Jared Orsi is professor of history at Colorado State University, specializing in environmental and borderlands history. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, he holds an M.A. from Northwestern University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At CSU he teaches U.S. and Mexican history and serves as director of CSU's Public Lands History Center. In 2003 he won the College of Liberal Arts s Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2012 the CSU Alumni Association's Best Teacher Award. In 2017, he won the college's Ann Gill Excellence in Teaching award and in 2019 was named one of the college's two Professor Laureates.  Jared's favorite class is a summer field course in which he and the students spend a week following Zebulon Pike's 1806-1807 route across Colorado. He is the author of the prize-winning Hazardous Metropolis: Flooding and Urban Ecology in Los Angeles (University of California Press 2004) and Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike (Oxford 2014;, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. In 2008-2009 he was the Ray Allen Billington Distinguished Visiting Professor at Occidental College and the Huntington Library. Currently he is writing an environmental history of Quitobaquito Springs at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. National Park enthusiasts, check out the website he and his capstone seminar students created Jared is grateful for many blessings: for his partner Becky, daughter Renata, and son Carlos, for camping, hiking, and snowshoeing with family and friends in the Colorado mountains, for Kirk Gibson's 1988 homerun, for American freedom and democracy, for good country music, for great colleagues, and for the opportunity to teach at Colorado State University. He worships at Mary of Magdala Ecumenical Catholic Community. He wishes you good health and good cheer during these difficult pandemic times.


  • Hist 365 Western History Field Study


    Welcome to History 365. This course is a special summer version of History 365 American West Field Study, which will investigate the 1806-1807 western expedition of Zebulon Pike. There are two broad objectives of the course: first, to learn about Pike, his expedition, and his world, and, second, to consider the process of historical memory and examine what we can learn about ourselves by studying what we remember about Pike. We will spend three weeks in reading and discussion to master the history of Pike and his world through primary documents. Topics of special focus will include nation formation in the early republic, imperial rivalries in North America, Indians of the Plains and Southwest, and the environmental history of the expedition. During the fourth week of the course we will take a one-week field trip to follow Pike’s route through Colorado. On that trip, we will visit sites relevant to Pike’s journey and the memory of it, and we will have opportunity to meet with experts on the human and natural history of the route and expedition.

  • Hist 492 Senior Capstone Seminar

  • Hist U.S. Mexico Borderlands; Hist 355 U.S. Environmental History; U.S. 363 Colorado; Hist 412 Mexico