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Joseph P. Smith, Ph.D.


Joseph P. Smith 



Associate Professor

Oceanography Department 
572C Holloway Road, 9D 
U. S. Naval Academy
Annapolis, MD 21402 

+(1) 410-293-6568 (voice) 
+(1) 617-275-9130 (cell) 

Office: Chauvenet 208


  • 2007: Ph.D., Environmental Science (geochemistry)
    University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
  • 2003: M.S., Environmental Science
    University of Massachusetts, Boston, MA
  • 1993: B. S., Physics, U. S.
    Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

Professional Experience:

  • 2013-Present:  Associate Professor
    Oceanography Department, U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
  • 2010-2013:  Assistant Professor (Military)
    Oceanography Department, U. S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD
  • 1999-2015:  Surface Warfare Officer (USNR)
    ONR/NRL S&T Reserve Program, Project Officer, Arlington, VA
  • 2009-2010:  Research Scientist; Marine Biogeochemistry (Code 6114)
    Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC
  • 2007-2009:  National Research Council (NRC) Postdoctoral Research Associate; Marine Biogeochemistry (Code 6114)
    Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Washington, DC
  • 2000-2007:  Graduate Research Assistant / Teaching Assistant; Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Science (EEOS) Department
    University of Massachusetts, Boston (UMB)
  • 1999-2000:  Product Engineer; Control Components Technology
    General Electric Industrial Systems, Plainville, CT
  • 1998-1999:  Field Service Manager; Small Business Systems
    Lucent Technologies, San Francisco, CA
  • 1996-1998:  Reactor Electrical Division Officer (U. S. Navy)
  • 1995-1996:  Nuclear Propulsion Plant Watch Officer (S8G); U. S. Navy Nuclear Power School and Prototype
    Orlando, FL and Ballston Spa, NY
  • 1994-1995:  Antisubmarine Warfare Officer (U. S. Navy)

Research Interests:

Using radiochemical and biogeochemical tracers to investigate the cycling of inorganic and organic constituents in water, soil, and sediments in linked watershed-estuarine-coastal systems. These tracers can be used to identify material sources and quantify material transport and fate.

Other research interests include:

  1. Runoff, wastewater, stormwater impacts on urbanized watershed-estuarine-coastal systems
  2. Biogeochemical cycles in methane hydrate bearing sediments and permafrost
  3. Mineralogy, geochemistry, and bacterial species diversity in soils and dust in arid regions
  4. Polar science
  5. Climate change and the perturbed carbon cycle
  6. Unmanned and autonomous sensor platforms
Photo collage of Joseph P. Smith, Ph.D.


Top Refereed Publications (see full CV for complete list of publications): 

  • Davies AR, Smith JP, Mandell DS, Davis G, and Wan FY. 2022. Sustained wind forcing and water level anomalies in Annapolis, MD. Earth Interactions 26(1): 52-66,
  • Smith JP, Boyd TJ, Cragan J, Ward MC. 2021. Dissolved rubidium to strontium ratio as a conservative tracer for wastewater effluent-sourced contaminant inputs near a major urban wastewater treatment plant.  Water Research 205: 117691,
  • Caton P, Ernst H, Flack K, Smith JP, and Swope K. 2021. Waste flow, recycling, and greenhouse gas emissions: A case study of the comparative environmental impact of recycling approaches on a college campus. J. Solid Waste Technol. Manage., 47(3): 446-455(10),
  • Santella G E Gallaher SG, Smith, JP. 2021. Early melt season variability of fast ice degradation due to small Arctic riverine heat fluxes. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology. International Journal of Environmental and Ecological Engineering 15(4): 139-146.
  • O’Banion MS, Oxendine CE, Eck RJ, McGettigan SP, Wright WC, Gallaher SG, Smith JP, and Douglas TA. 2020. Detection of Seasonal Arctic Terrain Change Using a Small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) on the Alaskan North Slope. 2020 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. Waikoloa, Hawaii, July 19-24, 2020.
  • Smith JP, Brabander DJ, Panek LA. 2019. Enrichment of potentially toxic elements in the fine fraction of soils from Iraq and Kuwait. J Soils Sediments 193545–3563,
  • Ernst H, Caton P, Flack K, Smith JP, Swope K. 2017. Amping-Up Pedagogy through Interdisciplinary Instruction: A Study of the Effects of Interdisciplinary Instruction on Undergraduate Attitudes and Values Related to Energy Issues at the U.S. Naval Academy. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Education 6(1): 1-14.

