Samuel Smidt, Ph.D.

Visiting Assistant Professor of Geology & Environmental Science
On Faculty since 2016



PhD Environmental Geoscience, Michigan State University, 2014-2017

    Doctoral Specialization in Environmental Science and Policy

MS Geoscience, University of Iowa, 2012-2014

BS Geological Sciences, Environmental Science, Olivet Nazarene University, 2008-2012

About Samuel Smidt

Sam is an environmental hydrologist interested in coupled human and natural systems. His main focus is on the sustainable and economic management of land and water resources for a global society. Sam’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), United States Geological Survey (USGS), and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

At Michigan State University, Sam is a member of the MSU Hydrogeology Lab and the Environmental Science and Policy Program. At the University of Iowa, he was jointly-affiliated with the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Iowa Institute for Hydraulic Research. He is also a graduate fellow with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies.

Sam is originally from Morton, IL and grew up in a Mennonite church. He and his wife, Sarah, now live in Saint Charles and enjoy bike rides, traveling, and visiting with friends and family.

Sam is passionate about science and faith and believes that the environmental geosciences provide an intimate view to the Creator. He is dedicated to quality education and promotes social-relevancy and process-based learning in his courses.


Sam is largely focused on areas where food, water, energy, and society overlap. He is always open to working with students interested in undergraduate research. Please contact Sam if you would like to assist in his work or collaborate on a new project. He currently has research available working with water use in modern agriculture, water filtration, and the Black Hills Science Station. As an undergraduate mentor, Sam promotes scientific advancement, public engagement, evangelical outreach, and professional development.

Recent Publications

Smidt, SJ, EK Haacker, AD Kendall, J Deines, L Pei, KA Cotterman, H Li, X Liu, B Basso, DW Hyndman. Complex water management in modern agriculture: Trends in the water-energy-food nexus over the High Plains Aquifer. Science of the Total Environment. 2016.

Luehmann, MD, BG Peter, CB Connallon, RJ Schaetzl, SJ Smidt, W Liu, K Kincare, TA Walkowiak, E Thorland, MS Holler. Loamy, two-storied soils on the outwash plains of southwestern Lower Michigan: Pedoturbation of loess into the underlying sand. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 2016.

Smidt, SJ, JA Cullin, AS Ward, J Robinson, MA Zimmer, LK Lautz, TA Endreny. A comparison of hyporheic transport at a cross-vane structure and natural riffle feature. Groundwater. 2015.

Major Presentations

Smidt, SJ, EK Haacker, AD Kendall, DW Hyndman. Simulating groundwater recharge across the Southern High Plains. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Hyndman, DW, AD Kendall, SJ Smidt, JM Deines, X Liu, KA Cotterman, EK Haacker. Evaluating water sustainability across the High Plains Aquifer using remote sensing and process-based hydrology models. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Haacker, EK, SJ Smidt, AD Kendall, B Basso, DW Hyndman. Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program on Hydrologic Processes in the Southern High Plains. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Smidt, SJ, EK Haacker, JM Deines, L Pei, KA Cotterman, H Li, X Liu, AD Kendall, DW Hyndman. Modern challenges to agricultural water management: Physical, agricultural, and socioeconomic implications on the High Plains Aquifer. Geological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, MD.

Smidt, SJ, EK Haacker, AD Kendall, DW Hyndman. Water routing in the Southern High Plains Aquifer, USA. National Science Foundation PI Meeting Water Sustainability and Climate, Arlington, VA.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward. Quantifying the controls of discharge and regional hydrogeologic gradients on hyporheic exchange. American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA.

Smidt, SJ, AS Ward, JA Cullin, J Robinson, TA Endreny, LK Lautz, MA Zimmer. Do stream restoration structures create hyporheic zones that are comparable to those at natural features? Society for Freshwater Science, Jacksonville, FL.

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