Drawing upon my academic background in the Fine Arts and Anthropology, I seek to use
visual means to highlight the invisible systems that permeate Western society. My
current body of work, titled, Water You Doing?, emphasizes the materiality of information and its agency within the landscape and
within local economies. I use the computer desktop as a space to contemplate place,
a complicated web-of-sites, and as a tool to negate the perception of the internet
as ether. By including the network of rivers, dams, and pipes that contribute to the
cooling of data servers, I attempt to accentuate a network of the whole psychic and
social complex of the global central nervous system by accentuating the amount of
water used to cool servers; an invisible system of water flow in an arid climate.
Recently graduating with a Masters from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago,
both my artistic and academic careers is networked between Chicago and Salt Lake City,
Utah. I enjoy working across and through various disciplines and engage with a variety
of mediums including but not limited to art publications, art exhibits, field research
and public lectures. Reacting to our 21st century modes of networked communication, or as philosopher Lieven de Cauter states
“a civilization comprised of capsular shaped prisons,” I see the Environmental Humanities
as a space where disjointed capsules can synthesize and begin to shape modular forms;
a network of seemingly unrelated entities coming together to create conversation and
reveal hidden histories.
A native of the Adirondack region in New York, I hold degrees in Creative Writing
and Critical Theory from Bard College at Simon's Rock and in Humanities from the University
of Chicago. Before coming to the University of Utah I was a Fulbright English Teaching
Assistant in Salzburg, Austria. My current work focuses on the intersections of American
literature, indigenous/colonial studies, historiography, and new materialisms. My
personal and critical essays have appeared in The Common, Post-Road Magazine, Colloquium Magazine, and Partisan Magazine.
As an undergraduate I studied English and Ecology at the University of Georgia where
I began writing poetry that combines nature and the human experience. I also pursued
field opportunities doing research in Costa Rica through study abroad and doing geological,
ecological and anthropological field work in a variety of different landscapes across
the United States with UGA Interdisciplinary Field Program. These immersive educational
opportunities and interdisciplinary settings inspired my passion for hands-on environmental
education. My work and volunteer experience has focused on immersive education for
children as I have worked as a nature camp counselor, lead an after-school gardening
& food literacy program and volunteered as a trail guide leading school field trips
at a nature center. Most recently, I worked at Lake Clark National Park in Alaska
through a partnership with Student Conservation Association as a Visitor Center Services,
Youth Programs and Digital Curation Intern creating and leading Junior Ranger programs
to connect kids with park resources. I have always believed that the humanities and
arts are useful in further engaging children with nature and opening new doors in
the field of environmentalism. The Environmental Humanities program at University
of Utah allows me to explore this combining of disciplines further and to bring together
my own creative and scientific interests in new ways.
My circuitous route in life has taken me around the continent, from Winnipeg, Manitoba
to Logan, Utah to Montreal, Quebec and back again to Salt Lake City - with many points
in between. In Montreal I earned an Honors BA in English Literature and the J.W. McConnell
award from McGill University, completing a thesis on criminality, identity and power
in 20th-century American counterculture fiction. I then dedicated myself to music
and activism, organizing within a wide range of social and environmental justice campaigns
including FTAA-Alert, Solidarity Across Borders and Climate Justice Montreal. I founded
Montreal Soundteam, a working group of QPIRG-Concordia dedicated to providing audio
production and broadcast services for activist and community groups with limited funds.
I co-founded an activist marching band (chaoticinsurrectionensemble.org), as well as another semi-professional community-based brass band (brassmob.ca). I wrote for rabble.ca, and both worked and volunteered at CKUT 90.3FM (ckut.ca), a community radio station, producing radio documentaries, interviews and ads and
coordinating technical aspects of the station. This year (2017) I am happy to have
returned to Utah and to university to re-orient my activism and explore the intersections
of social justice, environmental change, history, and the cultural representation
of those tricky subjects.
I am thrilled to be part of University of Utah’s Environmental Humanities master’s
program. Originally from Boise, Idaho, I moved to Salt Lake after spending four years
in Portland, Oregon where I studied English and environmental studies at Lewis & Clark
College. My recent work has been twofold: an English thesis on John Keats’s elegiac
poetry and an environmental studies thesis on earthquakes in literature from Japan
and the Pacific Northwest. My literary interests range from the British Romantics
to the environs of Faulkner’s Mississippi to the future of ecocriticism. I have also
been involved with collaborative research on earthquake communication in the Pacific
Northwest and am excited to learn more about the seismic cultures of the Great Basin.
I am currently contemplating the relationship between seismic and nuclear landscapes,
with particular focus on the role of indigenous knowledge and memory in understanding
those relationships. In addition to my studies, I am enjoying the sunny weather and
outdoor adventures readily available in Utah.
My name is Heather Tourgee, and I graduated from Middlebury College in 2017 with a
bachelor’s in Environmental Nonfiction. I’ve interned in several different fields,
including environmental education, magazine publishing, and secondary education through
AmeriCorps. My research in the past has included the dairy industry in Vermont, sea
level rise, and the emotional toll of climate change. I write primarily creative nonfiction
and poetry, and I’m excited to be in a program that allows us to blend our academic
and creative pursuits.
I graduated from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida in 2015, where I was a
Ford Apprentice Scholar and majored in Environmental Studies and Literature. Immediately
following graduation, I traveled to Indonesia as a student researcher for the Eckerd
College Asian Environmental Initiative. For this research I worked with two of my
professors to conduct diversity surveys of mangrove forests along the coastlines.
