Kent Smith

Professor, Biology

Degrees: Ph.D. Ecological Physiology, Stanford University, 1968; B.A. Biology, Knox College, 1959.

Office: Biology, Gregory Hall #268

Phone: 909/748-8527



Academic Interests and Areas of Expertise

Application of computing, computers and digital devices to biology, medicine and the environment. Consulting work on large scale information systems.

Professional Background Highlights

During my first 20 years at Redlands my teaching was in the areas of aquatic biology, cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology, botany, plant physiology and biochemistry. My research interests were in the use of computers to model and simulate biological processes, which I termed biosystems modeling.

In 1972 I began consulting in the environmental and information systems fields and over the last 37 years have worked on more than a hundred projects throughout the US and abroad.

In recent years I have shifted my teaching and research even further toward the uses of computers and digital devices. I am now concentrating on a synthesis of the present and future implications for biology, medicine and the environment of a number of rapidly developing areas: artificial intelligence, chaos, complexity, cyberinfrastructure, emergence, fractals, GIS, global observatory networks, high throughput laboratory techniques, the internet and its successors, laboratory automation, microfluidics, motes, nanotechnology, open science, pattern recognition, remote sensing, robotics, robot scientists, stream computing, and supercomputing. I term this synthesis virtual science.

Courses Taught at Redlands

The Age of Big Science and Technology, Aquatic Biology, Ecology, The Future of the Planet-An Introduction to the Global Environment, Introduction to Digital Biology, and Nature Study. I am developing a course on Virtual Science.

Awards, Honors and Grants

  • Winner of the Faculty Prize; Honors in Biology, Knox College.
  • Pre-doctoral Fellow, National Institutes of Health, Stanford University.

Publications, Presentations and Panels

  • 2009: Participation in a NASA/JPL workshop on how NASA capabilities can be used to support policy decisions about California water and water resources and energy in the Western US.
  • 2009: Major revision of a proposal (ultimately successful) to two national governments on the Implementation of Monitoring, Reporting and Verification for a National Carbon Accounting System (MRV/NCAS) in connection with the REDD process at the Copenhagen conference.
  • 2007: Contributions to a successful proposal for a nation-wide information system for a US federal agency.
  • 2003: Draft of a white paper on the use of information technology in the reconstruction effort in Iraq.
  • 2002: Contributions to a successful proposal for a nation-wide information portal for a US federal agency.
  • 2001: Contributions to a white paper on homeland security for a US federal agency.
  • 1998: Proposal for a statewide system for collecting and storing citizen’s observations of the state’s environment.
  • 1996: Successful proposal for a Bi-national, Bioregional Decision Support Initiative for the Salton Sea.
  • 1995: Contributions to a successful proposal for vegetation mapping of national parks.
  • 1992: Attendance, presentations and press briefing at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.
  • 1991: Participation in a pre-conference expert group meeting on the Agenda 21 global information system, Calgary.
  • 1991: Attendance and presentation at the Conference on the Present Condition and Future Prospects of the Environment of the Northern Seas, Stavanger, Norway.
  • 1991: Attendance and presentations at a Symposium on Microcomputers for International Development, Cornell University.
  • 1990: Participation and presentations at a UNCRD international expert group meeting on Regional Planning in the 1990s: Using and Managing Geographic Information Systems, Kuala Lumpur.
  • 1985: Successful proposal and consulting for a digital mapping system for military use.
  • 1984: Successful proposal for environmental impact analysis of missile basing alternatives.
  • 1983: Successful proposal and consulting for a statewide natural resources information system.
  • 1983: Successful proposal for an environmental inventory of the Eastern Mojave Desert.
  • 1983: Edited the final report to NASA of a three-day expert panel meeting on the Review and Synthesis of Problems and Directions for Large Scale Geographic Information System Development.
  • 1982: Participant in panel of the Scientific Committee on the Problems of the Environment dealing with information technology transfer, Washington, D.C.
  • 1981: Successful proposals for projects in the US National Wetlands Mapping effort.
  • 1981: Successful proposals for statewide mapping of one of the largest states in the US.
  • 1979: Successful proposal for a statewide natural resources information system under the Lands Unsuitable for Mining program.
  • 1978: Successful proposal and consulting for the wildlife portion of a statewide fish and wildlife plan.
  • 1976: Successful proposals and consulting for an inventory and analysis system for the upper reaches of a major US river system.
  • 1975: Successful proposal and consulting for the training of field office staff of a major US federal agency in environmental assessment.
  • 1974: Successful proposal and consulting for the first area wide wastewater management planning project in the US.

Design through Math
Appleton Hall

The back of the University of Redlands own Appleton Hall contains a mathematically designed ‘Echo Chamber’ that uses calculated angles to refract sound.

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