Joseph E. Taylor III



Ph.D., Department of History, University of Washington, 1996

M.A., Department of History, University of Oregon, 1992

B.S. with Honors, Department of History, University of Oregon, 1990

Fields of specialization and experience:  history of the North American West, environmental history, United States 19th and 20th century social and cultural history, American colonial, history of science, colonial Latin America.


Associate Professor & Canada Research Chair in History and Geography, Simon Fraser University, 2004-

Associate Professor, Department of History, Iowa State University, 2002-2003

Assistant Professor, Department of History, Iowa State University, 1996-2002 

Awards & Honors

2010 National Outdoor Book Award in History and Biography for Pilgrims of the Vertical

Honorable Mention, Joel Palmer Award, Oregon Historical Society, 2004.

Canada Foundation for Innovation Grant for “Environmental History Data Lab,” 2003-2006

Tier II Canada Research Chair, Simon Fraser University, 2004

John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellow in Environmental Studies, National Humanities Center, Research Triangle, North Carolina, 2002-2003

Sabbaticals in the Parks Program, Yosemite National Park, Winter-Spring 2002

National Science Foundation Scholars Award for “‘Pilgrims of the Vertical:’  Climbing Technology, Consumerism, and Nature,” 2001-2002

2000 Library Journal Ten Best Books in Technology and Science for Making Salmon:  An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis

2000 Theodore C. Blegan Award:  Forest History Society’s award for best article in forest and conservation history in 1999 for “El Niño and Vanishing Salmon”

2000 George Perkins Marsh Prize:  American Society for Environmental History’s prize for best book prize in 1999 for Making Salmon:  An Environmental History of the Northwest Fisheries Crisis

1999 Oscar O. Winther Prize:  Western History Association’s prize for best article in the Western Historical Quarterly in 1998 for “El Niño and Vanishing Salmon”


Current Research Projects


Pilgrims of the Vertical:  Rock Climbing and Modern Environmental Culture

Food Chains and Weak Links:  An Environmental History of the Northeast Pacific Fisheries

Saving the Range:  Edward Thomas Taylor and the Taylor Grazing Act




Making Salmon:  An Environmental History of the Northwest Fishery Crisis (Seattle:  University of Washington Press, 1999).

   Refereed Articles and Essays

“Boundary Terminology,” Environmental History 13 (July 2008): 454-81.

“Historical Overview of Hatchery Activities,” in “An Evaluation of the Effects of Conservation and Fishery Enhancement Hatcheries on Wild Populations of Salmon,” ed. Naish, Kerry A., Joseph E. Taylor III, Phillip S. Levin, Thomas P. Quinn, James R. Winton, Daniel Huppert, and Ray Hilborn. Advances in Marine Biology 53 (2007):  71-78.

“Political Dynamics of Hatchery Programmes,” in “An Evaluation of the Effects of Conservation and Fishery Enhancement Hatcheries on Wild Populations of Salmon,” ed. Naish, Kerry A., Joseph E. Taylor III, Phillip S. Levin, Thomas P. Quinn, James R. Winton, Daniel Huppert, and Ray Hilborn. Advances in Marine Biology 53 (2007):  78-84.

“The Nature of Salmon Canneries,” in Canneries on the Columbia:  A New Western History, Oregon Historical Society’s Oregon History Project (January 2007),

“Climber, Granite, Sky,” Environmental History 11 (January 2006), 130-35.

“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.

   Non-refereed Articles/Encyclopedia Entries

Associate Editor, Oxford Encyclopedia of American Environmental History, 4 vols., ed. Kathleen Brosnan (Facts on File, forthcoming).

“Keynote Address:  Claiming Nature in the North American West.” in Convergence and Divergence in North America:  Canada and the United States.  Eds. Froschauer, Karl, Nadine Fabbi, and Susan Pell.  Burnaby:  Centre for Canadian Studies, Simon Fraser University Document Solutions, 2006:  35-38.

