Kris Smith, Ph.D.

Kris’s research sits at the intersection of economic geography, public finance, and rural development. She grew up in a small town in southeastern Missouri and is passionate about conducting and translating research into practical strategies to help rural communities thrive. Kris received her Master’s in Community Development and Applied Economics from the University of Vermont. She holds a Ph.D. in Earth Sciences (Geography) from Montana State University. Her doctoral research focused on the long-term impacts of oil and gas development and infrastructure investments in the Bakken shale play (Montana and North Dakota). Prior to her graduate studies, Kris worked in Vermont’s nonprofit sector with small-scale farmers, helping to strengthen the regional agriculture and food system. When not at the office, Kris can be found exploring trails and hanging out with her cute (but mischievous) dog Breezy.