About Me

I am a historian who writes and teaches about the history of early America, American frontiers, and environmental history.  In 2018-2020, I was Mellon Faculty Fellow in Environmental Humanities at the Illinois Program for Research in the Humanities, where I led an interdisciplinary team in programming, research, and curriculum development. Click here for our group study, The Flatland Project, including my essay “The Drains out of Town.”

I also helped to create the Colonial American History Lecture Series at the Newberry Library in Chicago, which is now in its sixth year.

I am founding co-editor of the book series, Environmental Studies of the Great Lakes, a new interdisciplinary series from Michigan State University Press. I am also a member of the Reclaiming Stories collaborative project team.

I teach courses in early America and environmental history, as well as the American West. My course on Colonial American history now features a major project on one special object in the UIUC collections; check out the online exhibit here or watch this short mini-documentary. In Spring 2024, I will lead a Humanities Research Lab on local environmental history.