Associate Professor

About

  • Find Me On:

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  • Role:

    Faculty
  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
    • Undergraduate Coordinator
  • Concentration:

    • Environmental History
    • American West, Outdoor Recreation, Tourism, Public Lands
  • Department:

    • History and Public Lands
  • Education:

    • University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    • Colorado State University
    • Western State College

Biography

About

I am an Associate Professor in the History Department at Colorado State University specializing in the modern American West and the environment, and a council member of the Public Lands History Center. A sixth-generation Coloradoan and CSU alumni (MA 1997), I have deep connections to this place and its environment.

My first book, Colorado Powder Keg: Ski Resorts and the Environmental Movement (University Press of Kansas, 2012), discussed the history of Colorado’s ski industry and the emergence of the postindustrial West, where mountains became more valuable as ski resorts than as rangelands. The book was awarded the International Ski History Association's Ullr Award and was runner up for the Western Writers of America's Spur Award in 2013.

I am currently writing my second book, tentatively titled, “The Mountains are Calling Tourists and the Unmaking of Yosemite National Park,” examining the park’s history through visitors’ own experiences, and the environmental costs of tourism.

Working with Dr. Leisl Carr Childers, I am the co-editor of the University of Nebraska series Environment and Region in the American West. Additionally, I am co-authoring with Dr. Carr Childers an administrative history of the U.S. Forest Service from 1960 to 2020.

Areas of Specialization 

Much of my research and teaching focuses on the environment and tourism, including courses on the history of outdoor recreation, world environmental history, and American environmental history.

For Graduate Students 

I work with graduate students in both our thesis and non-thesis tracks, particularly those interested in 20th Century environmental and public history. My students typically focus on public lands, water, the American West, and environmental thought - topics that align with my own research. CSU offers ample opportunities in water, public land management, and western rural history.

I expect all of my graduate students to intern during the summer between their two years of classwork in order to apply their historical skills in a professional setting. If you are interested in working with me, please drop me an email to set up a time to talk.

Regularly Taught Courses

  • History 151 - U.S. History Since 1877
  • History 355 - U.S. Environmental History
  • History 392 - Historical Methods
  • History 476 - History of America's National Parks
  • History 492 - History Capstone
  • History 512 - U.S. SINCE 1877 Reading Seminar

Publications

Publications 

Colorado Powder Keg: Ski Resorts and the Environmental Movement, Lawrence: University Press of Kansas. October 2012.

  • Winner of the International Ski History Association 2013 Ullr Award for single outstanding contribution to the historical record in book form and Western Writers of America Spur Award 2013 Finalist for Best Western Nonfiction Contemporary book.

"Returning to the Best Idea We Ever Had," in Mark Fiege, Michael Lansing, and Leisl Carr Childers, eds., Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country: Ruin, Realism, and Possibility in the American West, Bison Books, University of Nebraska Press, 2024.

"Erring on the Side of Public Use: James Watt and the National Parks," in Montana: The Magazine of Western History Vol. 23, No. 2 (Summer 2023).

"Overcrowded US national parks need a reservation system," The Conversation, 2021.

“Rothman’s West: The Education of a Western Public Intellectual,” Western Lands, Western Voices: The American West Center’s 50th Anniversary Essay Collection, University of Utah Press. 2021.

“A Gateway into the Mountains: Denver and the Rise of a Recreation Empire,” in Denver Inside and Out (Colorado History, vol. 16). Denver: History Colorado, The Colorado Historical Society. 2012.

  • Colorado Book Award Finalist. 95-104.

“Neon Metropolis: Hal Rothman’s Las Vegas in the 21st Century,” Nevada Historical Quarterly (Fall/Winter 2020), Volume 63, Number 3-4. 155, 176.

Remaking Sun Valley: Condominiums and Sprawl in the Mountains of the West,” in Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2019), 4-15.

For Public Use, Resort, and Recreation: The Struggle Over Appropriate Recreation in Yosemite,” George Wright Forum (November 2018) Volume 35, Number 2. 304-311.

The Stoneman Meadow Riots and Law Enforcement in Yosemite National Park,” in Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2017), 30-37.

Colorado’s Ski Industry,” in The Colorado Encyclopedia Edited by William Wei. Denver: Colorado Humanities. 2017.

“The National Parks,” in Encyclopedia of Populism in America, Edited by Alexandra Kindell and Elizabeth Sherburn Demers. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, 2014. 447-449.