I grew up in deserts. In fact, my earliest memories are of dry places. Of course, as an adopted child of the desert, I am also completely fascinated by water. For the past decade and a half I have studied the interplay of water, deserts, and cultures. I have always been struck by the persistent human habitation of these seemingly uninhabitable lands. To most observers, deserts appear harsh and forbidding, yet they are also the same landscapes that have given rise to humanity’s earliest cultural traditions. The neolithic revolution began in the deserts as did three of the globe’s five most prominent religions. Most recently, it serves as the setting for the Entertainment Capital of the World (Las Vegas). Clearly, there is something about deserts that draw people to them. It is my desire to contemplate the range of human experiences in the desert and to do so from my perch in Las Vegas. It seems as good a place as any to interpret humanity’s relationship with this misunderstood environment.
I am a US Government teacher at Coronado High School in Henderson, NV. I hold a PhD in U.S. history, focusing on the environment and the American West. Additionally, I hold master’s degrees in education and history, also from UNLV. I earned my BA from the University of Nevada at Reno in 1999.
In my spare time, I am putting the finishing touches on a book length manuscript examining the history of water use in the Las Vegas metropolitan area since 1971. The working title I have chosen is Las Vegas Against the Limits: The Politics of Water in Sin City (I am open to suggestions of better titles). My ultimate goal for this project is to be able to provide an answer to the age old question, “Is Las Vegas going to run out of water?”