Dr. Jordan Smith
Environment & Society
Jordan W. Smith is the Director of the Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism at Utah State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management with minors in both Geospatial Information Systems and Sociology from NC State University. Jordan completed both his master’s and undergraduate degrees from Utah State University. Jordan’s outreach programs assist municipalities and counties as well as state and federal land management agencies as they attempt to balance the economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs of outdoor recreation and tourism development.
Currently, Jordan is currently working with municipal, county, state, and federal stakeholders across Utah to develop the state’s Outdoor Recreation Strategic Plan. The plan will guide the actions of the Utah Outdoor Adventure Commission, which has been tasked with making recommendations for how the state legislature should allocate approximately $38 million in ongoing appropriations for outdoor recreation infrastructure development. Jordan has also helped establish the Gateway and Natural Amenity Region Initiative, a one-of-a-kind Extension program that provides data, information, and tools to help the small, ill-prepared, underfunded, and understaffed gateway communities that serve as destinations for the millions of Americans and international visitors who recreate on public lands in the broader Intermountain West. Jordan also oversees several other notable outreach programs, including both the Colorado Plateau and Basin and Range Dark Sky Cooperatives and the Red Emerald Resilience industry training program.
In addition to his outreach work, Jordan leads a research program focused on developing a better understanding of how environmental changes, driven by shifts in regional and global climatic conditions, influence the behaviors of outdoor recreationists and the management of outdoor recreation resources. His goal is to provide land managers, elected officials, private industry, and the public with a scientifically grounded understanding of how to best manage the rapidly changing nature of both outdoor recreation participation and outdoor recreation resources. Off-campus, Jordan is a competitive age group triathlete.
Current Post-docs and Students
Eunjung Yang – Post-doctoral Research Associate
Casey Trout - M.S. Environment and Society
Glendon VanSandt - M.S. Recreation Resource Management
Chase Lamborn – Ph.D. Environment and Society
Bettina Spernbauer – M.S. Recreation Resources Management
Lizzy Depew – M.S. Recreation Resources Management
Jake Richards – M.S. Recreation Resources Management
Will Rempel – M.S. Recreation Resource Management