About Me

I began my academic career by attempting to get to know a river.  The core of my Master’s thesis research at the University of Denver consisted of a 1400 mile solo kayak trip from the headwaters of the Snake River in Wyoming to the mouth of the Columbia, outside of Astoria, Oregon.  Along the way I talked with people about how they understood, valued, represented, and used the river.  The often acrimonious debate surrounding four large dams on the Lower Snake River provided the context for many of these discussions.  Through my own experience on the river, historical research, and local conversations, I sought to understand different viewpoints and consider ways that people with divergent understandings of the river might find common ground for discussion and policy making.

This project led to a deeper commitment to the  study of American environmental history and the historical geographies of natural resources. My research seeks to understand the ways we come to know, value, and manage the natural landscapes that surround us, the conflicts associated with that management, and its effects on ecosystems and our communities.  I am currently assistant professor of Environmental  Studies at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT. I completed my dissertation, Recreation Capital: Amenity Development, Natural Resources, and the Nature of Play in Central Oregon, in October, 2011 under the direction of Bob Wilson.

Educational Background

2005- Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
Doctoral Candidate, Department of Geography
Dissertation: Recreation Capital: Amenity Development, Resource Management, and the Nature of Play in Bend, Oregon
Dissertation Advisor: Robert M. Wilson
Dissertation Committee: Tom Perreault, Don Mitchell, John Mercer, Susan Wadley
Research and Teaching Interests: Environmental History, Critical Resource Geography, Political Ecology, Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, History of Geography
2003 University of Denver, Denver, Colorado
Masters of Liberal Studies
Thesis: An Unsteady Noise: A Kayak Trip Down the Snake and Columbia Rivers
Thesis Advisor: Michael Henry
1998 Carleton College, Northfield, Minnesota
Bachelor of Arts, Cum Laude: English/Media Studies

Professional Affiliations:

The Association of American Geographers

Specialty Groups:

  • Cultural and Political Ecology
  • Cultural Geography
  • Historical Geography
  • History of Geography
  • Recreation, Tourism, and Sport
  • Urban Geography

Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences

The American Studies Association

American Society for Environmental History