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.
Ph.D., 1984, M.A., 1978, B.A., 1975, University of California at Santa Barbara
- Environmental History
- History of Technology
- History of Science and Technology Policy
- The history of volunteerism and public lands
- The material culture of American environmentalism
- The intersections of public and environmental history
- Lighthouse Postcards (a Web exhibit launched in 2004)
- Make the Dirt Fly! Building the Panama Canal (1999–2001)
- Oil from the Arctic: Building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline (1997–1998)
- Extending the Legacy: Planning America’s Capital for the 21st Century (1996–1997)
- Tunnels! (1993–1994)
- Manufactured Weather (1993)
- Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital (annual event; 1993- )
- Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective (author interview; 2004)
- Three Mile Island: A Look Back after 25 Years (panel discussion; 2004)
- Noontime lecture series on the history of Washington, D.C. (1996–1997)
- Capital Cities: Adaptable Infrastructure for the Next Century (symposium; 1996)
- Forum on Environmental Justice (lecture series; 1995–1998)
- Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences (2010- )
- Editorial Board, Environmental Justice (2007– )
- Editorial Adviser, RFF Press (2003–11)
- Editorial Board, Environmental History (2002–10)
- Editorial Committee, Technology and Culture (1998–2002)
- Founder and senior co-editor of the University of Akron Press book series on Technology and the Environment (1993–2001)
- National Board of Editors, The Public Historian (1993–98)
- Editorial Board, Forest & Conservation History (1993–95)
- Book Review Editor, Technology and Culture (1987–95)
- Book Review Editor, Science, Technology, & Human Values (1986–87)
- Distinguished Service Award, American Society for Environmental History (2011)
- Smithsonian Secretary's Research Prize (2009)
- Board of Directors, Forest History Society (2005–11)
- President, Public Works Historical Society (2002–03)
- Thomas Phelan Endowed Lecturer, Rensselaer County Historical Society, Troy, New York (2002)
- President, American Society for Environmental History (1999–2001)
- Charles Thomson Prize for an outstanding contribution to research in the history of the Federal Government (awarded by the Society for History in the Federal Government, 1999)
- Board of Directors, American Society for Macro-Engineering (1997–2008)
- Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award (1995)
- Abel Wolman Award for the best book published on the history of public works (awarded by the Public Works Historical Society, 1994)
- Smithsonian Institution Regents' Publication Program Scholar (1993–94)
- G. Wesley Johnson Prize for the most outstanding article in The Public Historian (awarded by the National Council on Public History, 1993)
- Trilateral Committee on Environmental Education (one of three charter U.S. commissioners appointed by the Environmental Protection Agency to the nine-member Canadian/Mexican/United States committee, 1992–96)
- James Madison Prize for the most outstanding article on federal history (awarded by the Society for History in the Federal Government, 1992)
- Trustee, Public Works Historical Society (1990–97; 1999–2001; 2003–04)
- Competitively selected member of the NSF-funded American Delegation to the NATO Advanced Study Institute on “Managing Science in a ‘Steady State’,” Il Ciocco, Italy (1989)
- Visiting Scholar, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1988–89)
- American Historical Association Congressional Fellowship (1984–85)
- Ohio State University Postdoctoral Fellowship (1984-85; declined)
- Gerald R. Ford Foundation Grant-in-Aid for research at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library (1984)
- Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Award for the most outstanding article in the Journal of Forest History (awarded by the Forest History Society, 1984)
- University of California Patent Fund Research Grant (1982–83)
- Smithsonian Institution Predoctoral Fellowship (1981–82)
- Center of Military History Visiting Research Fellowship (1981–82)
- U.S. Army Military History Institute Advanced Research Project Associate (1981)
- Richard Mayberry Prize for outstanding graduate work in the Department of History, University of California at Santa Barbara (1981)
- University of California Regents' Fellowship (1980–81)
- Comprehensive doctoral examinations passed with distinction (1980)
- President, Gamma Iota Chapter of Phi Alpha Theta (the international honor society in history) (1979–80)
- Competitively selected Participant, U.S. Student Pugwash Conference on Science and Ethical Responsibility (1979)
- Short-Term Research Fellowship, Smithsonian Institution (1979)
- American Historical Association
- American Society for Environmental History
- Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences
- Forest History Society
- Public Works Historical Society
- Society for History in the Federal Government
- Society for the History of Technology
Examines the various ways in which the U.S. Congress has used hearings to receive, question, and debate scientific and technical information.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A compilation of works addressing the history of U.S. federal agency efforts to advance scientific research since World War II.
A study of how engineering changed from a craft-oriented occupation to a professional occupation in the United States during the nineteenth century.
A compilation of books, articles, government reports, newspaper stories, and unpublished items that address the environmental implications of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ civil works and regulatory activities.
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.
A brief history of the world’s largest engineering organization and how its missions have evolved in accord with shifting public values.
A review essay of Mark Wyman’s book, Hard Rock Epic: Western Miners and the Industrial Revolution, 1860–1910.
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.
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.
A biographical sketch of the chemical engineer renowned for his contributions to the refining of gasoline and aviation
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.
A collection of essays that explore the reciprocal influences of technology and the environment during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.