Sarah B. Smith

Academic Appointments

Senior Lecturer in Writing

For my Ph.D. work, I studied how environmental change influences animal behavior and population dynamics, and most of my work has been with birds in urban environments. Working in cities meant that I often had to communicate about science with the general public, and this sparked my interest in learning more effective ways to speak and write about my work. Now I am interested in studying how STEM students develop as scientific writers over their undergraduate career, and how early writing experiences (such as first-year writing courses) can give STEM students core abilities that can be adapted to the scientific writing experience. In all my writing courses, I help my students develop the tools necessary to express their ideas clearly and to develop their arguments effectively. My first-year writing courses are largely focused on topics relating to food and agriculture, and we focus on using our observations – of texts, films, and even the natural world – to inform meaningful questions for research and academic writing.

219 37 Dewey Field Road
HB 6250
Environmental Studies
Institute for Writing and Rhetoric
Ph.D. Portland State University, 2008
M.S. Washington State University, 2003
B.S. Bates College, 1998