Profile profile for stine

Jeffrey K. Stine


Ph.D., 1984, M.A., 1978, B.A., 1975, University of California at Santa Barbara

Research Specialties: 
  • Environmental History
  • History of Technology
  • History of Science and Technology Policy

Current Projects:


  • A centennial history of the United States National Arboretum

Past Projects:


  • Solar on the Line (see website)
  • Lighthouse Postcards (a Web exhibit)
  • Make the Dirt Fly! Building the Panama Canal (see website)
  • Oil from the Arctic: Building the Trans-Alaska Pipeline
  • Extending the Legacy: Planning America’s Capital for the 21st Century
  • Tunnels!
  • Manufactured Weather

Public Programs:

  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
  • Three Mile Island: A Nuclear Crisis in Historical Perspective
  • Three Mile Island: A Look Back after 25 Years
  • Noontime lecture series on the history of Washington, D.C.
  • Capital Cities: Adaptable Infrastructure for the Next Century
  • Forum on Environmental Justice


  • Editorial Board for History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Justice
  • Editorial Adviser, RFF Press
  • Editorial Board, Environmental History
  • Founder and senior co-editor, University of Akron Press book series on Technology and the Environment
  • National Board of Editors, The Public Historian
  • Editorial Board, Forest & Conservation History
  • Book Review Editor, Technology and Culture
  • Book Review Editor, Science, Technology, & Human Values
Awards, Honors, and Special Recognition: 
  • Member Award for excellence in scholarship on the history of the federal government (awarded by the Society for History in the Federal Government, 2022)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Visiting Scholar, Program in Science, Technology, and Society, MIT (1988–89)
  • American Historical Association Congressional Fellowship (1984–85)
  • Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser Award for the most outstanding article in the Journal of Forest History (awarded by the Forest History Society, 1984)
Professional Affiliations: 
  • American Historical Association
  • American Society for Environmental History
  • Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences
  • Forest History Society
  • Society for History in the Federal Government
  • Society for the History of Technology


Green Persuasion: Advertising, Voluntarism, and America’s Public Lands. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, 2021.
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.
“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.
“The Santa Barbara Oil Spill, 1969.” Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences 11 (2013): 193-194.
“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.

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.

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

“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.

“Technology, Policy, and a Passion for Shad: John McPhee, The Founding Fish. Technology and Culture 45 (October 2004): 830–33.
“American Chestnut Trees at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.” With Stephen VanHoven. In Forest History Today (Spring/Fall 2004): 66–67.
“Natural Resources and Environmental Policy.” In The Reagan Presidency: Pragmatic Conservatism and Its Legacies, edited by W. Elliot Brownlee and Hugh Davis Graham, 233–56. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2003.

A historical assessment of President Ronald Reagan’s environmental record.

“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.

“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.

“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 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.

“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.

"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.

“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.

“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.

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.

"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.

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.