Joseph P. Smith, Ph.D.

Joseph P. Smith, Ph.D. photo

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: Assistant 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, and storm water influences in urbanized watershed-estuarine-coastal systems
  2. Biogeochemical cycles in methane hydrate bearing sediments and permafrost
  3. Biological tissues as environmental dosimeters
  4. Mineralogy, geochemistry, and bacterial species diversity in soils and dust in arid regions
  5. Polar science and technology
  6. Climate change and the perturbed carbon cycle.


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

  • Rose, P. S., Smith, J. P., Aller, R. C., Cochran, J. K., Swanson, R. L., & Coffin, R. B. (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.
  • Smith, J. P., & Coffin, R. B. (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, R. B., Smith, J. P., Plummer, R. E., Yoza, B., Larsen, R. K., Millholland, L. C., & Montgomery, M. T. (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, P. S., Smith, J. P., Cochran, J. K., Aller, R. C., & Swanson, R. L. (2013). Behavior of medically-derived I-131 I in the tidal Potomac River. Science of the Total Environment, 452, 87-97. 
  • Montgomery, M. T., Coffin, R. B., Boyd, T. J., Smith, J. P., Walker, S. E., & Osburn, C. L. (2011). 2, 4, 6-Trinitrotoluene mineralization and bacterial production rates of natural microbial assemblages from coastal sediments. Environmental Pollution, 159(12), 3673-3680.   
  • Cantwell, M. G., Wilson, B. A., Zhu, J., Wallace, G. T., King, J. W., Olsen, C. R., Burgess, M., & Smith, J. P. (2010). Temporal trends of triclosan contamination in dated sediment cores from four urbanized estuaries: evidence of preservation and accumulation. Chemosphere, 78(4), 347-352. 
  • Smith, J. P., Bullen, T. D., Brabander, D. J., & Olsen, C. R. (2009). Strontium isotope record of seasonal scale variations in sediment sources and accumulation in low-energy, subtidal areas of the lower Hudson River estuary. Chemical Geology, 264(1), 375-384. 
  • Coffin, R., Hamdan, L., Plummer, R., Smith, J. P., Gardner, J., Hagen, R., & Wood, W. (2008). Analysis of methane and sulfate flux in methane-charged sediments from the Mississippi Canyon, Gulf of Mexico. Marine and Petroleum Geology, 25(9), 977-987. 
  • Smith, J. P., Oktay, S. D., Kada, J., & Olsen, C. R. (2008). Iodine-131: a potential short-lived, wastewater-specific particle tracer in an urbanized estuarine system. Environmental Science & Technology, 42(15), 5435-5440. 
  • Yang, S. L., Zhang, J., Zhu, J., Smith, J. P., Dai, S. B., 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(F3). 
  • Oktay, S. D., Brabander, D. J., Smith, J. P., Kada, J., Bullen, T., & Olsen, C. R. (2003). WTC geochemical fingerprint recorded in New York Harbor sediments. EOS, 84(3), 21-28.
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