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.

"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.

“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.

"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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“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.

“The Santa Barbara Oil Spill, 1969.” Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences 11 (2013): 193-194.
"Carmen E. Turner." APWA Reporter 60 (February 1993): 26–27. (Reprinted in People Making Public Works History: A Century of Progress, 1894–1994, edited by Robert D. Bugher, 336-37. Kansas City, Mo.: American Public Works Association, 1998.)

A biographical sketch of the first woman to manage a major transit system in the United States. Turner headed the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority from 1983 to 1990.

“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.

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.

“Technology, Policy, and a Passion for Shad: John McPhee, The Founding Fish. Technology and Culture 45 (October 2004): 830–33.
"Scientific Instrumentation as an Element of U.S. Science Policy: National Science Foundation Support of Chemistry Instrumentation." In Invisible Connections: Instruments, Institutions, and Science, edited by Robert Bud and Susan E. Cozzens, 238–63. Bellingham, Wash.: SPIE Optical Engineering Press, 1992.

A history of the U.S. government’s support of chemistry instrumentation, 1950–1990.

"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.

“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
"Knowledge Collaborations in the Arts, the Sciences, and the Humanities: Edited Excerpts from a Smithsonian Seminar Series—Part 2: The Sciences." Knowledge: Creation, Diffusion, Utilization 13 (June 1992): 399–406.

A historical overview of the patterns of collaboration among investigators in different fields of science and how federal science policy has attempted to account for those changes.

“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.

“Technical Advice for Congress: Past Trends and Present Obstacles” with Bruce L. R. Smith. In Science and Technology Advice for Congress, edited by M. Granger Morgan and Jon M. Peha, 23–52. Washington: RFF Press, 2003.

An examination of the U. S. Congress’s evolving need for scientific and technical advice, the inherent difficulties in fulfilling this need, and a historical assessment of the mechanisms put in place to provide the legislative branch with independent technical counsel.

"A Sense of Place: Donald Worster’s Dust Bowl." Technology and Culture 48 (April 2007): 377–85.
"Environmental Politics in the American South: The Fight over the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway." Environmental History Review 15 (Spring 1991): 1–24.

Analyzes the maturation of environmentalism in the American South during the 1970s as expressed in the opposition to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ massive waterway in Mississippi and Alabama. Recipient of the Society for History in the Federal Government’s 1992 James Madison Prize.

"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.

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