Skip to content
Jerry Smith

Jerry Smith Assistant Professor of Geography


Jerry Smith teaches a variety of GIS and Geography courses in the Center for Sustainability Studies. Jerry has a range of previous experience prior to his time at Bemidji State ranging from guiding kayak and mountain bike tours, freelance GIS work, Outdoor Program Director, to teaching and coaching at a local high school. His research interests are in GIS applications, outdoor recreation, and sustainability. Jerry strives to bring his passion into the classroom in courses such as Spatial Analysis, Environmental Data Analysis, Intro to GIS, Cartography, Intermediate GIS, Human Geography, Physical geography, and others. He has greatly enjoyed working with undergraduate and graduate students alike as well as his departmental faculty and the Center for Sustainability Studies.

Jerry, originally from west-central Wisconsin, started his academic journey at Bemidji State with a Bachelor of Science in Geography with a GIS emphasis. At the completion of his undergraduate degree, he began his MS in Environmental Studies at Bemidji State. During this time, he worked with Dr. Pat Welle on his research “Economic Survey to Determine the Effect of the 2000 Rule Curves on Resorts on Rainy Lake and Namakan Reservoir.” In finishing his MS, Jerry completed the project “GIS Modeling for Sustainable Mountain Bike Trail Development” bringing his love for outdoor recreation access and GIS together. Outside of teaching Jerry enjoys cycling of all types, hiking, snow kiting, sailing, canoeing, kayaking, beekeeping, gardening and leatherworking.


BS Geography Bemidji State University

MS Environmental Studies Bemidji State University


  • Human Geography
  • Cartography
  • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • Environmental Data Analysis
  • Spatial Analysis

Research Interests

GIS Modeling for Sustainable Mountain Bike Trail Development: Using GIS modeling to remotely call out the most sustainable route through an area from point A to point B. Guidelines were derived from the International Mountain Bicycling Association Trail Solutions, and Minnesota DNR’s Trail planning, Design, and Development guidelines.

Recent Work

Smith, J.. (2020). GIS Modeling for Sustainable Mountain Bike Trail Development. Bemidji State University

Open Field

When away from BSU, Jerry likes to mountain bike, work with his honey bees, and canoe with his four legged friend.