Student Highlights: Eva Smith


—  MEET EVA  —

Class:  Graduate Student

Major:  Geophysics

Eva Smith is a first year Ph.D. student at the University of Wyoming in the Department of Geology and Geophysics. She received her B.A. in Physics at Grinnell College in Iowa where she discovered her passion for understanding earth systems using physical properties. Working amongst drought in the western United States inspired her to apply her geophysical knowledge to near surface, hydrologic problems by pursuing a graduate degree.

This past spring, Eva finished her M.S. in Geophysics at the University of Wyoming. Outside of fieldwork and research, she enjoys competitive cross country ski racing, mountain biking, trail running, and backpacking.


For her master’s research, Eva integrated geophysical and hydrologic data to create a groundwater flow model of the Casper Aquifer. This model currently informs City of Laramie and Albany County municipal water policy. For her Ph.D., Eva plans to build on concepts from her master’s research using geophysical data to better understand groundwater systems, while adding additional complexity by working in hydrothermally active areas. This research seeks to increase understanding how hydrothermal systems recharge in the context of climate change and the global water cycle, as well as inform geothermal energy exploration and development.

A view of the WalkTEM set-up, a surface Transient Electromagnetic geophysical method. This system pulses current through a loop, measures the Earth’s response, and can tell us how electrically conductive the earth beneath the loop is. This helps us to better understand the depths and quantity of groundwater that might be stored below.


Every year, we award fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students attending the University of Wyoming or one of Wyoming’s community colleges in order to provide them with the opportunity to do “real” research. Occasionally, we feature one of these students and their research on this blog. For more information about our student fellowships, visit our College Programs page.