Biosketch for Court Smith

Court Smith is a mechanical engineer turned cultural anthropologist. He received a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York in 1961. He practiced as a test engineer for the Pratt & Whitney division of United Technologies developing the jet engine that has become the prototype for most of today's commercial aircraft. He changed career goals and earned a PhD in cultural anthropology from the University of Arizona.

A transplant to the Pacific Northwest, Smith came to Oregon State University in 1969 as a member of the newly created anthropology department. He studied the effects of building the Green Peter and Foster Dams on the community of Sweet Home. Thirty undergraduates worked on this project. At OSU, Smith's primary responsibilities are teaching. Over 30 graduate students have earned degrees with him. He enjoys the opportunities to do research on contemporary environmental, community, and equity issues.

Smith's interests focus on contemporary domestic society and options for the future. He is interested in how human well-being changes as a result of resource use and economic development. His work has been in the Pacific Northwest. He believes that variation in human values, culture, and history have a lot to offer in explaining contemporary problems.

The Pacific Northwest salmon problems are a fascinating issue that Smith has studied for three decades. He wrote SALMON FISHERS OF THE COLUMBIA, published by the Oregon State University Press. This book is a history of the peoples who influenced the growth and decline of the canned salmon industry on the lower Columbia River. Articles on resource management issues have appeared in scientific journals and general interest magazines.

Smith became an emeritus professor in 2003, and maintians interests in research and graduate education. He has an adjunct appointment in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Oregon State University. He is a member of the Environmental Sciences, Water Resources and Policy Management, and the Marine Resource Management graduate faculties.


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Updated: Sunday, 26-Aug-2007 17:59:48 PDT

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