, and Heather L. Smith. The Western Stemmed Tradition: Problems and Prospects in Paleoindian Archaeology in the Intermountain West. PaleoAmerica 6(1):23-42.Rosencrance,
  • Richard L., Geoffrey M. Smith, Dennis L. Jenkins, Thomas J. Connolly, and Thomas N. Layton. Reinvestigating Cougar Mountain Cave: New Perspectives on Stratigraphy, Chronology, and a Younger Dryas Occupation in the Northern Great Basin. American Antiquity 84(3):559-573.
  • 2018 Smith, Geoffrey M., Christopher S. Jazwa, Richard L. Rosencrance, and Tobin C. Bottman. A Late Prehistoric Marine-Shell Bead from Oregon's Hawksy Walksy Valley. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 38(2):288-300.
  • 2018 Smith, Geoffrey M., and David C. Harvey. Reconstructing Prehistoric Landscape Use at a Regional Scale: A Critical Review of the Lithic Conveyance Zone Concept with a Focus on Its Limitations. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 19:828-835.
  • 2018 Derek J. Reaux, Geoffrey M. Smith, Kenneth D. Adams, Sophia Jamaldin, Nicole George, Katelyn Mohr, and Richard Rosencrance. A First Look at the Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Record of Guano Valley, Oregon, USA. PaleoAmerica 4(2):162-176.
  • 2017 Connolly, Thomas J., Judson B. Finley, Geoffrey M. Smith, Dennis L. Jenkins, Pamela E. Endzweig, Brian L. O'Neill, and Paul W. Baxter. Return to Fort Rock Cave: Assessing the Site's Potential to Contribute to Ongoing Debates About How and When Humans Colonized the Great Basin. American Antiquity 82(3):558-573.
  • 2017 Ollivier, Aaron P., Geoffrey M. Smith, and Pat Barker. A Collection of Fiber Sandals from Last Supper Cave, Nevada, and its Implications for Cave and Rockshelter Abandonment During the Middle Holocene. American Antiquity 82(2):325-340.
  • 2017 Pilloud, Marin A., Derek Reaux, Geoffrey M. Smith, and Kristina M. Wiggins. Using Fordisc Software to Assign Obsidian Artifacts to Geological Sources: Proof of Concept. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 13:428-434.
  • 2017 Smith, Geoffrey M., and Pat Barker. The Terminal Pleistocene/Early Holocene Record in the Northwestern Great Basin: What We Know, What We Don't Know, and How We May be Wrong. PaleoAmerica 3(1):13-47.
  • 2017 Smith, Geoffrey M., Donald D. Pattee, and Madeline Ware Van Der Voort. Diachronic Variability in Prehistoric Land-Use in Oregon's Warner Valley. North American Archaeologist 38(2):183-206.
  • 2017 Rondeau, Michael F., Geoffrey M. Smith, and John W. Daugherty. Discriminating Black Rock Concave Base points from Other Western Paleoindian Projectile Points. In Plainview: the Enigmatic Paleoindian Artifact Style of the Great Plains, edited by Vance T. Holliday and Ruthann Knudson, pp. 230-248. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.
  • 2017 Wriston, T.A., and Geoffrey M. Smith. Late Pleistocene to Holocene History of Lake Warner and its Prehistoric Occupations, Warner Valley, Oregon. Quaternary Research 88:491-513.
  • 2017 Hadden, Carla S., Alexander Cherkinsky, Geoffrey M. Smith, Aaron P. Olliview, and Hai Pan. Carbon and Oxygen Isotope Composition of Early Holocene Olivella Shell Beads from the Northwest Coast, USA. Radiocarbon 59(5)1507-1519.
  • 2016 Smith, Geoffrey M., Alexander Cherkinsky, Carla Hadden, and Aaron P. Ollivier. The Age and Origin of Olivella Shell Beads from Oregon's LSP-1 Rockshelter: The Oldest Marine Shell Beads in the Northern Great Basin. American Antiquity 81(3):550-561.
  • 2016 Kennedy, Jaime D., and Geoffrey M. Smith. Paleoethnobotany at the LSP-1 Rockshelter, Southcentral Oregon: Assessing the Diversity of Plant Foods in Holocene Diet. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports 5:640-648.
  • 2016 Smith, Geoffrey M., Aaron Ollivier, Pat Barker, Anna J. Camp, David C. Harvey, and Hillary Jones. A Collection of Fiber Artifacts from Southcentral Oregon. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 36(1):149-159.
  • 2015 Smith, Geoffrey M., and Christopher Morgan. Plateau and Great Basin. Cultura Antiqua 67(3):57-67.
  • 2015 Smith, Geoffrey M. Modeling the Influences of Raw Material Availability and Functional Efficiency on Obsidian Projectile Point Curation: a Great Basin Example. Journal of Archaeological Science Reports 3:112-121.
  • 2015 Smith, Geoffrey M., Teresa A. Wriston, Donald D. Pattee, and Danielle C. Felling. The Surface Paleoindian Record of Northern Warner Valley, Oregon, and its Bearing on the Temporal Separation of Clovis and Western Stemmed Points in the Northern Great Basin. Paleoamerica 1(4):360-373.
  • 2015 Smith, Geoffrey M., Danielle C. Felling, Anthony W. Taylor, and Thomas N. Layton. Evaluating the Stratigraphic and Chronological Integrity of the Last Supper Cave Deposits. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 35(1):99-112.
  • 2014 Smith, Geoffrey M., Donald D. Pattee, Judson B. Finley, John L. Fagan, and Evan Pellegrini. A Stone Crescent from a Stratified, Radiocarbon-Dated Rockshelter in the Northern Great Basin. North American Archaeologist 35(3):257-276.
  • 2014 Smith, Geoffrey M., Pat Barker, Eugene M. Hattori, Anan Raymond, and Ted Goebel. Identifying Dart and Arrow Points in the Great Basin: A Reply to Hockett et al. American Antiquity 79(3):566-569.
  • 2014 Middleton, Emily S., Geoffrey M. Smith, William J. Cannon, and Mary Ricks. Paleoindian Rock Art: Establishing the Antiquity of Great Basin Carved Abstract Petroglyphs in the Northern Great Basin. Journal of Archaeological Science 43:21-30.


  • Ph.D., University of Wyoming, 2010

Professional certifications

  • 2022 Paul and Judy Bible University Teaching Excellence Award
  • 2021 Nevada System of Higher Education Regents’ Teaching Award
  • 2019 Donald J. Tibbitts Distinguished Teacher Award
  • 2018 Alan Bible Excellence in Teaching Award
  • 2013 College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Teaching Award