I am fascinated by the dynamic interplay among energy resources, environmental change, and the ways that societies live, work, and play. I’m particularly interested in those aspects of life we often take for granted, from our material infrastructures to our ways of thinking about growth. Energy is good to think with because it is so fundamental to our lives, yet so easily ignored.
As a scholar, I am committed to public outreach and collaborative work that complement my individual research projects. I have written popular pieces for forums including The Atlantic, Huffington Post, Zocalo Public Square, and Aeon in addition to being interviewed on media outlets including All Things Considered, BackStory with the American History Guys, and Marketplace. I co-author regularly and also edit the H-Environment Roundtable Reviews, an online forum that pulls together several scholars to discuss recent work in the field of environmental history.
My academic path began as a philosophy major at Stanford University. A chance encounter with the inspiring professor Robert McGinn showed me that focusing on our scientific and technological systems offered a compelling way to understand the questions I wanted to answer. Graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania’s History & Sociology of Science Department trained me as a historian. Interdisciplinary fellowships from the University of Virginia, Harvard, and Berkeley helped me learn to speak to wide audiences of scholars, policymakers, and members of the public. Since 2013, I have been a faculty member at Arizona State University in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies. I also have affiliations with ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability and the School for the Future of Innovation in Society.