Kirk R. Smith PhD, MPH

Professor, Global Environmental Health
Director, Master's Program, Global Health and Environment
  • PhD - Biomedical and Environmental Health: Energy & Environment, University of California, Berkeley, 1977
  • MPH - Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, 1972
  • BA - Physical Sciences: Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Berkeley, 1968
  • PH 84 Environmental Disasters in Fiction- sophomore seminar (Spring)
  • PH 271D Global Burden of Disease and Comparative Risk Assessment (Spring)
  • PH 271G Climate Change for Health Scientists (Spring)
Research Interests: 
  • Relationships among environmental quality, health, resource use, development, and policy in developing countries
  • Health effects of air pollution exposures in developing countries, particularly health effects in women and children from household air pollution due to household fuels
  • Measurement of health-damaging and climate-related pollution in developing countries, particularly from household fuels
  • The development of smart, cheap, portable electronic monitors for exposure assessment in developing countries
  • Implications for policy of the potential to achieve co-benefits (health and climate) from pollution control (warming and ill-health reductions) and greenhouse gas controls
  • Development and application of risk assessment techniques to developing-country environmental risks
  • Development and application of conceptual frameworks to improve policy for and regulation of pollution, including the Environmental Risk Transition and Exposure Effectiveness (now called Intake Fraction)
  • Integration of health, climate, energy, and development issues into international collaborative scientific assessments
  • Development and deployment of small, smart, fast, and cheap IT-based environmental monitoring devices
Research Description: 

Prof. Smith’s research focuses on environmental and health issues in developing countries, particularly those related to health-damaging and climate-changing air pollution from household energy use, and includes field measurement and health-effects studies in developing countries as well as development and application of tools for international policy assessments. He also develops and deploys small, smart, and cheap microchip-based monitors for use in these settings.

Current Projects: 
  • Field measurements and/or epidemiologic investigations in Guatemala, Mexico, India, Nepal, Laos, Mongolia, and China
  • Convening Lead Author (CLA) for Health of the Fifth Assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
  • CLA for Health of Global Energy Assessment (GEA)
  • CLA for Household Air Pollution of the International Comparative Risk Assessment of the Global Burden of Disease Project (CRA/GBD)
  • Steering Committee of WHO Global Air Quality Guidelines Development
Other interests: 
  • Member, US National Academy of Sciences
  • Chair of National Academies’ Research Council Committee on Exposure Science for the 21st Century, 2012
  • International Advisory Boards, Schools of Environmental Science and Engineering and Urban and Environmental Sciences, Peking University
  • Member, Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate, NRC/NAS (2006-2012)
  • Global Comparative Risk Assessments (2004, 2012)– Ambient air pollution, household air pollution (chair), and secondhand tobacco smoke
  • Contributing Author, IPCC 4th Assessment, WGs II and III, 2007 (Extensively shared Nobel Peace Prize 2007)
  • Chair, Combustion Particle Pollution, International Scientific Group on Methods for the Safety Evaluation of Chemicals
  • Board on Environmental Studies and Toxicology, NRC/NAS (1998-2004)
Profile Updated: April 7, 2016