In 2021, Ryan Smith was the winner of the AGU Near-Surface Geophysics Early Career Achievement Award. Ryan’s work is at the intersection of satellite, airborne and ground-based geophysics. It deals with developing new models that can better integrate these datasets to improve understanding of groundwater systems. In particular, Ryan’s work has been instrumental at integrating InSAR data with ground-based and airborne geophysics. Ryan’s work is both fundamental and applied in nature. Ryan has a passion for developing novel scientific methods that better enable the sustainable use of groundwater, including improved monitoring of groundwater use and storage, as well as improved modeling of fluxes into the groundwater system. Its relevance to groundwater availability has led to a number of collaborations with local water agencies and management districts, including in Arizona, Utah, California, Colorado and Mississippi, where this research can help support groundwater sustainability plans. Ryan is also passionate about mentoring young scientists. As an early-career assistant professor, he is mentoring one postdoctoral scholar, three PhD students and three MS students.
Ryan received a PhD from Stanford University in Geophysics in 2018. The same year, he took the role that he has currently as Assistant Professor in Geological Engineering at Missouri University of Science and Technology.
Ryan’s research is funded by NASA, NGA, USGS, NIH and NSF. He was awarded the NGA New Investigator Proposal in 2020. As a graduate student, he was awarded the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, and the Outstanding Thesis Award from the Geophysics Department at Stanford University. Ryan serves as an Associate Editor for Hydrogeology Journal, and as a Guest Editor for Remote Sensing in Earth Systems Sciences.