2017 Environmental History Seminar with Sara Dant & Dan Flores
Environmental historian Dan Flores had a distinguished career as the A.B. Hammond Professor of the History of the American West at the University of Montana. His award-winning books include Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest (1999), The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains (2003), and American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains (2016). His articles and essays on the environment, Southwest and West have regularly appeared in Orion, Texas Monthly, High Country News.
His presentation focuses on his most recent book, Coyote America, an environmental and a deep natural history of the coyote. It traces both the five-million-year-long biological story of an animal that has become the "wolf" in our backyards, as well as its cultural evolution from a preeminent spot in Native American religions to the hapless foil of the Road Runner.
Dr. Sara Dant, Professor of History at Weber State University, Ogden, Utah, focuses on environmental politics in the United States with a particular emphasis on the creation and development of consensus and bi-partisanism.
Her presentation focuses on her most recent book, Losing Eden: An Environmental History of the American West. As a region, the West has long been at the center of national debates about the relationship between the environment and the economy. Dant offers a close examination of the “deep history” of the region to explore the development of this unique relationship between environmental place and environmental policies.
This interdisciplinary seminar—on coyotes and on regional environmental politics—has particular relevance to the Southwest. As he demonstrated in his NPR Morning Edition interview, Flores has a knack for conveying his ideas in an accessible engaging way. His well-researched book draws on history, animal studies and environmental science as he traces the long history of the iconic animal of the Southwest. Dant’s economic and historical analysis of critical regional environmental issues—from sustainability to climate change—takes a controversial middle road, arguing for the need to balance economic success and ecological protection.
This event is sponsored by the UA Department of History and the Institute for the Environment.