About Me

Welcome! I am a historian, writer, and educator focused primarily on the peoples and landscapes of the North American West.

I was recently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Mahindra Humanities Center at Harvard University. My work has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the American Council of Learned Societies, and the National Science Foundation, and my writing has appeared in a range of scholarly and popular venues, including The Washington Post, Ecological Applications, and The Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era. My article “‘Whenever we exist on any land, we know it is our country’: Cocopa Mobility and the Colorado River in the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands” is forthcoming from the Western Historical Quarterly in January 2023. I am also a member of the board of directors for two organizations: Mountain Time Arts (based in Bozeman, Montana) and The Oregon for the Humanities.

I hold a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.A. in Politics-Environmental Studies from Whitman College. My western consciousness has been shaped by community-engaged research with Indigenous and African American communities, and by previous work as a ranch hand, mediator, and teacher.

In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with loved ones, fly-fishing, foraging for wild mushrooms, alpine and nordic skiing, playing ultimate frisbee, cooking, gardening, meditation, singing, and playing jazz saxophone.

Scroll down to explore my current writing and research projects, civic engagement initiatives, teaching, and interdisciplinary collaborations.


I write narrative nonfiction for both popular and scholarly audiences. Through intimate portraits and micro-histories, my writing explores migrations of marginalized peoples who, in the face of state-induced violence and dispossession, made homes in some of the most rugged landscapes of the North American West. Read about my book project and essays.

Civic Engagement

One of my deepest convictions is to use the tools of historical interpretation, place-based storytelling, and relational organizing to build multiracial coalitions to make the West a place where everyone belongs while supporting Native sovereignty. Learn about and become involved in ongoing initiatives in community engagement, public history, and civic dialogues.


I have taught diverse groups of all ages in both classroom and field settings at institutions ranging from universities to liberal arts colleges to environmental nonprofits. Learn about my educational philosophy and course descriptions across the environmental arts and humanities.


From co-authored papers to experiential learning committees to digital environmental humanities publications, interdisciplinary collaboration is a foundation of my work. Read about my collaborations in environmental conservation, place-based education, and the arts.

Headshot by Jesse Pfammatter. All other photos © Daniel Grant, unless otherwise noted.