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College of Humanities & Sciences

Chemistry & Biochemistry

nonactin molecule


Garon                                              Smith

Garon Smith

Professor of Chemistry

Phone: 406-243-5606
Office: Chem 002

Personal Summary

Garon Smith came to UM in 1991 from State University of New York College at Fredonia. He received his Ph.D. degree in 1983 from the Colorado School of Mines and taught at Colorado College before moving to Fredonia. Garon Smith is an analytical/environmental chemist with broad interests in air and water characterization. He teaches freshman chemistry and undergraduate and graduate courses in analytical and environmental chemistry.

Research Interests

The application of analytical/physical chemistry to air and water quality issues is the focus of my group's research activities. Out approach is to: (1) identify the source and extent of contamination; (2) determine how specific contaminants are transported through an ecosytem or airshed; and (3) ascertain their ultimate environmental fate. Field samples are analyzed through a variety of spectroscopic and chromatographic techniques. Finally, we use artificial neural networks to help us match contaminant samples with potential sources. Currently funded research includes:

1) Honey bees as biomonitors for compounds used or produced by the military. We have developed highly instrumented bee hives to monitor bee activity and collect for analysis samples of hive air, honey, bees wax and whole bees (see web site).

2) Identification and reduction of air contaminants in urban mountain valleys. We are using thermal desorption/gas chromatography/mass spectrometry to identify various forms of air contaminants. One objective is to identify and reduce organosulfur compounds responsible for odors from kraft pulp mills.

3) 3-D fluorescence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon mixtures. We have developed spectroscopic techniques for tracking underground movement of diesel plumes and remediation of creosote-contaminated soils.

Because I am active on quasi-legislative/quasi-judicial environmental boards, my students often work at the science/policy interface. We routinely interact with environmental directors from industry and regulatory officials at the local, state and federal level.

Specialized Skills

International Experience

Selected Publications

T.J. Ward and G.C. Smith, 2005, Vapor-Phase and PM2.5 Concentrations of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons Measured During the Winter Months in a Northern Rocky Mountain Urban Airshed, J Air Waste Mgmt Assoc, (in press).

T.J. Ward and G.C. Smith, 2005, The 2000/2001 Missoula Valley PM2.5 Chemical Mass Balance Study, Including the 2000 Wildfire Season - Seasonal Source Apportionment, Atmos. Environ., 39, 709-717.

T.J. Ward, R.F. Hamilton, Jr. and G.C. Smith, 2004, The Missoula, Montana PM2.5 Speciation Study - Seasonal Average Concentrations, Atmos. Environ., 38, 6371-6379.

G.C. Smith, 2004, Building Civic Engagement Capacity: An Introductory Chemistry Example, Liberal Education, 90(3), 40-45.

T.J. Ward and G.C. Smith, 2004, High Volume PUF vs. Low Volume PUF Sampling Comparison for Collecting Gas Plus Particulate Polycylic Aromatic Hydrocarbons, Aerosol Sci. and Tech., 38, 972-979.

For a complete list of publications, please view Smith Publications.

University of Montana

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry

Professor Chris Palmer, Chair

Phone: 406.243.4022 | Fax: 406.243.4227

32 Campus Drive | Missoula, MT 59812