Ryan Edgington

Old Main, Room 311
FAX: 651-696-6498

Office Hours
September 1-May 31
Weekdays 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
June 1-August 31
Tuesdays 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Visiting Assistant Professor, History
Environmental history

Professor Edgington’s teaching explores North American environmental history and the history of the North American West and the U.S.—Mexico Borderlands Region. His research focuses on Cold War era militarized landscapes, the Atomic West, and American food ways and agriculture.

His first book, Range Wars: The Environmental Contest for White Sands Missile Range (University of Nebraska Press, July 2014), explores the fifty-year struggle between the military, ranchers, environmentalists, and state and federal environmental agencies to shape the environment of the largest overland military reserve in the western hemisphere. Edgington has also published articles in Agricultural History, Western Historical Quarterly, History and Technology, Natural Resources Journal, and the co-edited book Militarized Landscapes: From Gettysburg to Salisbury Plain.

He is currently at work on an essay that examines U.S. Department of Agriculture designed civil defense programs.

His second book project explores the urbanization of the Middle Rio Grande Valley and how it transformed the traditional use of water among rural Hispanic communities in the Albuquerque region. It begins with the creation of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District in 1925, which was established to control flooding around the city. In the process state officials, judges, and urban boosters created new water laws that promoted urban uses that superseded the near two hundred year processes of diverting water via irrigation ditches from the Rio Grande to farms and ranches. As the Cold War military build-up took hold of Albuquerque in the post-World War II years Civil rights activists would point to this process as a symptom of dispossession in the region. This is a history about environmental inequalities. As important it is about the changing perceptions of water and nature in the American Southwest.

  • PhD in history, Temple University, 2008
  • MA in history, University of New Mexico, 2003
  • BA in history, University of New Mexico, 1999