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I am a United States historian who specializes in the regional study of public lands in the American West using environmental history and various categories of public history. In my scholarship and public projects, I seek to better understand the relationship between public lands and the people that use and/or manage them. Sometimes considered wastelands, sometimes wilderness, public lands serve a unique role in the national landscape. Their use and management – whether through grazing cattle, weapons testing, wildlife management, outdoor recreation, and wild horse preservation – reflects Americans’ attitudes about nature and the environment, and embodies their expectations of the federal government.

BACKGROUND

Raised at the western edge of the Mojave Desert, I have resided in many places throughout the American West, including at the feet of the Sierra Nevada, along the Wasatch Front and Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, on the Colorado Plateau, in the Great Basin, and now in the Midwest’s tall grass prairie region. I have also lived in Germany along the Main River and have even spent a little time on the Cape Peninsula in South Africa. For me, an understanding of place through experience is fundamental to our understanding of the past.

EDUCATION

2011 PhD in History from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Nevada
2005 MA in History from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California
1998 Secondary School Teaching Credential from Chapman University, Orange, California
1993 BA in History from Pepperdine University, Malibu, California

PROFESSIONAL APPOINTMENT

I am currently an Assistant Professor in the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of History where I coordinate the public history program, oversee internships, and teach classes in Public History and on the American West.