Sarah B. Smith

|Senior Lecturer
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.


37 Dewey Fld Rd, Room 231
HB 6250


Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Institute for Writing and Rhetoric, Environmental Studies, Environmental Studies


  • Ph.D. Portland State University, 2008
  • M.S. Washington State University, 2003
  • B.S. Bates College, 1998