Academic interests

Public History, Environmental History, Historic Preservation, Oral History


U.S Survey Classes

School of Education Learning Community, H106, US History Since 1865, includes six Friday field trips to museums and historical organizations in the metro area. Class theme: social justice

Environmental History

Historic Preservation
"Hands on History," a methods class that I co-teach with professionals in the Division of Forestry and Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology.




Great River: An Environmental History of the Upper Mississippi River, 1890- 1950 (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1985).

Public and Environmental History (Krieger Press, 2004), co-edited with Martin Melosi -- My contribution, in addition to co-editing the book, is "Interpreting Environmental Themes in Exhibit Format," pp. 139-153.

Rivers of the Anthropocene, co-edited by Jason Kelly, Helen Berry, Michel Meybeck, and Philip Scarpino – volume assembles invited/selected chapters based upon papers delivered at the Rivers of the Anthropocene Conference, Indianapolis, January 2014. In addition to editing, my contribution, “Anthropocene World/Anthropocene Waters: A Historical Examination of Ideas and Agency." (UCLA Press, June 2013. This will be an open access publication.)

Articles and Chapters:

"Planning for Preservation: A Look at the Federal-State Historic Preservation Program, 1966-86," The Public Historian (Spring 1992): 43-60.

"Viewpoint: Some Thoughts on Defining, Evaluating, and Rewarding Public Scholarship," The Public Historian (Spring 1993): 43-49.

"Common Ground: Reflections on the Past, Present, and Future of Public History and NCPH," Presidential Address, The Public Historian (Summer 1994): 11-21.

"Large Floodplain Rivers as Human Artifacts: A Historical Perspective on Ecological Integrity," (revision of paper, 1994), U.S. Geological Survey, Special Refereed Report, 1997

“Environmental Diplomacy: The Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement of 1972,” in Environment Atlas (Routledge Press, 2003) (Solicited by the editor)

“Great Lakes Fisheries: International Response to the Decline of the Fisheries and the Lamprey/Alewife Invasion,” in Terje Tvedt and Richard Coopey, Editors, A History of Water, Volume II: The Political Economy of Water (I.B. Tauris, 2006).

“Addressing Cross-Border Pollution of the Great Lakes,” in Michael Behiels and Reginald Stuart, Editors, Transnationalism in Canada-United States History into the Twenty First Century (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2010), pp. 146-167.

“Isle Royale National Park: Balancing Human and Natural History in a Maritime Park,” George Wright Forum, Vol. 28, No. 2 (2011): 182-198.

“A Historian’s Perspective on Rivers of the Anthropocene” in Janos Bogardi, et al Editors, The Global Water System in the Anthropocene: Challenges for Science and Governance (Springer, 2014) -- Revised version of paper presented at Waters of the Anthropocene, Conference, sponsored by the Global Waters System Project, Bonn, Germany, May 2013.

“Gray” Literature: “Cultural Resources on Isle Royale National Park: An Historic Context,” (2010), 181 pages; funded by a grant from the National Park Service with additional funding from the National Trust for Historic Preservation; involved field work, archival research, and oral history.

Review Essays/Encyclopedia Articles:

"Perspectives on Nature's Metropolis: A Book Forum," The Annals of Iowa 51(Summer 1992): 506-515; other contributors: Malcolm Rohrbough, Timothy Mahoney, and David Danbom; reply by William Cronon.

"Making History with Oral History: A Review of Five Locally Produced Oral Histories," The Oral History Review 21(Spring 1993): 97-102.

“Urban Environment,” The Encyclopedia of Indianapolis (Indiana Univ. Press, 1994), pp. 199-208.

"Swimming Against the Current: Peer Review, Gray Literature, and Saving the Salmon," essay in gray literature "package," The Public Historian 17(Fall 1995): 33-40.

“Borders and Boundaries,”

“Environmental History,” Encyclopedia of Local History (Alta Mira, 2000), pp.61-63, 157-160 (rewritten for revised publication issued late fall 2012) Response to

“The Things We Ignore,” by Carol Kammen in Carol Kammen and Bob Beatty, Zen and the Art of Local History (Roman & Littlefield, 2014) -- Invited.

