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Robert Wilson

Robert Wilson

Contact Information:


533 Eggers Hall

Highest degree earned

Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2003

Areas of Expertise

Environmental history, historical geography, environmental humanities, animals and society, climate change history, politics



Wilson, Robert M. Seeking Refuge: Birds and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway. Weyerhaeuser Environmental Books Series, William Cronon, ed. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2010.


Wilson, Robert M. “The American West as Unlivable Space: Hope, Despair, and Adaptation in an Era of Climate Chaos.” In Wallace Stegner’s Unsettled Country: Ruin, Realism, and Possibility in the American West, edited by Mark Fiege, Michael J. Lansing, and Leisl Carr Childers. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2024.

Wilson, Robert M. “Writing Geography: Teaching Research Writing and Storytelling in the Discipline.” Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 2022.

Wilson, Robert M. “ Imagining the Green New Deal.” Environmental History, 2021.

Wilson, Robert M. “Relinquished.” GeoHumanities 6, no. 2 (2020): 413–23.

Wilson, Robert M. “Authoritarian Environmental Governance: Insights from the Past Century.” Annals of the American Association of Geographers 109, no. 2 (2019): 314–23. 

Article for Annals special issue “Environmental Governance in a Populist/Authoritarian Era

Wilson, Bob. “From Noble Stag to Suburban Vermin: The Fall and Rise of White-Tailed Deer in the Northeastern United States.” In American Environment Revisited, edited by Geoffrey Buckley and Yolanda Youngs, 39-55. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2018.

Wilson, Robert M. “Faces of the Climate Movement.” Environmental History 22, no. 1 (2017): 128–39.

Wilson, Robert M. “Wildlife” and “Wildlife Management.” In Humans and Animals: A Geography of Coexistence, edited by Julie Urbanik and Connie L. Johnston, 351–53, 355-57. Laham, MD: ABC-Clio, 2017.

Wilson, Robert M. “Bookshelf: The Troubled History of Environmentalism.” Seeing the Woods: A Blog by the Rachel Carson Center, September 22, 2016. 

Wilson, Robert M. “Making Tracks: Scholar Activist?Seeing the Woods: A Blog by the Rachel Carson Center, August, 25, 2016 

Wilson, Robert M. “Will the End of the World Be on the Final Exam? Emotions, Climate Change, and Teaching an Introductory Environmental Studies Course.” In Teaching Climate Change in the Humanities, edited by Stephanie LeMenager Stephen Siperstein, Shane Hall, 53–58. New York: Routledge, 2016.

Wilson, Robert M. “Environmental History,”Oxford Bibliographies in “Geography,” Ed. Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Wilson, Robert M. “Mobile Bodies: Animal Migration in North American History.”Geoforum 65 (2015): 465–72.

Wilson, Robert M. “Animals and the American Landscape.” In North American Odyssey: Historical Geographies for the Twenty-First Century, edited by Craig E. Colten and Geoffrey L. Buckley, 195–206. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014.

Wilson, Robert M. “Historical Geography.” Oxford Bibliographies in “Geography,” Ed. Barney Warf. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Wynn, Graeme, Craig Colten, Robert M. Wilson, Martin V. Melosi, Mark Fiege, and Diana K. Davis. “Reflections on the American Environment.” Journal of Historical Geography 43 (January 2014): 152–68.

Wilson, Robert M. “Commentary 2: The state of the humanities in geography – a reflection,” Progress in Human Geography 37, no. 2 (2013): 310-313.

Wilson, Robert M. “Environmental Histories.” The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to Cultural Geography, edited by Nula Johnson, Richard Schein, and Jamie Winders, 355–370. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. 

Wilson, Robert. “The Necessity of Activism,”  Solutions Journal 3, no. 4 (2012): 75-79. 

Wilson, Robert M. "Landscapes of Promise and Betrayal: Reclamation, Homesteading, and Japanese American Incarceration,"  Annals of the Association of American Geographers 101 no. 2 (2011): 424-444.

Wilson, Robert M. “The Ugly Duckling,”  Environmental History 16, no. 2 (2011): 439-445

"Birds on the Home Front: Wildlife Conservation in the Western United States during World War II." In War and the Environment: Military Destruction in the Modern Age, edited by Charles E. Closmann, 132-49. College Station: Texas A&M Press 2009.

Wilson, Robert M. "Directing the Flow: Migratory Waterfowl, Scale, and Mobility in Western North America." Environmental History 7, no. 2 (2002): 247-266.

Book Review Essays and Book Reviews

Wilson, Robert M. Review of Richard L. Nostrand’s The Making of America’s Culture Regions, in Journal of Historical Geography 63 (2019): 109–10.

Wilson, Robert M. Review of Serpil Oppermann and Serenella Iovino, eds., in Environmental Humanities: Voices from the Anthropocene, in Environmental Ethics 40, no. 2 (2018): 185–87.

Wilson, Robert M. Review of Gregory J. Dehler’s The Most Defiant Devil: William Temple Hornaday and His Controversial Crusade to Save American Wildlife, in The AAG Review of Books, 2, no. 4 (2014): 48–50.

Wilson, Robert M. “Maps with a Message.” Reviews in American History 43 (2015): 484–89.

Wilson, Robert M. Review of A Storied Wilderness: Rewilding the Apostle Islands in Environmental History 18, no. 1 (2013): 232-34.

Review of Wired Wilderness: Technologies of Tracking and the Making of Modern Wildlife in H-Environment Roundtable Reviews 3,1 (2013): 12-14. 

Wilson, Robert M. "Nature's Prophet." Review of A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir, H-HistGeog, (2009).  

Wilson, Robert. "Retrospective Review: Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth," Environmental History 10, no. 3 (2005).

“Supersize History,” Journal of Historical Geography 31 (2005): 563-567.

A review essay of three books in world environmental history: David Christian, Maps of Time: An Introduction to Big History, John Richards, The Unending Frontier: An Environmental History of the Early Modern World, and John C. Weaver, The Great Land Rush and the Making of the Modern World, 1650-1900.

    Previous Teaching Appointments

    Associate Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University (2011-present)
    Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University (2005-2011)

    Visiting Appointments

    Carson Fellow, Rachel Carson Center, Munich, Germany, 2016
    Visiting Scholar, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford University (2008-2009)
    NSF Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of History and Philosophy, Montana State University-Bozeman (2004-2005)