Publications

The list of selected staff publications may be searched by keyword or author and can be sorted by year.

“Me, Myself and Infrastructure: Private Lives and Public Works in America, at the National Building Museum, Washington, D. C.” Technology and Culture 44 (October 2003): 778–85.

An evaluation of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ sesquicentennial exhibition, which explores the profound—and frequently unappreciated—contributions of public works to the functioning of modern society.

“Beach Preservation Washout.” Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 13 (Fall 1998): 107–108.

A review essay of Orrin H. Pilkey and Katherine L. Dixon’s critique of coastal engineering and beach restoration, The Corps and the Shore.

"Bibliography of Historical Studies Covering Federal Research Agencies since 1945." In Bibliography of Studies and Reports on Science Policy and Related Topics, 1945–1985, Background Report No. 2—Part A, 217-21, prepared for the Task Force on Science Policy of the House Committee on Science and Technology. 99th Cong., 2d sess., 1986.

A compilation of works addressing the history of U.S. federal agency efforts to advance scientific research since World War II.

“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
"Regulating Wetlands in the 1970s: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Organizations." Journal of Forest History 27 (April 1983): 60–75.

A history of how the federal government came to regulate the destruction of wetlands in the United States and the unsuccessful efforts of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to restrict the new police responsibilities entrusted to it. Recipient of the Forest History Society’s 1984 Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Award.

“Placing Environmental History on Display.” Environmental History 7 (October 2002): 566–88.

Discusses how and why environmental history should be integrated into exhibitions developed at both cultural and scientific institutions. The essay is a revised version of the author’s presidential address before the American Society for Environmental History.

"The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Evolution of Cultural Resources Management." The Public Historian 14 (Spring 1992): 7–30.

Traces the changes in the documentation and preservation of cultural heritage sites as influenced by the cultural resources management strategies employed during the construction of the nation’s largest water project in the 1970s and 1980s. Recipient of the National Council on Public History’s 1993 G. Wesley Johnson Prize.

"Professionalism vs. Special Interest: The Debate over Engineering Education in Nineteenth Century America." Potomac Review 26–27 (1984–1985): 72–94.

A study of how engineering changed from a craft-oriented occupation to a professional occupation in the United States during the nineteenth century.

"A Sense of Place: Donald Worster’s Dust Bowl." Technology and Culture 48 (April 2007): 377–85.
"Russell G. Cone." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 7, 135–36. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981.

A biographical sketch of the civil engineer involved in the design and construction of several major suspension bridges in the United States, including San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.

“The Green House.” Forum for Applied Research and Public Policy 15 (Fall 2000): 113–14.

A review essay of Dennis L. Soden’s edited book, The Environmental Presidency, which deals with the changing attitudes and actions toward natural resources among America’s chief executives.

Technology and Choice: Readings from Technology and Culture with Marcel C. LaFollette, eds. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991.

A collection of essays providing a spectrum of historical perspectives on how, when, or why individuals, societies, governments, and industries have made choices regarding the use of technologies. The essays offer historical accounts, some recent and some from several centuries ago, of the invention, dissemination, adoption, or rejection of technologies that range in complexity from electrical plugs to nuclear power plants.

"United States Army Corps of Engineers." In Government Agencies, Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions, edited by Donald R. Whitnah, 513–16. Westport: Greenwood Press, 1983.

A brief history of the world’s largest engineering organization and how its missions have evolved in accord with shifting public values.

“George Washington Goethals.” In American National Biography, vol. 9, 163–65. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

A biographical sketch of the civil engineer best known for his work on the Panama Canal.

"John Lucian Savage." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 8, 572–73. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1988.

A biographical sketch of the prominent U.S. Bureau of Reclamation engineer who designed scores of high dams in the American West, including the record-setting Hoover Dam on the Colorado River.

Nelson P. Lewis and the City Efficient: The Municipal Engineer in City Planning during the Progressive Era. Essays in Public Works History, no. 11. Chicago: Public Works Historical Society, 1981.

A biography of the New York City engineer who championed the contributions of engineers to city planning during the first two decades of the twentieth century.

Twenty Years of Science in the Public Interest: A History of the Congressional Science and Engineering Fellowship Program. Washington: American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1994.

Examines the combined efforts of the nation’s leading scientific and engineering societies to provide technically trained staff to the U.S. Congress and its support agencies.

"Eugene J. Houdry." In Dictionary of American Biography, supplement 7, 367–69. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1981.

A biographical sketch of the chemical engineer renowned for his contributions to the refining of gasoline and aviation
fuels.

“At the Intersection of Histories: Technology and the Environment” with Joel A. Tarr. Technology and Culture 39 (October 1998): 601–640.

A survey of publishing trends in the history of technology and environmental history that focuses on the growing number of works that have addressed the interplay of technology and the environment. It also suggests a range of opportunities for future research.

"Technology, Pollution, and the Environment." with Joel A. Tarr, eds. A special theme issue of Environmental History Review 18 (Spring 1994).

A collection of essays that explore the reciprocal influences of technology and the environment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

"Industrial Technology and the American West: The Transformation of Hard Rock Mining." Midwest Review 3 (Spring 1981), 30–33.

A review essay of Mark Wyman’s book, Hard Rock Epic: Western Miners and the Industrial Revolution, 1860–1910.

"Technology and the Environment: The Historians' Challenge" with Joel A. Tarr. Environmental History Review 18 (Spring 1994): 1–7.

Reflections on the research opportunities that exist for those historians willing to analyze the interconnections between technology and the natural environment.

"M.M. O'Shaughnessy." APWA Reporter 46 (March 1979), 4–5. (Reprinted in People Making Public Works History: A Century of Progress, 1894–1994, Robert D. Bugher, 261-62. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.)

A biographical sketch of the San Francisco engineer best known for his work on the controversial dam built in Yosemite National Park’s Hetch Hetchy valley.

“The Material Culture of Environmentalism: Looking for Trees in the Smithsonian’s Pinback Button Collection.” With Ann M. Seeger. In Forest History Today 20 (Spring/Fall 2014): 32-36.
Mixing the Waters: Environment, Politics, and the Building of the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Akron, Ohio: The University of Akron Press, 1993.

This history of the largest and most controversial water project ever built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers interweaves analyses of changing environmental values, engineering, and pork-barrel politics. Recipient of the Public Works Historical Society’s 1994 Abel Wolman Award and the 1995 Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award.

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