I'm an American environmental and health historian who also trained as a physician. My work as an historian has concentrated on less obviously natural places--factories and firms, cities and suburbs, also our own bodies--whose nature has historically been harder to see. Among my books are CRABGRASS CRUCIBLE: SUBURBAN NATURE AND THE RISE OF ENVIRONMENTALISM IN TWENTIETH-CENTURY AMERICA; DANGEROUS TRADE: HISTORIES OF INDUSTRIAL HAZARD ACROSS A GLOBALIZING WORK (co-edited with Joseph Melling); and HAZARDS OF THE JOB: FROM INDUSTRIAL DISEASE TO ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH SCIENCE.

The first part of my career I studied the histories of industrialization and of institutional bulwarks such as medicine and the corporation; more recently I've also taken up questions about sub/urbanization, globalization, and inequality. All the while, I've also sought to illuminate experiences, movements, expertise and politics that were or became more identifiably "environmental" in character. While initially I concentrated on the United States, more and more of my work over the last decade and a half has sought to situate American experiences alongside others beyond our borders, most notably in Mexico. Among my recent extracurricular activities, I've helped found a new History of Environment and Health Network (HEHN), also a Steering Committee for Stony Brook's Center for Working Class Studies.


  • –present
    Professor of History, Stony Brook University