Nicole Smith

Associate Professor, Mining Engineering


  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Colorado Boulder
    Certificate in Development Studies, University of Colorado Boulder
  • MA, Anthropology, Colorado State University
    M.A. Anthropology, 1999
  • BA, Anthropology, University of Minnesota, Minor in Biology

Research  and Teaching Interests

Artisanal and small-scale mining; livelihoods; energy and extractive industries; sustainable development; corporate social responsibility; engineering education; indigenous peoples; gender; Sub-Saharan Africa; Latin America

Current Research

  • Sustainable Communities & Gold Supply Chains: Integrating Responsible Engineering & Local Knowledge to Design, Implement & Evaluate Sustainable Artisanal Mining in Latin America ( Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)
  • Technology, Training, and Capacity Building in Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining in Peru. Funded by the U.S. Department of State
  • Responsible Mining in Arequipa Peru. Collaboration with the Universidad Nacional de San Agustín
  • Sustainable Development Indicators for the Mining and Oil and Gas Industries

Current Courses

  • Communities and Natural Resource Development
  • Energy, Natural Resources, and Society
  • Sustainable Development and Earth Resources

Current Positions and Affiliations

  • Assistant Professor, Mining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines
  • Faculty Fellow, The Payne Institute for Public Policy, Colorado School of Mines
  • Affiliated Scholar, Gemstones and Sustainable Development Knowledge Hub, The University of Delaware
  • Affiliated Faculty, Humanitarian Engineering Program, Colorado School of Mines
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining, University of Queensland, Sustainable Minerals Institute

Key Publications

Smith, Nicole M. 2019. “Our gold is dirty, but we want to improve”: Challenges to addressing mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Peru. Journal of Cleaner Production. 222(10): 646-654.

Smith, Nicole M., J. Lucena, J. Smith, O.J. Baena Restrepo, G. Aristizabal, A. Delgado. 2018. A Framework for Research and Education on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining in Latin America. International Journal of Georesources and Environment. 4(3): 99-104.

Smith, Nicole M., J.M. Smith, L.A. Battalora, B.A. Teschner. 2018. Industry-University Partnerships: Engineering Education and Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice. 144(3).

Smith, Jessica M. and N.M. Smith. 2018. Engineering and the Politics of Commensuration in the Mining and Petroleum Industries. Engaging Science, Technology, and Society. 4: 67-84.

Teschner, Benjamin, N.M. Smith, T. Borillo-Hutter, Z. Quaghe John, A. Wong. 2017. How efficient are they really? A minimally invasive testing method of small-scale gold miners’ gravity separation systems in the Guianas. Minerals Engineering, 105: 44-51.

Smith, Nicole M., J.M. Smith, Z. Quaghe John, B. Teschner. 2017. Promises and Perceptions in the Guianas: The Making of an Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining Reserve. Resources Policy, 51: 49-56.

Smith, Jessica M., C.J. McClelland, N.M. Smith. 2017. Engineering Students’ Views of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study from Petroleum Engineering. Science and Engineering Ethics. 23(6): 1775-1790.

Smith, Nicole M., S. Ali, C. Bofinger, and N. Collins. 2016. Human Health and Safety in Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining: An Integrated Approach to Risk Mitigation. Journal of Cleaner Production, 129: 43-52.

Smith, Nicole M. 2016. “No Cow Makes This Sort of Profit”: Capital, Success, and Maasai Gemstone Traders in Tanzania. The Extractive Industries and Society, 3(2): 442-449.

Smith, Nicole M. 2015. Gender and Livelihood Diversification: Maasai Women’s Market Activities in Northern Tanzania. The Journal of Development Studies, 15(3): 305-318.

McCabe, J. Terrence, N.M. Smith, P.W. Leslie, and A. Telligman. 2014. Livelihood Diversification through Migration among a Pastoral People: A Case Study of Maasai from Northern Tanzania. Human Organization 73(4): 389-400.


Fax: 303-273-3217
Brown Hall 212