“Environmental History,
St Louis and Beyond”

“Environmental History, 
St Louis and Beyond” The Speaker Series at a Glance
“Environmental History, 
St Louis and Beyond” The Speaker Series at a Glance


April 17, Tuesday, 7:00 pm at Wildwood Historical Society
“St Louis’ Radioactive Legacy” by Ed Smith

Speaker bio for Ed Smith
Ed Smith grew up in St. Charles, graduated from Missouri State University in 2007, and went on to work for electoral campaigns around the country through the 2008 general election. Mr. Smith returned to Missouri in 2009 where he worked for two environmental organizations before he started working for the Missouri Coalition for the Environment in 2011. Mr. Smith has been working on nuclear power and radioactive contamination issues in Missouri since he started working for MCE. He continues to advocate for solutions at the West Lake Landfill, including the transfer of the site to the Corps of Engineers, removal of the radioactive material from the unlined landfill, and a buyout for families living closest to the site.


April 25, Wednesday, 7:00 pm at Old Trails Historical Society in Manchester -Ballwin
“Historical Perspectives of Climate Change” by David Henry

Speaker bio for David Henry
David has been an environmental activist for more than three decades. While studying Natural Resource Management at the University of Wisconsin in the mid-1980s, he helped form the Sustainable Agriculture Student Group which asked the Agriculture School administration to create a certificate program in sustainable agriculture. In 1991, he finished a Master’s degree in Public Policy Administration at the University of Missouri – St. Louis with an emphasis in environmental policy. While working as a Policy Evaluator at the U.S. General Accounting Office during the 1990s, he helped write reports related to water quality and the operation of the Environmental Protection Agency. In the first decade of this century, David became active on the issue of smart growth and helped form a non-profit ‘Walkable St. Louis’ to promote walking and help establish guidelines to make St. Louis a more walkable city. In recent years, David has been very active on the issue of climate change. In 2013, he walked 1000 miles to talk to people about climate change and wrote about a book about his experience called “David and the Giant Mailbox”. In the past few years, he has been a member of Citizen’s Climate Lobby to lobby members of Congress to support a carbon fee and dividend policy. He now works at the Missouri Historical Society and lives in the Central West End with his wife Katy.


April 26, Thursday, 7:00 pm at Historical Society of University City
“A History of Environmental Issues in St. Louis and Missouri” by Don Corrigan

Speaker bio for Don Corrigan
Don Corrigan is editor in chief of three newspapers in the St. Louis area for Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc., is an award-winning professor of journalism at Webster University and is author of five books on communications, the environment, and the outdoors. Holly Shanks is a freelance journalist in the St. Louis area, writing and reporting regularly on the green/outdoor blog EnvironmentalEcho.com.


May 5, Saturday, 1:30 pm at Carondelet Historical Society
“A Brief History of Landscape Architecture in St. Louis” by Esley Hamilton

Speaker bio for Esley Hamilton
Esley Hamilton was preservation historian for the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation from 1977 to 2015.  He also taught historic preservation and the history of landscape architecture at Washington University’s School of Architecture from 1992 to 2013.  Among his honors is the honorary degree of doctor of arts and letters, awarded by the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2009.  His book, St. Louis Parks, co-authored with NiNi Harris, appeared in 2012.  Currently he is continuing part-time with County Parks and working on a new book about historic buildings in the county.


May 15, Tuesday, 7:00 pm at Webster Groves Historical Society
“The Mighty Mississippi: Sustaining Life in the Confluence Region” by David Lobbig

Speaker bio for David Lobbig
David Lobbig, Curator of Environmental Life at Missouri History Museum. David has worked in museum facilities management, exhibit production, education, and collections preservation for over 30 years. David is President of Missouri Coalition for the Environment, having joined the board in 2001, he has served on the Policy, Board Development, and Fundraising and Development Committees and the Smart Growth Action Team. He began serving as President in 2008.


May 16, Wednesday, 7:00 pm at Missouri Historical Society
Panelist – one of four
Speaker bio for CGwendolyn Verhoff, Ph.D.
Gwendolyn Verhoff, Ph.D., is on the faculty at St. Louis Community College-Wildwood as a history instructor.
Verhoff received her bachelor’s degree in English, graduating summa cum laude from the University of Missouri-St. Louis; her doctorate is from Washington University. Her dissertation, titled “The Intractable Atom: The Challenge of Radiation and Radioactive Waste in American Life, 1942 to Present,” focused on uranium refining and the implications of nuclear waste and occupational illness.
Verhoff received the Rachel Carson Prize, Best Dissertation in Environmental History in 2008 by The American Society for Environmental History, and the John C. Haas Fellowship in the History of Chemical Industries, which she completed at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, Pa. She also earned the Eisenhower-Roberts Fellowship by the Eisenhower Institute, and the Washington University Dean’s Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Prior to joining STLCC-Wildwood, she taught at Washington University and STLCC-Meramec.

May 17, Thursday, 7:00 pm at Sappington-Concord Historical Society
“The Secret History of St. Louis’ Weather and What We Can Learn From It” by Andrew Hurley

Speaker bio for Andrew Hurley
Andrew Hurley is Professor of History at University of Missouri-St. Louis and has written extensively on issues of environmental justice, urban regeneration, and publicly-engaged scholarship.  His books include Environmental Inequalities: Class, Race, and Industrial Pollution in Gary, Indiana, 1945-1980 (University of North Carolina Press, 1995) and Beyond Preservation: Using Public History to Revitalize Inner-Cities (Temple University Press, 2010).  He is also the editor of Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis (Missouri Historical Society Press, 1997).  His research has been supported with funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Housing and Urban Development Agency, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the National Science Foundation.


May 23, Wednesday, 7:00 pm at Clayton Historical Society
“Blessing or Boondoggle? A Historical Perspective on the Biofuel Debate” by Jeff Manuel

Speaker bio for Jeffrey T. Manuel
Jeffrey T. Manuel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Historical Studies at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. A native of Anoka, Minnesota, Manuel received his BA in history and economics from Northwestern University in 2001 and his PhD in history from the University of Minnesota in 2009.
Manuel’s research interests focus on the history of industry, energy, and the American Midwest. Manuel’s book, Taconite Dreams: The Struggle to Sustain Mining on Minnesota’s Iron Range, 1915-2000, was published by the University of Minnesota Press. His research on the history of the iron ore industry has also appeared in Technology and Culture and several forthcoming edited collections. This research has been supported by grants and fellowships including a STEP Grant from SIUE’s Office of Research and Projects and the Norman Johnson Dewitt Fellowship from the University of Minnesota.
Manuel’s current research–tentatively titled Agrarian Energy: Alcohol Fuels and Critiques of America’s Oil Century–explores the history of fuel alcohol (or ethanol) in the United States from the 1830s to the present.
Manuel is also active in public and oral history. His work as a public historian has appeared in Radical History Review and he has served as curator and online producer for historical exhibitions in Minnesota and Illinois. He has worked with students to interpret the 1918 lynching of Robert Prager in Collinsville, Illinois, and he is a co-editor of Madison Historical: The Online Encyclopedia and Digital Archive for Madison County, Illinois.

May 24, Thursday, 7:00 pm at Missouri Historical Society
Capstone speaker
Speaker bio for Dr Adam Rome from the University of Buffalo

A specialist in environmental history, Adam Rome is the author of two books: The Genius of Earth Day: How a 1970 Teach-In Unexpectedly Made the First Green Generation (2013) and The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism (2001), which won the OAH Frederick Jackson Turner Award. He also is a coeditor of Green Capitalism? Business and the Environment in the Twentieth Century (2017). A former editor of Environmental History, he is writing the environmental history volume for the Oxford University Press Very Short Introduction series. He also is working on a book about efforts to green American business since the late 1980s.

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