Related professional service

Recent, selected oral history projects:

(1) Oral History of Flash Flooding in Central Indiana, in June 2008, 2009-2010. Trained a graduate student, and we interviewed victims, emergency responders, planners, government officials, long-term care providers, and so on. Funded by Indiana Humanities with NEH pass-through money; archived at IUPUI Special Collections and Archives and Indiana Historical Society.
(2) Tobias Center, 2006-2010, interviewed numerous leaders in the business, government, and non-profit sectors with Indiana connections, in Indianapolis, around Indiana, and as far away as Palo Alto, CA. Most interviews consisted of two sessions, two hours each; deposited with the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives and the Tobias Center.
(3) Tobias Center/International Leadership Association, 2009-present; interviewed several of the International Leadership Association’s Lifetime Achievement winners in various locations in the United States; Montreal, Canada; and London, UK. Most of the interviews consisted of two sessions, two hours each, deposited with IUPUI Special Collections and Archives, Tobias Center, and International Leadership Association.
(4) Polis Center and the Indiana/Ohio Center for Traumatic Amputee Research, 2008-2010. Trained a graduate student, and as a team we interviewed on the telephone a number of Vietnam Veterans who had lost at least one limb in combat. Information gained incorporated into a report to the Department of Defense.
(5) Polis Center and the Purdue Military Family Research Institute, 2012-2014, began with me training students to conduct phone interviews with officials of Med Hold, and ended in May 2014 with me leading on-site focus groups with wounded, injured, and sick sailors and marines assigned to Med Hold units in Newport Naval Base, Virginia, and San Diego Naval Base, California. Used by Purdue Military Family Research Institute for reporting to Department of Navy and Congress.
(6) Voices from Indianapolis Waterways, 2014- trained students to interview individuals with first-hand experience with Indianapolis waterways (White River, Fall Creek Pogue’s Run, Pleasant Run, and Eagle Creek). Summer 2014, trained three students; team worked on Pleasant Run creek; summer 2015, moved to Fall Creek neighborhoods.
Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, NY, consulted on-site concerning a major new exhibit to open in 2017 (about 16, 000 square feet) intended to interpret the regional Adirondack environment. Also, invited to serve with a core group of advisors throughout the process, December 2014 and November 2015, ongoing. . . . .

Museum Exhibits:

I have worked as a consultant on numerous museum exhibits with environmental themes, several funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Most recent exhibit:

Adirondack Museum, Blue Mountain Lake, NY, consulted on-site concerning a major new exhibit to open in 2017 (about 16, 000 square feet) intended to interpret the regional Adirondack environment. Also, invited to serve with a core group of advisors throughout the process, On-site consultations in December 2014 and November 2015. Opened June 2017.


Conner Prairie Interactive History Park:
Board of Directors, 2001-2003; 2006-12; 2014-
Major Projects Committee
Advisory Board for Civil War exhibit

Indiana Landmarks (statewide non-profit):
Board of Directors, 1996-99; 1999-2001.
Steering committee for local arrangements, annual meeting, National Trust for Historic Preservation, Indianapolis, October/November 2013
Referee, Historic Preservation Education Grants, Indiana Humanities program partner, May 2016 and May 2017

International Federation for Public History
Program Committee for IFPH conference in Bogota, Columbia, local sponsor Universidad de Los Andes, June 2016
Program Committee for IFPH conference in Ravenna, Italy, June 2017

Indiana Historical Society (statewide non-profit):
Indiana Experience Humanities Scholar Committee, exhibit advisory committee, 2010-2013
Community advisory group for exhibition, “You Are There 1913: A City under Water,” 2012-2013.
Referee, Heritage Support Grants, up to $50,000, April 2016 and May 2017

National Council on Public History:
Board of Directors, Elected, 1989-92
Vice President, Elected, 1992-93
President, 1993-94
Long Range Planning Committee, Chair, 1994-95; member 1999-2002; 2006-2007
Co-Chair, Joint Task Force on Public History Education and Employment, representing OAH, AHA, and AASLH, 2014-
Council of Past Presidents, 2013-
Among other things working to recognize founders and conduct oral history interviews with founders.
Co-chair, local arrangements committee, Annual meeting in Indianapolis, 2017
Member, program committee, Annual meeting in Indianapolis

Preserving Indiana: Statewide Historic Preservation Conference, planning committee, 1988-
(Current Partners: Indiana University, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology)