University of Wisconsin–Madison

Daniel Grant

Ph.D. Candidate


M.S. Geography, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2015 (Advisor: Bill Cronon) B.A. Politics-Environmental Studies with honors, Whitman College, 2010

Research Areas

19th- and 20th-century American historical geography and environmental history; cultural politics of water and difference; history and geography as novelistic writing; American West

Current Research

My research draws from environmental history, borderlands history, and political ecology to illuminate a hidden history of water in the American West. The project, entitled "Water Ways: Hydraulic Life in the California Borderlands, 1848-2017," examines how cultural relationships formed with Colorado River water along lines of race, class, labor, and nation, and how they manifested in daily life and political struggles from the mid-19th century to present. 

Courses Taught

Cartography of Environmental Disasters (Visiting Faculty, Middlebury College, Winter 2017); The Making of the American Landscape: History/Geog/Env Studies 469 (TA, Fall 2016); Global Warming Science and Impacts: Geog/AOS/Env Studies 332 (TA, Spring 2016); American Environmental History: History/Geog/Env Studies 460 (TA, Spring 2015 & Fall 2015); Resources and People: Geog/Env Studies 139 (TA, Fall 2013 & Fall 2014); Introduction to Human Geography: Geog 101 (TA, Spring 2014)


American Society for Environmental History (ASEH); Association of American Geographers (AAG); Historical Geography Research Group (HGRG); Western History Association (WHA); UW-Madison Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE); UW-Madison Human-Environment Research Discussion (HERD); UW-Madison Novel Ecosystems IGERT; Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment (ASLE) 


Recent Publications

Grant, Daniel. "The Watering of California's Central Valley." Environment & Society Portal, Arcadia 2015, no. 1. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. 


Awards and Honors

2017-2018 Novel Ecosystems IGERT Trainee, National Science Foundation; 2016 Western History Association Honorarium, Beinecke Library, Yale University; 2016 Western History Association Graduate Student Prize; 2015 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention; 2010 Robert Y. Fluno Award for best paper in Politics; Whitman College 2010; Robert Y. Fluno Award for Distinguished Student-Scholar in Politics, Whitman College

Contact Information

Mailing Address:

Department of Geography University of Wisconsin-Madison Science Hall 550 North Park Street Madison, WI 53706


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