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jordan fisher smith


Jordan Fisher Smith is an American author whose work in print, film, and the spoken word explores the effects of environmental change on human lives. For twenty-one years Jordan worked as a park ranger in California, Wyoming, Idaho, and Alaska. In 1990, convinced that global climate change was real, he decided to try writing for magazines as a way to extend his protection for wilderness beyond the reach of his badge. His debut interview with Al Gore for Orion appeared in the months before the 1992 presidential election. Smith’s work has since appeared in Men’s Journal, Backpacker, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and other periodicals. He is the author of the 2005 Houghton Mifflin book, Nature Noir and narrates and appears as himself in the 2008 documentary film on Lyme disease, “Under Our Skin.” He is now working on a book about the future of American wilderness to be published by Harmony Books, a division of Random House. His radio commentaries have appeared on National Public Radio affiliate stations.


Jordan Fisher Smith supports organizations involved in research on and prevention of Lyme disease, a serious infection carried by ticks and linked to changes in our environment, which is estimated to affect 200,000 new Americans each year. In 2005, with writer Amy Tan and the Lyme Disease Association, he was co-organizer of Literati with Lyme a two-day fundraiser in New York City to benefit the Association’s fund for the Columbia University Lyme and Tick Borne Diseases Research Center. Jordan is a 2008 recipient of the Courage Award from the Turn the Corner Foundation >>
jordan fisher smith

NATURE NOIR, Nonfiction Book, 2005

Jordan Fisher Smith’s book Nature Noir was a Booksense bestseller, Audubon Editor’s Choice, and a San Francisco Chronicle Best Books of 2005 selection. Nature Noir follows the adventures of a squad of park rangers in a Sierra Nevada river canyon condemned to be inundated by a dam.

"This is a walk in the woods like Thoreau never imagined,” says Mike Davis, bestselling author of Ecology of Fear, “I can't make up my mind whether Jordan Fisher Smith is John Muir at the crime scene or Elmore Leonard with a backpack. In any event, this astonishing book, with its brilliant interweaving of murder, irony and natural history, invents a new genre."

Visit the Nature Noir web site >>
Purchase Nature Noir >>
jordan fisher smith

UNDER OUR SKIN, Documentary Film, 2008

Jordan Fisher Smith narrates and appears as himself in the documentary film “Under Our Skin,” from Open Eye Pictures. “Under Our Skin” follows a group of Lyme disease patients as they seek a cure for this crippling infection, three heroic doctors who risk their careers to save them, and a small but influential group of medical experts whose controversial position on Lyme disease threatens both patients and doctors.

“Not since Michael Moore has a documentary caused such a stir across America," says film critic Susan Wertheim of FOX News. Read the review >>

Watch Clips of Under Our Skin >>
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LISTEN jordan fisher smith listen

NPR’s Morning Edition with Renee Montaine
Jordan Fisher Smith, author of Nature Noir, discusses the relationship between humans and the wilderness. Smith worked as a park ranger in a California state park that inspired the book.
Link to the show >>

NPR’s Living on Earth
Host Steve Curwood talks with Jordan Fisher Smith about his book, Nature Noir: A Park Ranger's Patrol in the Sierra.
Link to the show >>

The California Report
Jordan Fisher Smith describes his experience of 14 years patrolling Sierra Nevada canyons along the American River west of Lake Tahoe.
Link to the show >>

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