Faith Martinez Smith

Graduate Research Assistant & Teaching Assistant, University of Texas at Austin

While interning for the Utah Attorney General's Office, Faith became interested in water scarcity issues within Utah. Originally from a coal mining community her interests quickly expanded to water use in the coal mining industry. For her senior research project she analyzed the quality of waste water from an Eastern Utah coal mine and explored potential policy implications with Utah's Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. After graduating from Westminster College, she worked for the Energy Programs team at Rio Tinto's Kennecott Utah Copper. While there she focused on several projects regarding energy management and total water used for all stages of copper production.

Most recently, Faith was an intern for the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in the Mickey Leland Environmental Internship Program. While at TCEQ she worked in the Underground Injection Control Permits Section, focusing on geochemistry of groundwater in in-situ uranium mining.



Research Topics

Faith’s general research interests surround the water-energy nexus of fossil fuels, exportation of mineral resources, The Clean Power Plan, groundwater management, and international energy and environmental policy. She is specifically working on a net water assessment for coal mining in West Virginia, the impacts on surrounding aquifers, potential policy implications, and future use of water. 


A net water assessment of coal mining in Logan County, West Virginia and the impacts of surrounding aquifers, potential policy implications, and future use of water.

to come

Master of Science candidate in Energy and Earth Resources | Jackson School of Geosciences, The University of Texas at Austin, expected May 2016

Master of Global Policy Studies, concentration in Energy, Environment  & Technology Policy | Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, The University of Texas at Austin, expected in May 2016

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013


McNair Graduate Fellowship, University of Texas at Austin, 2013-2014

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