Participant Info

First Name
Last Name
The Wardlaw + Hartridge School
Website URL
Environmental History, New Jersey History, Visual Culture, Climate Change, Energy History, Oil, Oil History, Anthropocene
Additional Contact Information
See personal website for contact form.

Personal Info

About Me

I am a historian of environment, energy, and visual culture, and my work focuses on the New Jersey/New York metropolitan region. I teach at The Wardlaw + Hartridge Schooland have taught at high schools and colleges.

I’m currently working on a book which investigates the environmental and technological history of oil refining in New Jersey currently titled The Good Polluter. I am co-editor of a collection of essays titled, American Energy Cinema.

My research has been supported through fellowships and grants from the American Society for Environmental History, the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the Graduate School of Rutgers University, the New Jersey Historical Commission, the Rockefeller Archive Center, and the Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis.

I am a co-convener of the Committee for the Women’s Environmental History Network and I serve on the Site Selection Committee for the American Society for Environmental History. I earned my doctoral degree from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 2018 and my Masters Degree from Rutgers-Newark in 2010.

Recent Publications

Petroleum’s Park

“Petroleum’s Park: How Oil Shaped the Palisades, 1900-1960″ Technology and Culture 61, 3 (July 2020), 713-738.


“Petroleum’s Park” investigates the history of the Palisades Interstate Park in order to demonstrate one the complicated ways the use of oil has reshaped American society and its landscapes. The Palisades are cliffs along the western shore of the Hudson River, across from New York City and parts of Westchester County, New York. From the very beginning of the park’s history, park development at the Palisades focused on building roads specifically for cars. Philanthropists, park authorities, and public planners in the region all believed that the park should contain a large automobile parkway, where drivers could take in the scenery from the comfort of their car. “Petroleum’s Park” will be published in the October 2020 issue of Technology and Culture.


Still Life with Vitamins

“Still Life with Vitamins: Art and Science at the 1939 New York World’s Fair” Environmental History  21, 2 (April 2016), 365-378.


At the 1939 New York World’s Fair, artist Witold Gordon created a mural depicting common foods such as dairy, fruits, vegetables, and seafood on the exterior of the main food exhibition hall. Alongside the foods of the mural, Gordon painted vitamins in little circles and letters. This essay argues that the inclusion of vitamins in the mural illustrates a moment when nutritional science was becoming an important way of understanding the relationship between food and health. To do this conceptual work, Gordon played with abstraction and painterly styles to create a scene that both emulated the scientific message of the fair and depicted reverence toward nature as a guiding force in human life. The end result was an optimistic still-life mural that demonstrated the effort to popularize scientific ideas about vitamins and nutrition to the American public in the 1930s.

Media Coverage
Country Focus
United States
Expertise by Geography
North America, United States
Expertise by Chronology
5, 8, 9
Expertise by Topic
Capitalism, Environment, Government, Local & Regional, Science, Technology, Urban History