Navigate Home


Ruth M. Alexander, PhD.


Professor History

Contact Info

Phone: (970) 491-6461   Office: B-354 Clark Building

Email:   Lab:


Fields of Expertise

1.) Anthropology, History, and Sociology

Areas of Interest

 Environmental HistorySocial HistoryUnited States History


I am an environmental historian as well as an historian of social relations, gender, politics, and sexuality. In my research and teaching I am especially interested in ideas, institutions, experiences and relationships of power involving humans and the environment that are associated with modernity. My current research projects include the following: 1) Oral Histories of the 2013 Colorado Flood; 2) An examination of intellectual efforts to challenge American modernity's distortions of human and non-human nature in the 1960s writings of Jane Jacobs, Rachel Carson, and Betty Friedan; 3) An environmental history of Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park that examines the dynamic between recreational climbers, park managers, and natural resource scientists and their combined impacts on the mountain landscape over the course of the twentieth century; 4) An examination of the history of abortion in the U.S. as environmental history, 1945 to the present. In addition to being a member of the History Department, I am Faculty Council Chair of the Public Lands History Center at CSU. I provide administrative leadership in the Center and serve as a principal investigator on environmental, social, and oral history research projects for the National Park Service and other public lands agencies. The PLHC conducts historical research that helps natural and cultural resource managers develop effective and sustainable management practices. We actively pursue interdisciplinary partnerships with researchers and public lands managers.