  • Ackleson SG, Smith JP, Rodriguez LM, Moses WJ, Russell BJ. 2017. Autonomous coral reef survey in support of remote sensing. Frontiers in Marine Science 4:325, doi: 10.3389/fmars.2017.00325.

  • Coffin RB, Smith JP, Yoza B, Boyd TJ, Montgomery MT. 2017. Spatial variation in sediment organic carbon distribution across the Alaskan Beaufort Sea Shelf. Energies 10(9): 1265-1286 (doi:10.3390/en10091265).

  • Brocchini M, Calantoni J, Postacchini M, Sheremet A, Staples T, Smith JP, Reed AH, Braithwaite EF, Lorenzoni C, Russo A, Corvaro S, Mancinelli A, Soldini L. 2017. Comparison between the wintertime and summertime dynamics of the Misa River estuary.  Marine Geology 385: 27-40.
  • Sweet C, Watson R, Landis C, Smith JP. 2015. Temperature-dependence of lipid A acyl structure in Psychrobacter cryohalolentis and arctic isolates of Colwellia hornerae and Colwellia piezophila. Marine Drugs 13(8): 4701–4720.
  • Rose PS, Smith JP, Aller RC, Cochran JK, Swanson RL, Coffin RB. 2015.  Medically-derived I-131 as a tool for investigating the fate of wastewater nitrogen in aquatic environments. Environmental Science & Technology 49(17): 10312-10319.
  • First MR, Robbins-Wamsley SH, Riley SC, Fisher JI, Smith JP, Drake LA. 2014. Examination of additives used to augment “challenge water” used in verification testing of ballast water management systems: mass yields and biological impacts.  Management of Biological Invasions 5(4): 395–405 (doi:10.3391/mbi.2014.5.4.10).
  • Smith JP, Coffin RB. 2014. Methane flux and authigenic carbonate in shallow sediments overlying methane hydrate bearing strata in Alaminos Canyon, Gulf of Mexico. Energies 7(9): 6118-6141 (doi:10.3390/en7096118).
  • Coffin RB, Hamdan LJ, Smith JP, Rose PS, Plummer RE, Yoza B, Pecher I, Montgomery MT. 2014. The contribution of vertical methane flux to shallow sediment carbon pools across the Porangahau Ridge, New Zealand. Energies 7(8): 5332-5356 (doi:10.3390/en7085332).
  • Coffin RB, Smith JP, Plummer RE, Yoza B, Millholland LC, Montgomery MT. 2013. Spatial variation in shallow sediment methane sources and cycling on the Alaskan Beaufort Sea shelf/slope. Marine and Petroleum Geology 45: 186–197.
  • Rose PS, Smith JP, Cochran JK, Aller RC, Swanson RL. 2013. Behavior of medically-derived I-131 in the tidal Potomac River. Science of the Total Environment 452: 87-97.
  • Montgomery MT, Coffin RB, Boyd TJ, Smith JP, Plummer RE, Walker SE, Osburn CL. 2011. Mineralization rates of 2,4,6-Trinitrotolene and bacterial production amongst natural microbial assemblages in coastal sediments. Environmental Pollution 159(12): 3673-80.
  • Cantwell MG, Wilson BA, Zhu J, King JW, Wallace GT, Olsen CR, Burgess RM, Smith JP. 2010. Temporal trends of triclosan contamination in dated sediment cores from four urbanized estuaries: Evidence of preservation and accumulation. Chemosphere 78: 347-352.
  • Smith JP, Bullen TD, Brabander DJ, Olsen CR. 2009. Strontium isotope record of seasonal scale variations in sediment sources and sediment trapping in low-energy, subtidal areas of the lower Hudson River estuary. Chemical Geology 264: 375-384.
  • Smith JP, Oktay SD, Kada J, Olsen CR. 2008. Iodine-131: A potential short-lived, wastewater-specific particle tracer in an urbanized estuarine system. Environmental Science & Technology 42: 5435-5440.
  • Coffin RB, Hamdan L, Plummer RE, Smith JP, Gardner J, Wood WT. 2008. Analysis of sulfate and methane flux in methane charged sediments from the Mississippi Canyon, Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Petroleum Geology 25: 977-987.
  • Yang SL, Zhang J, Zhu J, Smith JP, Dai SB, Gao A, Li P. 2005. Impact of dams on Yangtze River sediment supply to the sea and delta intertidal wetland response. Journal of Geophysical Research (Earth Surface) 110: F03006.
  • Oktay SD, Brabander DJ, Smith JP, Kada J, Bullen TD, Olsen CR. 2003. WTC geochemical fingerprint recorded in New York Harbor sediments. EOS  Transactions of the American Geophysical Union 84(3): 21-28. 
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