Once returning home, I worked as a Senior Fellow for the Institute on Science for
Global Policy (ISGP), where I was a researcher and conference organizer. Through the
ISGP, I helped start, produce, write, and edit ISGP’s bi-weekly podcast, The Forum.
In this time, I also co-authored the paper “The Seeds of Chaos: Spontaneity as Resistance
in the Work of Ruth Ozeki,” published in Americana, with Eckerd College Literature Professor, Dr. Daniel Spoth. While applying to graduate school, I lived and worked on an organic farm in Virginia,
as well as interned as the Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter Political and Legislative
Intern. In my time here at the EH program, I hope to pursue my current research interests
of the intersections of environmental justice, communication, and urban food systems.
I continue to produce episodes of The Forum with my podcast team, as well as volunteer
at the Wasatch Community Gardens here in Salt Lake.
I studied at Haverford College (go black squirrels!) and graduated with a degree in
English Literature & Composition. As an undergraduate, I spent two summers working
for a backcountry trail crew in the Adirondack mountains and then one as a farmhand
on an organic, permaculture farm in New Hampshire. Coupled with my experiences living
close to the land, I took a few English and History courses at Haverford which allowed
me to explore my emerging interests in Environmental History, Ecocriticism, Environmental
Ethics, and Landscape studies. Post-college I worked seasonal conservation jobs before
taking a position as an English teacher at The Putney School in Putney, Vermont and
then, most recently, at The White Mountain School in Bethlehem, New Hampshire. As
dyed-in-the-wool New Englander, I love Cabot Cheese, maple syrup, and cross-country
Born in Kanab and raised in Price, my love for the Colorado Plateau has always steered
the trajectory of my life and work. I was trained as a painter, graduating with a
degree in Painting and Drawing from the University of Utah in 2008, but I have since
taken interest in crafts better suited to solving our most pressing environmental
problems. After working as a Wilderness Ranger in the High Uintas I have developed
an interest public land management which has led me to study GIS, land use policy,
and recreation. Moving forward, my work will focus on wildlife linkages in the Colorado
Plateau region. You can find my work at http://theirsecretnames.com/
After graduating with a B.S. in environmental science from the University of Texas
at Austin, I felt I was missing tools to answer hard environmental questions and engage
communities in those conversations. Thankfully, I found the environmental humanities
master's program here at the University of Utah to equip me with the skills to do
just that and more. In the past, I have been involved with sustainable agriculture
initiatives, diversity within the conservation field through the Doris Duke Conservation
Scholars program, and paleoenvironmental change research in Central America. In this
master's program, I hope to combine my science background with the humanities to create
a holistic approach to understanding how humans have faced and will face environmental
change in the past, present, and future.
I recently graduated from the Ohio State University where I studied English Rhetoric
and Composition as well as Society and Environmental Issues. I have nurtured a passion
for environmental work through nonprofit leadership and volunteering. I'm interested
in exploring place-based storytelling, environmental justice, and the disappearance
of landscape during my time at the U. I currently work as the Torrey House Press Environmental
Humanities Fellow through which I hope to bridge my research with the broader Salt
I graduated from BYU in 2016 in Interdisciplinary Humanities with an emphasis in Art
History. I have worked for a not-for-profit behavioral health company for a few years
and enjoy being able to help underprivileged groups gain access to mental health services.
My research background includes the vitality of the language of indigenous communities
of Argentine Toba (Qom) and methods for revitalization, and I am interested in continuing
to focus on environmental justice for marginalized groups.
Can I first just say that I only am where I am because my mom is brave? I’m a second-year
EH student and have attended Salt Lake Community College, Westminster College, and
now the University of Utah. Salt Lake is home, and it's served as a "base camp" over
the past decade enabling me to see and explore the rural West. I'm a sixth-generation
Utahn and have found it meaningful while in this program to deepen and interrogate
my relationship with Utah’s cultural and natural landscapes as well as the family
landscapes I'm connected to. My time between undergraduate and graduate school was
spent exploring the West with my life partner in my old Ford, travelling through Central
America and Southeast Asia, working for nonprofits and tour operators in Park City
and Alaska, and, most recently, serving as a park ranger for the United States Forest
Service. My current research interrogates water and attention, and following graduation
I am looking forward to living in a place where I can spend more time swimming in
and paddling through flowing water.
Originally from the North Shore in Massachusetts, I discovered my love of environmental
lore and literature while studying regional folklore at the University of Maine. My
undergraduate research explored tales of reclusive folk heroes, known locally as “hermits,”
in the backwoods and coastal islands around Maine. With the help of regional storytellers
and historians, my resulting thesis, “Persuading the Secret”: In Search of Maine’s Hermits, pursued these paradoxically charismatic folk figures as significant guardians of
ecological knowledge, frontier history and a deep sense of place. This research has
since informed and inspired my own aspirations in public-facing environmental writing.
While studying here in Utah, I aim to continue exploring local intersections of place,
people and narrative, in addition to the capacities of storytelling to provoke environmental
While I was studying at Brigham Young University, I couldn’t decide whether to study
Environmental Science or English. I suffered in indecision until someone recommended
that I talk to George Handley, who opened my eyes to the possibilities of ecocriticism.
From then on, I focused my studies on environmental readings of literature from Chaucer
to Richard Wright. When I graduated in 2016, I got a job as an English teacher in
Roosevelt, Utah, deep in oil country. Living in that community made it clear to me
that we are in need to cultural solutions to our environmental problems. My current
interests revolve around commons issues, Latin American literature, and cryptozoology.