Associate Professor, Geography and the Environment
Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2003
Environmental history, historical geography, animals and society, climate-change history and politics, environmentalism
GEO 103 Environment and Society
GEO 300 Geographies of Sustainability
GEO 354/HST 384 American Environmental History
GEO 358 Animals and Society
GEO 400 Urban Political Ecology and
GEO 605 Writing Geography
GEO 754 Seminar in Environmental History
Robert M. Seeking Refuge: Birds and Landscapes of
the Pacific Flyway. Weyerhaeuser
Environmental Books Series, William Cronon, ed. Seattle: University of
Washington Press, 2010.
Articles and Chapters
Robert M. “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.
Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, forthcoming.
Wilson, Robert M. “Faces
of the Climate Movement.” Environmental History 22, no. 1
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,
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,
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
edited by Stephanie LeMenager Stephen Siperstein, Shane Hall, 53–58. New York:
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.
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,
Wilson, Robert. “The Necessity of Activism,” Solutions Journal 3, no. 4 (2012):
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. “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
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.
I welcome applications from students interested in historical
geography-environmental history, environmental social movements, and animal
geography. While I serve on committees of students who do work outside North
America, I generally do not supervise MA or PhD students who hope to undertake
research in places other than the United States or Canada. Those interested in
environment-society research outside North America, especially in the Global
South, might consider contacting my colleagues Tom Perreault or Farhana Sultana, both of whom do research outside North America and supervise students
who do work there.
Erickson (M.A. Program).
- Research Interests:
environment-society geography, agricultural and environmental history,
political economy, California.
Catania (Ph.D. Program)
- Research Interests: political
geography, race and migration, gender and the body, identity, feminist
Pam Sertzen (Ph.D. Program)
- Research Interests: collective
memory, urban geography, activist research and public ethnography, Brazil.
Whear (Ph.D. Program)
- Research Interests: water management
and policy, environmental social movements, western United States.
(M.A., 2014), Administrator, Rescue City: Pet Adoption Center
2012), Assistant Professor, Westminster College
Jeremy Bryson (Ph.D.,
2010), Assistant Professor, Weber State University
Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University (2011-present)
Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Syracuse University (2005-2011)
Fellow, Rachel Carson Center, Munich, Germany,
Scholar, Bill Lane Center for the American West, Stanford
NSF Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of History and
Montana State University-Bozeman (2004-2005)
I am an
environment-society geographer with interests in historical geography,
environmental history, animal geography, and environmental social movements.
Although I am now working on contemporary issues, much of my previous work
focused on historical events and processes.
Geography and Environmental History. My book Seeking Refuge:
Birds and Landscapes of the Pacific Flyway explores the development of
a constellation of wildlife refuges for migratory birds in western North
America during the twentieth century. It focuses on the social and political
struggles involved in carving out spaces in the West to sustain these birds
amid landscapes devoted largely to irrigated, industrial agriculture. Some the
main areas I studied included the Klamath Basin, the Central Valley, and the
I have also
examined the historical geography and environmental history of Japanese
American incarceration during the Second World War. I was particularly
interested in a number of facets related to this topic, including the surveying
and selection of camp locations, the development of landscapes to intern
Japanese Americans, and the fate of the camps after the war. This project
brought together elements of an older cultural geography that examined the
built environment with more recent concerns in cultural landscape studies on
issues of race, place, and identity.
Social Movements. My project “Forging the Climate Movement” examines
the demonstrations, organizations, and individuals involved in the North
American climate movement, which aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
cope with consequences of global warming. I am focusing in particular on the
opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring oil derived from tar
sands in Alberta to Texas. For opponents, this pipeline has become a focal
point of efforts to stop or alter fossil-fuel infrastructure that might
facilitate the further exploitation of fossil fuels.
Seeking Refuge also studied
histories of environmental reform from a historical perspective, especially
conservation during the Progressive era and New Deal as well environmentalism
from the late 1960s onwards.
Animal Geography. This sub-field of
geography examines the connections between humans and animals employing
perspectives from the humanities and social sciences. Topics animal geographers
have explored include animals as part of colonial settlement, livestock in
small-scale farms and industrial operations, animals as laborers, companion
animals and domestic spaces, and wildlife and protected areas.
My book Seeking
Refuge was one of the first monographs in animal geography (see above
for a summary). In addition to this, I have published an overview of animals
and landscapes in American history for a new edited collection on the
historical geography of the United States and an article on the ways people
have affected, or been affected by, animal migration in North American history.
Currently, I am completing a chapter on the cultural and historical geography
of the return of white-tailed deer to the Northeast U.S. after being extirpated
in the nineteenth century.
Syracuse Studies in Geography, Syracuse University Press (2012-present)
Editorial Board, Journal of Historical Geography, (2015-present)
Board, Historical Geography, (2014-present)
Historical Geography Specialty Group (2011-2014)
Environment and Society Minor (2011-2014)
Director, Department of Geography (2010-2011, 2013-2014)
Book Review Co-Editor,