“Caste from the Past,” with Matthew Klingle, Grist Magazine, 8 March 2006,; and “Authors Respond”, Grist Magazine, 15 March 2006,

“Columbia River,” "Salmon," and "Sturgeon" in The Encyclopedia of World Environmental History, 3 vols. (Boston:  Berkshire Publishing Group and Routledge Press, 2004).

“Fisheries,” in The Oxford Companion to United States History, ed. Paul Boyer (New York:  Oxford University Press, 2001), 268.

“Fisheries:  The West,” in The Reader’s Encyclopedia of the American West, ed. Howard Lamar (New York:  Harper Collins, 1998), 370-73.

   Book Reviews

I have written book reviews, movie reviews, and review essays for Agricultural History, American Historical Review, Annals of Iowa, BC Studies, Diplomatic History, Environmental History, History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, Journal of American History, Journal of the History of Biology, Journal of the West, Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, New Mexico Historical Review, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Pacific Historical Review, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, The Public Historian, and Western Historical Quarterly

Recent Presentations

“The Social Contexts of Play,” Canadian Historical Association annual meeting, Vancouver, June 2008.

“Thinking Like a Historian about Nature,” Resource & Environmental Management Fisheries Research Group, Simon Fraser University, 27 May 2008.

“Forward to the Past:  Thinking Historically about Managing the Salmon Fisheries,” Speaking for the Salmon:  A Think Tank on Transferable Shares in the Salmon Fishery, Centre for Coastal Studies, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, 23 May 2008.

“Backyard Conversations:  The Problems and Possibilities of Borderlands Discourse,” Bridging Borders in North American History, Dallas, 24 March 2007.

“Transcending Borders:  Pacific Salmon and Interdisciplinary Approaches to Fisheries Conservation,” Stanford University, 1-2 February 2007.

“Schrödinger's Salmon:  The Spatial and Temporal Challenges of Sustainability,” Sustainable Idaho Initiative, University of Idaho, 11 November 2006.

“Nature and the Border:  Canadians, Americans, and Environmental Culture in the North American West,” University of Idaho, 10 November 2006.

“Peeking into the Black Box:  The Science and Politics of Mapping Pacific Salmon Migratory Patterns,” History of Science Society, Society for Social Studies of Science, and the Philosophy of Science Association, Vancouver, British Columbia, November 2006.

“Pilgrims of the Vertical:  Climbing and Nature in the Western Mountains,” Colorado Historical Society, 17 October 2006.

Bioregion, Borderlands, Transboundary, and Transnational along the 49th Parallel,” Western History Association, St. Louis, Missouri, October 2006.

“Boundary Terminology,” American Society for Environmental History, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 31 March 2006.

“Five Dimensional Stories about Nature,” Presidential Lecture, Simon Fraser University, 10 November 2005.

“Limning Uncertainty:  Reimagining Fisheries Discourse,” Ecosystem Workshop, Canadian Institute for Advanced Studies, Victoria, BC, 14 December 2004.

“Having Our Salmon:  Academia, Advocacy, and Consumption” and “A Short History of a Long Problem:  Indians, Conservation, and Salmon,” Bowdoin College, 30 April 2004.


I have been a member of Western Historical Association and Organization of American Historians since 1992, American Society for Environmental History since 1995, History of Science Society from 1995 to 1996, and American Historical Association since 2001.  I have reviewed manuscripts and proposals for BC Studies, Blackwell Publishers, Cambridge University Press, Environmental History, Isis, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Geographic Society, National Park Service, National Science Foundation, Oregon Historical Quarterly, Oxford University Press, Pacific Historical Review, Pacific Northwest Quarterly, University of California Press, University of Washington Press, University Press of Kansas, and Urban Historical Review/Revue D’Historie Urbaine.  I have also served on the Walter Rundell Award Committee for the Western History Association from 2002 to 2004, chairing the committee in 2004, and as program chair of the 2005 meeting of the American Society for Environmental History. I currently serve as chair of the Publications Committee of the ASEH, and on the Editorial Board of Pacific Historical Review.