Associate Professor Department of History and Environmental and Sustainability Studies Program Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, Michigan
Ph.D. 2000, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Forest and Wildlife Ecology) . Co-advisors: Raymond Guries (Forestry) and William Cronon (History)
M.S. 1994, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies). Advisor: James Delehanty (Geography)
B.S. 1986, Miami University (Political Science--Public Administration)
As an environmental historian, I study and teach about the ways in which humans have shaped and been shaped by the natural world. I collaborate with colleagues from the sciences to the fine arts to analyze our changing connections to particular landscapes. I also work with local communities, so that my research might provide a useable history in their quest for sustainable places. My earliest research was in West Africa. Later I spent many years in the spectacular Kickapoo Valley of western Wisconsin's Driftless Area. Today I am part of a community of scholars, policy-makers, writers, artists, and activists focused on the enormous but vulnerable Great Lakes-St. Lawrence system. In Kalamazoo, I am on the board of directors of Tillers International, whose mission promotes sustainable rural development. Whenever possible, I am outside photographing the natural world, vernacular landscapes, and any of my family, friends, colleagues, and students willing to place themselves within the frame.
"Landscapes Below: Bathymetry, Diving, and Underwater Photography in Great Lakes Restoration," American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting. March 18-22, 2015, Washington, DC.
"Photography as Historical Inquiry (Examples from the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Basin)," American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting. April 3-6, 2013, Toronto, Ontario.
“Negotiating the Great Lakes: The International Joint Commission and the Changing Ecology of Environmental Law,” American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting. March 10-14, 2010, Portland, Oregon.
The Paradox of Abundance: Essays on the Great Lakes, a mosaic of ecological, cultural, and policy histories of the Great Lakes region.