My goals as an environmental historian are to understand the ways that human and ecological communities have influenced each other's histories. While interested in theory, I want my work to be useful to communities trying to improve the health of their watersheds and homes.
My first book, Forest Dreams, Forest Nightmares (University of Washington Press, 1995) examined the cause of the forest health crisis in the Inland West. My second book, Where Land and Water Meet, (University of Washington Press, 2003) explored watershed change in the arid west. My third book, Toxic Bodies (Yale, 2010) asks how and why endocrine disrupting chemicals have saturated our bodies and our environments. And my recently-completed book, Sustaining Lake Superior, focuses on the interconnected histories of watershed health, human health, and forest health--all in the context of climate change.
In July 2018, I was appointed Distinguished Professor of Environmental History at Michigan Technological University. After 18 years at UW-Madison, in 2013 I moved to Michigan Technological University to join the new Great Lakes Research Center and the Department of Social Sciences. During 2012-2013, I was the King Carl XVI Gustaf Professor of Environmental Science, in residence in the Department of Historical, Philosophical and Religious studies at Umeå University. Past-president of the American Society for Environmental History, from 2010-2013 I served as editor of the flagship journal in the field, Environmental History.
I have been the recipient of fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, Marshall Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the National Humanities Center, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Council of Learned Societies, and I have raised over $1,000,000 in grants. My first book won the 1997 Forest History Society Prize for best book in forest and conservation history, and a recent article won the 2009 Leopold-Hidy Prize for best article in Environmental History. I am the author of 4 books, more than 50 peer-reviewed articles or chapters, and dozens of journalistic essays, white papers, and policy briefs.
Distinguished Professor of Environmental History
Department of Social Sciences
AOB 209, 1400 Townsend Dr,
Michigan Technological University