Office: (269) 387-2778
3928 Wood Hall
Department of History
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334
I am an associate professor at Western Michigan University in the Department of History and the Environmental Studies Program. 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 in order to foster a shared understanding of our changing connections to particular landscapes. I also work with local communities, so that my research might provide a useable history in their larger quest for sustainable places. My earliest research was in West Africa, but today I am part of a growing community of scholars, writers, policy-makers, artists, and activists concerned with the past, present, and future of the Great Lakes basin. In Kalamazoo, I am on the board of directors of Tillers International, whose mission promotes sustainable rural development.
A Thousand Pieces of Paradise: Landscape and Property in the Kickapoo Valley (Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2005)
"Re-centering North American Environmental History," with James Feldman, Environmental History 12:3 (2007)
"Walking Contested Land: Doing Environmental History in West Africa and the U.S.," Environmental History 10:3 (2005), pp. 510-531
Select Talks and Presentations
"The Peace Corps, Africa, and Academic Scholarship: Enduring Connections in Place and Time," March 25, 2011, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Keynote for “Making it Home in the Kickapoo Valley: Wisconsin Cultural Tour for K-12 Teachers,” August 2, 2010, La Farge, Wisconsin.
“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.
"Paradigms and Paradoxes of Abundance: The St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes Basin," First World Congress of Environmental HIstory, August 4-8, 2009, Copenhagen Denmark.