Professor Vrtis’ teaching and research interests focus on the fields of American and World environmental history, the American West, nineteenth-century America, and contemporary environmental issues. As a joint appointment in the History Department and the Environmental Studies Program, he teaches a wide range of courses in both areas. His current research is focused on three books: Gold Rush Colorado: An Environmental History (under contract with the University Press of Colorado), Mining North America, 1522-2012: Environmental History (co-edited with J. R. McNeill of Georgetown University, book under contract with the University of California Press), and Three Rivers Country: An Environmental History of Minnesota’s Twin Cities and Their Hinterlands (co-edited with Chris Wells of Macalaster College). When these are done, he hopes to turn his attention to the world’s coastal dead zones.
Updated: May 2012.