I am United States Navy veteran and served six years with the Carson City Sheriff’s Office before returning to higher education. I am a long-time member of the Friends of the Nevada State Railroad Museum and I continue to volunteer with the museum in steam train operations and historical education projects. I presently serve as Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Goleta Valley Historical Society.
My research examines environmental settler colonialism and the creation of water policy in Nevada between 1840 and 1890. I explore how Euro-American settlers altered their environment to give them an advantage over Indigenous communities and ensure their access to water for agricultural purposes. However, with the Comstock mining boom, a three-way competition emerged between industry, agriculture, and Indigenous interests to guarantee and preserve access to water. These claims often found their ways into the courts resulting in hybrid rulings that incorporate elements of both riparian and appropriation doctrines that recognized water scarcity and did their best to ensure equal access to all parties.
Riparian Revolt: Contested Water in Early Nevada, 1840-1890