Who Am I?
About Me: Originally from Missouri, my path through life and formal education has wound through many different institutions, states, and countries. I am an avid cyclist, gardener, vegetarian cook, chorister, letter writer, and St. Louis Cardinals fan. I have taught at Ithaca College since 2001.
About My Work: I became a college teacher for two principal reasons: to help produce liberally-educated, civically-engaged college graduates and to help build a more sustainable society. In recent years, it has become clear that the climate emergency must be at the center of a college education. If students do not graduate from Ithaca College with an understanding of the dimensions (which includes profound injustice) and challenges of this crisis we face, and with some skills and aptitudes to adapt to and (when possible) mitigate the crisis, then we have failed them. Since 2013, after a semester participating in and studying several sustainability initiatives in a rural community in Nicaragua, I have been writing about that experience, and returned to Nicaragua on a Fulbright grant in the fall of 2017 (for examples of that writing see the research link).
Spring 2021 Courses
ENVS 119--Intro to Environmental Humanities
HIST 272--History of the Future
Other Courses Taught (next semester offered in parentheses)
HIST/ENVS 270--History of American Environmental Thought (2021-22)
HIST 271--Global Environmental History (2021-22)
ENVS 360--Technology and It Discontents
HIST 583--Graduate Seminar in U.S. History
HIST 483--Seminar: Energy and U.S. History
HIST 112--U.S. History since 1865 (Summer 2021)
ICSM 105--Ithaca Seminar: Climates Changing
HIST 481--Seminar: History and Global Environmental Change
The Making of Modern America, 1865-1914
U.S. History to 1865
- The humanities and the climate emergency: a history and a mission--this includes a participatory research project funded by the Center for Faculty Excellence, "Teaching and Learning in a Climate Emergency"
- Fulbright-funded environmental history of Sabana Grande, Nicaragua (ongoing)
- An environmental history of transoceanic canal schemes in Nicaragua (ongoing)
- A book project on the history of the organized summer camp movement in American culture (ongoing)
- The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning: During the 2005-06 academic year I was a Carnegie Scholar at the Carnegie Academy for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CASTL). This work resulted in Citizenship Across the Curriculum (Indiana University Press, 2010), a volume I contributed to (see below) and co-edited with Rebecca Nowacek of Marquette University and Jeff Bernstein of Eastern Michigan University. (completed)
- Another SoTL project, "Untangling the Web of Historical Thinking," involved an examination of learning through the evolution of student-produced wikis for a problem-based history assignment. This project was partially funded by an NEH Digital Humanities Start-Up Grant. (completed)
- The environmental history of photographic chemicals
PEER REVIEWED PUBLICATIONS
- "When History Is Now: History and Sustainability in Rural Nicaragua," A Contracorriente: una revista de estudios latinoamericanos, Vol. 17 No. 2 (Winter 2020): 69-88
- "Paths to Empowerment: A Case Study of Local Sustainability from Rural Nicaragua," with Susan Kinne in Patricia Flynn, Milenko Gudić, Tay Keong Tan, eds., Global Champions of Sustainable Development (London: Routledge, 2019): 42-54.
- "Chronicles of Discontent, Tribunes for Change: The Underground Press and Columbia in the Vietnam Era,” with Seth A. Smith, Missouri Historical Review 112 (April 2018): 207-223.
- "Rehabilitating Citizenship: Lessons from Across the Curriculum," with Jeff Bernstein and Rebecca Nowacek in The Journal of Humanities in Rehabilitation, October 2017 https://scholarblogs.emory.edu/journalofhumanitiesinrehabilitation/2017/10/17/rehabilitating-citizenship-lessons-from-across-the-curriculum/
- "The Citizenship Imperative and the Role of Faculty Development," with Rebecca Nowacek and Jeff Bernstein in To Improve the Academy, Vol. 30 (San Francisco: Jossey Bass, 2011): 54-70.
- "Local Environmental History and the Journey to Ecological Citizenship," in Smith, Nowacek, Bernstein, eds., Citizenship Across the Curriculum (Indiana University Press, 2010)
- “What History‟s Good For: Service Learning and Studying the Past,” Learning and Teaching: The International Journal of Higher Education in the Social Sciences 2 (Winter 2009): 31-49.
- “‘Silence, Miss Carson!’: Science, Gender, and the Reception of Silent Spring,” in Lisa Sederis, ed., On Nature’s Terms: The Legacy and Challenge of Rachel Carson (SUNY Press, 2008).
- “The ‘Ego Ideal’ of the Summer Camper and The Nature of Summer Camp” Environmental History 11 (January 2006): 70-101.
- “'Silence, Miss Carson!'”: Science, Gender, and the Reception of Silent Spring,” Feminist Studies, 27 (Fall 2001): 733-52.
- "The Short Life of a Dark Prophesy: The Rise and Fall of the Population Bomb Crisis, 1965-1975," in Nancy Schultz, ed., Fear Itself: Enemies Real and Imagined in American Culture (West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University Press, 1999): 331-54.
- "The Value of a Tree: Public Debates of John Muir and Gifford Pinchot," The Historian 60 (Summer 1998): 277-298.
- "When History Is Now: Some Challenges and Rewards of Doing Local Environmental History in Nicaragua," ASEH Newsletter (December 2017)
- “This Land Is Our Land: The Bitter Debate over America’s Public Spaces,” The Growler (March 2017)
- "Don't Retreat. Teach Citizenship" with Rebecca Nowacek and Jeff Bernstein,The Chronicle of Higher Education, January 20, 2017
- "Historical Thinking in a Digital Age" a blog post on Process: A Blog for American History, Organization of American Historians, Oct. 15, 2015.
- "Mel West Promotes a Vehicle That Gives Dignity and Mobility to Disabled People," Christian Science Monitor, Sept. 7, 2015
- "Varieties of Historical Experience," Arts and Humanities in Higher Education, Winter 2013
- "History with a Beer Chaser," The Chronicle of Higher Education, Dec. 11, 2012
- "If Henry Could See Us Now," Inside Higher Ed, November 2, 2010