Publications

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

Living in the Anthropocene: Earth in the Age of Humans. With W. John Kress, eds. Washington: Smithsonian Books, 2017.
“Public History and the Environment.” In The Oxford Handbook of Public History, edited by James B. Gardner and Paula Hamilton, 190–206. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.
America's Forested Wetlands: From Wasteland to Valued Resource. Durham, N.C.: Forest History Society, 2008.

A history of society's changing perceptions, values, actions, and laws pertaining to wetland environments in the United States.

"Fulfilling the Science and Technology Advisory Needs of Congress." In Science and Technology Advice to the President, Congress, and Judiciary, edited by in William T. Golden, 443–46. New York: Pergamon Press, 1988.

A historical overview of the U.S. Congress’s growing dependency on scientific and technical advice, and the methods by which it has sought to obtain reliable, independent information.

A History of Science Policy in the United States, 1940–1985. Background Report No. 1, prepared for the Task Force on Science Policy of the House Committee on Science and Technology. 99th Cong., 2d sess., 1986.

An examination of the policy issues and debates that shaped the relationship between government and science in the United States since 1940. Special attention is paid to the evolution of science policy planning mechanisms, along with the ongoing development of Executive agency science programs and the periodic attempts to coordinate the nation’s overall research efforts.

“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.
“Two Defenders of Wild Lands.” Environmental History 12 (April 2007): 375–77.

A discussion of two prize-winning documentaries—Kelly Duane’s Monumental: David Brower’s Fight for Wild America and Bonnie Kreps’s Arctic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story—and the contributions of film biographies to the teaching of environmental history.

"Government Funding of Scientific Instrumentation: A Review of U.S. Policy Debates since World War II," with Gregory A. Good. Science, Technology, & Human Values 11 (Summer 1986): 34–46.

A history of the evolving instrumentation needs of science and the various programs proposed and/or put in place by the federal government to help meet those needs.

Going Underground: Tunneling Past, Present, and Future with Howard Rosen, eds. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.

A collection of essays addressing the history of tunnels and tunneling from ancient times to the present, including discussions of the politics and construction of the Channel Tunnel and the ill-fated Super-conducting Super Collider. This richly illustrated volume also includes a detailed account of the Smithsonian’s Tunnels! exhibition.

“The Santa Barbara Oil Spill, 1969.” Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences 11 (2013): 193-194.
“Epilogue.” In Echoes from the Poisoned Well: Global Memories of Environmental Injustice, edited by Sylvia Hood Washington, Paul C. Rosier, and Heather Goodall, 409–10. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2006.

Reflections on the expansion and internationalization of environmental justice as a field of study.

"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.

"Environmental Policy during the Carter Presidency." In The Carter Presidency: Policy Choices in the Post-New Deal Era, edited by Gary M. Fink and Hugh Davis Graham, 179–201. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998.

A historical assessment of President Jimmy Carter’s environmental record. Recipient of the Society for History in the Federal Govern-ment’s 1999 Charles Thomson Prize.

“Technology, Policy, and a Passion for Shad: John McPhee, The Founding Fish. Technology and Culture 45 (October 2004): 830–33.
"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.

“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.

“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
"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.

"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.

"A Sense of Place: Donald Worster’s Dust Bowl." Technology and Culture 48 (April 2007): 377–85.
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.

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.

"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.

"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.

“APWA: Using History to Advance Appreciation of Public Works.” APWA Reporter 79 (June 2012): 86-87.

Reflections on how popular opinions about the appropriate role of public enterprises have devolved since the founding of the American Public Works Association in 1937, and how historical inquiry can contribute to society’s understanding of this trend and its consequences.

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