Profile: Neil M. Maher

(NJIT) Associate Professor and Graduate History Coordinator of the Concentration in History of Technology, Environment and Medicine

Faculty
Department of History, Graduate Program in American Studies

Research Interests: 20th century, environmental history, social history, political history, technology and medicine, landscape studies


Neil Maher received his Ph.D. in history from New York University in 2001, and is currently an associate professor in the Federated History Department at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University, Newark, where he teaches environmental history and political history. Professor Maher has received numerous fellowships, awards, and grants from institutions such as Harvard University, the Organization of American Historians, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum, and most recently from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). He has published articles in academic journals including the Western Historical Quarterly, Environmental History, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, in popular on-line publications and blogs such as the History News Network and The Edge of the American West, and he has served as Historical Advisor for a PBS American Experience documentary on Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps, which aired in September of 2009. He has edited a collection of essays by historians, scientists, and policy analysts titled New Jersey’s Environments: Past, Present, and Future (Rutgers University Press, 2006), and co-edited a special issue of the Radical History Review titled “Transnational Environments: Rethinking the Political Economy of Nature in a Global Age” (Duke University Press, 2010). In January of 2008, Oxford University Press published his book, Nature’s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement, which received theCharles A. Weyerhaeuser Book Award for the best monograph in conservation history. He is currently working on a second book project, tentatively titled Ground Control: How the Space Race Scrubbed the Revolution, which will examine how efforts to put humans on the Moon engaged, and ultimately co-opted, the divisive politics of the “long 1960s,” including those of the Civil Rights, Women’s, Environmental, and anti-Vietnam War movements.

  • Courses Taught

    Professor Maher teaches undergraduate courses on the environmental history of North America, urban environmental history, and cultural landscapes of the United States.

     On the graduate level, he leads courses in global environmental history, the environmental history of the United States, the history of technology and medicine, and the political history of the post-World War II era.

  • Education

    Dartmouth College, B.A., 1986
    New York University, M.A., 1994
    New York University, Ph.D., 2001

  • Publications

    Professor Maher is currently working on a second book project, tentatively titled Ground Control: How the Space Race Scrubbed the Revolution, which will examine how efforts to put humans on the Moon engaged, and ultimately co-opted, the divisive politics of the "long 1960s," including those of the Civil Rights, Women¹s, Environmental, and anti-Vietnam War movements.

    “Playing Politics: Franklin Roosevelt, The Civilian Conservation Corps, and State Park Development During the New Deal Era” in Public Nature: Scenery, History, and Park Design, Ethan Carr, Shaun Eyring, and Richard Guy Wilson, eds., University of Virginia Press (Forthcoming, 2011).

    Nature´s New Deal: Franklin Roosevelt´s Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement (Oxford University Press, 2007).

    “The New Deal and Climate Change?”

    Solutions: For a Sustainable and Desirable Future, 1, issue 5 (September-October, 2010): 72-75.

    “Body Counts: Tracking the Human Body Through Environmental History," in A Companion to American Environmental History, Douglas Sackman, ed., Wiley-Blackwell, 2010: 163-180.

    “’A Confluence of Desire and Need’: Trees, Boys Scouts, and the Roots of Franklin Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps,” in FDR and the Environment, David Wolner and Henry Henderson, eds., Palgrave Macmillan, 2005: 49-83.

    “Shooting the Moon: How NASA Earth Photographs Changed the World.”

    Environmental History, 9, no. 3 (July 2004): 526-531.

    "A New Deal Body Politic: Landscape, Labor, and the Civilian Conservation Corps," Environmental History, 7, no. 3 (Summer 2002): 435-461.

    "´Crazy Quilt Farming on Round Land´: The Great Depression, the Soil Conservation Service, and the Politics of Landscape Change on the Great Plains During the New Deal Era," Western Historical Quarterly 31 (Autumn 2000): 319-339.

    "´A Very Pleasant Place to Build a Towne On?´: An Environmental History of Land Preservation in New York´s Hudson Highlands," The Hudson Valley Regional Review 16, no. 2 (September 1999): 21-40.
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  • Awards

    Writing:

    In 2009 Neil M. Maher´s book, Nature´s New Deal: The Civilian Conservation Corps and the Roots of the American Environmental Movement (Oxford 2008), received the Charles A. Weyerhauser Award for the best monograph in conservation history.

    Teaching:

    In 2009 Neil M. Maher received the Robert W. Van Houten Award for Teaching Excellence from the New Jersey Institute of Technology.  Voted by undergraduates from the last five graduating classes, this university-wide teaching award is given to one tenured faculty member at the university for outstanding teaching on the undergraduate level.

    Research:

    History of the Scientific Exploration of Earth and Space Research Award, Science Mission Directorate, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), 2008-2011.
    John W. Kluge Center Research Fellowship, Library of Congress, 2008-2009.
    Grant-in-Aid, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE, 2007.
    Verville Fellowship: Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Washington, D.C., 2004-2005 academic year.
    Program for the Environment Award: Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, 2004.
     

  • Expertise

    20th century, environmental history, social history, political history, technology and medicine, landscape studies