I began studying the Everglades late in my tenure as a graduate student at Florida State. My dissertation examined Ernest Coe’s role in the creation of Everglades National Park, and after I finished by Ph.D. I continued to pursue my interest in these fascinating and unique wetlands.
The culmination of this research is From Swamp to Wetland, published by the University of Georgia Press. This is the first book to fully examine the creation of Everglades National Park and it makes important contributions to our understanding of the emergence of modern environmentalism and modern Florida. In addition to this book, I’ve also published four articles that examines various aspects of the Everglades’ history. You can find links to those articles below
“Monster Comics, Wetlands, and the Weird: Steve Gerber’s Man-Thing and Alan Moore’s Swamp Thing,” Pulse: The Journal of Science and Culture, Vol 8 (2021). (Available here)
“Conservatives in the Everglades: Sun Belt Environmentalism and the Creation of Everglades National Park,” Journal of Southern History, 82 (November 2016) 759-788. (Available here)
“For the Birds: Challenging Wilderness in the Everglades,” Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, 3 (June 2013) 153-166. (Available here)
“Pragmatism, Seminoles, and Science: Opposition to Progressive Everglades Drainage,” Florida Historical Quarterly, 90 (Spring 2012) 426-452. (Available here)
My next research project examines the marine environmental history of Florida and the United States. History is often a story about human action on the land. This project examines how marine ecosystems and humans interacted to make history. Florida’s waters and coastal regions have been central to the state’s economy and identity throughout its history. Beginning as early as the 1900s, the state began protecting these waters. By the 1960s, the state had amassed the most impressive record of marine preservation in the United States, if not in the world. This project examines the history of marine preservation in Florida, and seeks to draw transnational comparisons with other examples of marine preservation. I’m particularly interested in the protection of coral reefs and mangrove forests, two ecosystems Florida led the way in protecting.
Selected Publications and Presentations on Marine Preservation:
“Marine Environmental Politics in Post-WWII Florida.” In preparation.
An Outstanding Conservationist with Great Ability: Bill Mellor and the Fight to Protect Florida’s Bays,” Florida Historical Quarterly, 99 (Summer/Fall 2020) 94-124. (Available here)
“Seagrass-Roots Environmentalism: The Lee County Conservation Association and Marine Preservation in Florida,” Georgia Association of Historians Annual Meeting, February 2019.
“Florida’s Aquatic Preserves:The Internal Improvement Fund and the Interagency Commission,” Florida Historical Society Annual Meeting, May 2018.