I grew up in California and Oregon, spending a considerable portion of my youth wandering around western North America, first on vacations and later as a commercial fisher and truck driver. This helps explain my scholarly fascination with the region. I completed my degrees at the University of Oregon (1990, 1992) and the University of Washington (1996). I taught for seven years in the History Department at Iowa State University, and I have been with the History Department at Simon Fraser University since 2004.
I was trained as an Americanist and frontier historian. My primary fields of research in the last ten years have been in environmental history and the history of western North America. My publications focus on Pacific salmon fisheries and the history of modern rock climbing, but I have also written on changing ideas about the American West and the history of fisheries, fisheries science, and fisheries management on a global scale. As director of the Environmental History Data Lab, I am also pursuing research and training in the spatial analysis of historical subjects.
Persistent Callings: Seasons of Work and Identity on the Oregon Coast
Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2019
Pilgrims of the Vertical: Yosemite Rock Climbing and Modern Environmental Cultures
Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010
Making Salmon: An Environmental History of the Northwest Fishery Crisis
Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999
- "Front cover: Gallery: On Climber, Granite, Sky," Environmental History 11 (January 2006): 130-35.
- "History of Salmonid Hatchery Programs," and "The Political Implications of Hatchery Programs," for Advances in Marine Biology, ed. Ray Hilborn and Kerry Naish (submitted)
- "Mapping Adventure: Class and Gender in Yosemite Valley's Climbing Landscapes," Journal of Historical Geography 32 (January 2006): 190-219.
- "The Many Lives of the New West," Western Historical Quarterly 35 (Summer 2004): 141-65.
- "Master of the Seas? Herbert Hoover and the Western Fisheries," Oregon Historical Quarterly 105 (Spring 2004): 40-61.
- "Regional Unifier or Cultural Catspaw: The Cultural Geography of Salmon Symbolism in the Pacific Northwest," in Imagining the Big Open: Nature, Identity and Play in the New West, ed. Liza Nicholas, Elaine M. Bapis, and Thomas J. Harvey (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2003), 3-26.
- "The Historical Roots of Canadian-American Salmon Wars," in Parallel Destinies: Canadians, Americans, and the Western Border, ed. John Findlay and Ken Coates (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2002), 155-80.
- "'Well Thinking Men and Women': The Battle for the White Act and the Meaning of Conservation in the 1920s" Pacific Historical Review 71 (August 2002): 356-87.
- "Misplaced Concreteness: Prospects and Problems with Interdisciplinary Approaches to the Fisheries," in Microbehavior and Macroresults: Proceedings of the Tenth Annual Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (Corvallis: IIFET, 2000).
- "'Politics Is at the Bottom of the Whole Thing:' Spatial Relations of Power in Oregon Salmon Management," in Power and Place in the North American West, ed. Richard White and John Findlay (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 1999), 233-63.
- "Burning the Candle at Both Ends: Historicizing Overfishing in Oregon's Nineteenth-Century Salmon Fisheries," Environmental History 4 (January 1999): 54-79.
- "El Niño and Vanishing Salmon: Culture, Nature, History, and the Politics of Blame," Western Historical Quarterly 29 (Winter 1998): 437-57.
- "Making Salmon: The Political Economy of Fishery Science and the Road Not Taken," Journal of History of Biology 31 (March 1998): 33-59.
- "For the Love of It: A Short History of Commercial Fishing in Pacific City, Oregon," Pacific Northwest Quarterly 82 (January 1991): 22-32.
Areas of Graduate Supervision:
I have supervised students on topics regarding western North America, environmental history, agricultural history, First Nations and Indian history, and fisheries history.
Current Graduate Students:
I currently teach classes on North American environmental history, problems in environmental history, western North America, and United States history.
- George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book in Environmental History, American Society for Environmental History, 1999
- Canada Foundation for Innovation Grant for "Environmental History Data Lab"
- Tier II Canada Research Chair, Simon Fraser University
- John and Catherine McArthur Fellowship, National Humanities Center