Tom Smith was born in Sandusky, Ohio in December 1955. He was raised in Indiana for most of his youth and attended Purdue University for his first year of college. During that time he became a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and served a mission to Tokyo, Japan (1976-1978). Upon returning Tom completed a 4 year BS degree at Brigham Young University. Seeking a MS degree at the University of Alaska - Fairbanks, Tom studied reindeer winter foraging behavior in western Alaska (1984-1987). Returning to BYU to study under Dr. Jerran Flinders Tom completed a 5 year PhD program focused on the ecology and management of mountain sheep in northeastern Utah (1986-1992). Tom was then hired by the National Park Service in southwestern Alaska where he served from 1992-2006 as a research biologist for the NPS and USGS. In 2006 Tom and his family relocated to Provo, Utah to serve on the Wildlife and Wildlands Faculty of Brigham Young University. Tom and his wife Cynthia have been married for 36 years and have 4 children.
Research InterestsTom's research interests include wildife-human conflicts, particularly involving all three species of North American bears and mountain sheep. More recent work includes the Indian Sloth Bear and Bobcat.
Teaching InterestsTom's teaching interests include environmental biology, wildlife management techniques, wildlife behavior, safety in the workplace and carnivore conservation.
Licenses and Certifications
- National Rifle Association, National Rifle Association Firearms Instructor (2012 - 2014)
Honors and Awards
- Appreciation for Mentoring, Anchorage School District & Gifted Mentorship Program (1999 - 1999)
- Outstanding Accomplishment Award, US Geological Survey (1998 - 1998)
- Certificate of Appreciation, National Park Service (1994 - 1994)
- Outstanding PhD dissertation, Sigma XI Society (1992 - 1992)
- Outstanding student paper award, The Utah Chapter of The Wildlife Society (1992 - 1992)
- National Rifle Association (2012 - 2014)
- Desert Bighorn Council (2000 - 2014)
- International Association of Bear Management and Research (1994 - 2014)
- The Wildlife Society (1990 - 2014)
- The Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council (1986 - 2014)
- Committee/Council Member, IUCN Polar Bear Conflict Working Group (2017 - 2019)
- Other, Polar Bears International (2008 - 2019)
- Conference-Related Role, International Association of Bear Research and Management (2011 - 2013)
- Board Member, Utah Chapter of The Wildlife Society (2011 - 2012)
- Officer, The Wildlife Society - Utah Chapter (2010 - 2011)
- Editor, Associate Editor, Northern Wild Sheep and Goat Council (2009 - 2009)