Dr. Jennifer Smith is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and an Associate Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. She received her Masters Degree from the University of Pennsylvania and also her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania, studying quatenary paleoenvironments and paleoclimatology. Jen was also a Lecturer in the Department of Anthropology at Harvard University. Jen is with us today to tell us about her journey through life and science.
Jen is interested in understanding the interaction between humans and their environment as recorded in the archaeological record. This involves examining both how natural climatic and environmental changes affected the resources available to people through time, and also how changes in population and technology have affected the amount and nature of human impact on the natural environment. Most of her work uses tools from sedimentology, geomorphology and geochemistry to reconstruct the landscapes and environments occupied by prehistoric people.