I’m a part-time photographer, amateur accordionist, and professor of history at Stony Brook University. I study the overlapping historical dimensions of landscape, environment, technology, science, religion, and culture. I have regional expertise in the North American West. My latest book is Trees in Paradise: A California History.
I earned degrees from Utah State University, the University of Montana, and Stanford. I have received fellowships and grants from the Stanford Humanities Center, the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Humanities Center, the Tanner Humanities Center, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. See my curriculum vitae.
My book On Zion’s Mount won the Francis Parkman Prize from the Society of American Historians for the best-written non-fiction book on an American theme, a literary award that honors the “union of the historian and the artist.” In 2014 I received the Hiett Prize in the Humanities from the Dallas Institute.
My next book project (under contract with Basic Books) is a creative non-fiction work on long-term human relationships with long-lived plants; or, the environmental problem of long-term thinking. It’s provisionally titled Latest Oldest Living Beings.