Hilda J Smith

Lab Manager for Canyonlands Field Station of Southwest Biological Science Center


Hilda J. Smith began her career with the U.S. Geological Survey in 2006 and during that time has worked in multiple states, ecological environments, and on numerous projects. Hilda started out as a project lead on a National Program for Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative and migrated towards soil and plant ecology projects. Plant and soil science has given her experience with complex equipment and experimental design. Hilda quickly took on leadership tasks both in the field and in the laboratory setting. She has been recognized numerous times during her career for her ability to organize projects, supplies, and numerous conflicts to meet deadlines in support of USGS Station tasks, grant requirements, and center level goals. During her thirteen years with the USGS she has been awarded both Individual STAR Awards and Group Awards. In 2015, Hilda was awarded an Individual Safety Award in Reston.


Hilda earned her B.A. in Biology with a Naturalist Concentration from Lees McRae College at Banner Elk, NC.  She uses her experience and problem solving skills to coordinate multiple projects for different Principle Investigators, Post Doctorates, Technicians, and Collaborators within the United States, Bolivia, Costa Rica, Brazil, Germany, China, and Antarctica. Hilda is responsible for myriad safety tasks including laboratory practices, chemical storage and disposal, safety equipment, vehicle maintenance, and employee daily field check in updates.  Hilda prepares and organizes several types of sample collections, communicates with University Lab Managers to facilitate sample analysis, organizes the raw data to be further analyzed, updates sample tracking and archiving information. She inventories and restocks crucial supplies both in the office and field while working with individuals to make sure project needs are met. Hilda tracks the review, approval, and dissemination of information products subject to Fundamental Science Practices. She is a Peer Support Worker promoting awareness and providing outreach and education on topics and related policies to anti-harassment, discrimination, biases, and scientific integrity. Everyone who works with Hilda recognizes her exceptional skill in project planning and logistics and her positive, helpful, and supportive approach to science support is a huge benefit to all projects and teams of which she is a part.