Laurence C. Smith

Laurence C. Smith
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)
Department of Geography and Department of Earth & Space Sciences
UCLA Department of Geography
1255 Bunche Hall, Box 951524
Los Angeles
Fields of interest
Arctic climate change, Remote sensing hydrology, Arctic hydrology, Cryosphere, Greenland Ice Sheet mass balance and hydrology, SWOT (Surface Water and Topography satellite mission, for more see
Description of scientific projects
My scientific research examines the impacts of climatic and environmental change upon northern environments. To date, four overarching research themes have emerged in my work: [1] hydrologic systems, including rivers, lakes, and outburst floods; [2] cryospheric systems, including glaciers, ice sheets, and permafrost; [3] carbon cycling in northern peat soils; and [4] emerging technologies in satellite remote sensing, especially radar systems. I am deeply involved with the SWOT satellite mission (a NASA-CNES joint venture, see to track global surface water storages and fluxes from space. I have also explored the intersection of physical and social science in northern environments in a general-audience book THE WORLD IN 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization’s Northern Future (New York: Dutton, 2010).