Naturalist Staff at Spring Creek Ranch


Dawson Smith

Dawson Smith ‐ Program Director

As Naturalist Program Director at Spring Creek Ranch, Dawson Smith designs and leads science-based interprative tours in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, and on-property at Spring Creek Ranch. Dawson is a skilled naturalist, great communicator and charismatic educator who loves to share the wonders of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with his guests through an authentic experience. He grew up outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he enjoyed exploring the forests and nearby mountains of the Southern Appalachians. From a young age he was drawn to mountains, and that attraction to mountains brought him to Wyoming and the Tetons. Dawson is well versed in the ecology, geology, wildlife biology and public lands management issues of the Greater Yellowstone region through a strong background in the hard sciences. He received a B.S. in forestry from the University of the South in Sewanee, TN, and is working toward an M.S. in Natural Science Education and Environment and Natural Resources from the University of Wyoming. He has worked on numerous wildlife monitoring research projects involving endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and gopher tortoise in South Georgia, and pika in Wyoming. He moved to Wyoming eleven years ago and since then has worked as a field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School and Teton Science Schools, has attended graduate school at Teton Science Schools and the University of Wyoming, as well as guided wildlife based eco-tourism trips throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, througout the western U.S. and in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. Smith has made contributions to the area’s wildlife community as an educator, researcher, volunteer and board member. In his free time he enjoys skiing, hiking, fishing, rafting, climbing, hunting and cheering on the Atlanta Braves with his wife Adele, son Ward, daughter Bee and dog Max.