I am a historian who teaches, researches, and writes about the environment, energy, and the American West. Many of my life experiences shaped my interests in history. I was born and raised in Las Vegas, Nevada and spent my youth on a bicycle exploring the suburbs of this western city. The hot, arid climate was all I knew, and this orientation led me to wonder later in life about the different relationships between people and other environments. Themes that run throughout my work originated in these early experiences.