My work focuses on Dutch environmental history during the early modern period with an added emphasis on the history of climate, natural disaster, and historical geographic information systems.
My environmental focus is primarily cultural in methodology and frequently includes the use of visual arts and material culture. My geographic interests have been more quantitative and cartographic. My work with historical GIS have included mapping and analysis of the socio-economic consequences of disasters, the potential distribution of invasive mollusks, and an historical reconstruction of women’s landholdings in south Louisiana.
My first book, Natural Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age: Floods, Worms, and Cattle Plague (2022) was published by Cambridge University Press. This work melds several of my research interests, including cultural memory, Dutch decline, the perception of environmental change and disaster, and the role of historical continuity vs. adaptive response to disasters.
My teaching emphasizes local and global historical changes. I have taught courses on Global History from a European Perspective, the history of cartography (taught with a QGIS and ArcGIS online lab), Global Environmental History, the history of environmental inequalities (emphasis on lead pollution and exposure), the global history of natural disasters, an introduction to the principles of environmental studies, environmental ethics, and historical methodologies. I am currently developing a faculty-led program abroad to New Zealand and western Nebraska with colleagues in English and Biology that focuses on ecological restoration. These courses emphasize digital skills, which are featured in online atlases, maps, and digital exhibits.
I am currently an Associate Professor of History and Digital Humanities at Creighton University in Omaha, NE.