My first book examined the environmental history of economic transformation in the Russian north during the twentieth century. It asked questions about the relationship between nature and power in the Soviet Union, the forms of interaction with the environment that developed in communist systems, and the role of the Arctic in global environmental history. The study was based on an in-depth examination of a range of industries on the Kola Peninsula in the northwest corner of Russia. I also have several article-length projects that address industrial waste and Soviet environmental performance, the relationship between reindeer herders and conservation scientists, environmental subjectivity in the Soviet Union, and long-term human interactions with Lake Imandra. Future book-length projects will focus on the Tunguska explosion of 1908 and Eurasian climate history.
- “A Tale of Two Reindeer: Pastoralism and Preservation in the Soviet Arctic,” REGION: Regional Studies of Russia, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia 6, no. 2 (2017): 251–271.
- “A Eurasian Mineralogy: Aleksandr Fersman’s Conception of the Natural World,” Isis: A Journal of the History of Science Society 107, no. 3 (September 2016): 518-539.
- “Tumbling Snow: Vulnerability to Avalanches in the Soviet North,” Environmental History (October 2013): 683-709.
- “Industrial Life in a Limiting Landscape: An Environmental Interpretation of Stalinist Social Conditions in the Far North,” International Review of Social History 55, S18 (December 2010): 153-174.
- “Russian Environmental History: Directions and Potentials,” Kritika: Explorations in Russian and Eurasian History 8, no. 3 (Summer 2007): 635-650.
- “What Does it Mean to Liberate a Land? Toward an Environmental History of the Russian Revolution,” in Adele Lindenmyer, Christopher Read, and Peter Waldron, eds., Russia's Home Front in War and Revolution, 1914-22, Book 3: National Disintegration and Reintegration (Bloomington: Slavica Publishers, forthcoming 2017).
- “A Tale of Two Reindeer: Pastoralism and Preservation in the Soviet Arctic,” in Klaus Gestwa, ed., The Soviet Arctic: Exploration, Investigation, Representation (Paderborn: Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, forthcoming 2017).
- “How a Rock Remade the Soviet North: Nepheline in the Khibiny Mountains,” in Nicholas Breyfogle, ed., Eurasian Environments: Nature and Ecology in Eurasian History (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, forthcoming 2017).
- “Conservation and Industry in the Soviet North: A Reflection on the Trade-Offs between National and Transnational Environmental Histories” in Ekologicheskaia istoriia v Rossii: etapy stanovleniia i perspektivnye napravleniia issledovanii (Elabuga: Elabuga Institute of the Kazan Federal University, 2014), 32-48.
- “Making Reindeer Soviet: The Appropriation of an Animal on the Kola Peninsula,” in Jane Costlow and Amy Nelson, eds., Other Animals: Beyond the Human in Russian Culture and History (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2010), 117-137.
I teach a full array of courses on Russian history as well as classes on comparative environmental history, including climate history. I also offer surveys on world history and European history and methodological/thematic courses for history majors, advanced undergraduates, and graduate students.
- HIST 171: World History since 1500
- HIST 337: Medieval Russia
- HIST 337: Russian Empire
- HIST 338: Soviet Union and Beyond
- HIST 389/ENVS 450: Global Climate History
- HIST 395: Historical Methods
- HIST 434/534: Russian Revolution
- HIST 435/535: Stalinism
- HIST 495: Senior Thesis
- HIST 600: Graduate Reading Seminar on Climate History
- HIST 600: Graduate Reading Seminar on Natural Disasters
Institute for the Study of the Environment, Sustainability, and Energy
Ph.D., University of Illinois, 2011