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measurements_banner_2.jpg (65612 bytes) Forest and Rangeland Measurements Laboratory

College of Natural Resources









Dr Alistair Smith

alistair [at]


Dr. Alistair M.S. Smith

Assistant Professor of Forest Measurements
Department of Forest Resources

College of Natural Resources

E-mail: alistair [at]
Office: College of Natural Resources
(208) 885-1009

Vitae (pdf)



Alistair Smith joined the Department of Forest Resources in 2003 as a postdoctoral research fellow funded by the Upper Midwest Aerospace Consortium (UMAC) to organize and coordinate regional extension of forestry-remote sensing research. As part of this hire, Alistair serves as the National Coordinator for ForestPARC which since 2003 has, working with partners in the USFS has organized three national stakeholder orientated workshops. In 2007 he was appointed Assistant Professor of Forest Measurements at the University of Idaho, where he currently heads the Forest and Rangeland Measurements Lab. Alistair holds a BSc in Physics (Physics - University of Edinburgh), an MSc with Distinction in Imaging and Digital Image Processing (Physics - King's College London, University of London), and a PhD in Remote Sensing (Geography - King's College London, University of London), which focused on quantifying  nitrogen and carbon emission from southern African savannah fires through a novel remote sensing analysis approach. Throughout his PhD, Alistair worked in Africa conducting prescribed fires and through his postdoctoral experience at the University of Idaho, continues to analyze fire behavior and fire effects. These days, Alistairís research can be broadly described at trying to improve the physical linkages between remote sensing and ground measurements to reduce uncertainties in various biogeoscience cycles; such as the biogeochemical cycles and radiative transfer budgets. His current research themes include, (1) improving ground and remote measurements of fire-effects to better quantity carbon and water cycles, (2) using optical and thermal imagery to improve regional assessment of the impact on fires on smoke and regional air quality; and (3) developing approaches to characterize vegetation structure with LiDAR and aerial photography to improve our understanding of carbon, water, and energy budgets.

The link at left provides further details of these and other research topics. Those interested in possible postgraduate study of research fellowships are welcome to enquire by email.

Alistair Smith has published in excess of 20 papers in peer-reviewed journals, frequently reviews proposals for the Joint Fire Sciences Program, and sits on the organizing committee for the Biogeosciences section of the Fall American Geophysical Union meeting. He is the a member of the IEEE and in 2005 was voted by fellow to be a member of the Institute of Physics.

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, 83844