Reflecting on the nature of these scholarly projects, Miller writes that often their source came directly from his work outside the academy.
“I have been a longtime contributor to the Senior and Middle Leadership Programs for the US Forest Service, for example, and have had the chance to learn from those on the ground how management decisions are applied in real time and under real conditions (a humbling set of realizations about how history is actually written into the land). My commitment to reaching a wider audience—you should have heard my mother on why I’d better do so—has led me to collaborate with museums and archives across the southwest on developing new exhibits and facilitating public forums; serve as a historical consultant on a dozen or so documentaries; engage with teachers across the country on K-12 curriculum and pedagogy; and write countless op-eds and commentaries for newspapers, magazines, and online venues (the editors of which happily red-penciled my prose). Every one of these experiences has roughed up my assumptions and perspectives, a wonderfully heathy and regenerative process that has made me a better citizen, teacher, and writer.”
Char Miller is the W. M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History at Pomona College, in Claremont, California. His most recent books include The Nature of Hope: Grassroots Organizing, Environmental Justice, and Political Change (2019), Ogallala: Water for a Dry Land (2018), San Antonio: A Tricentennial History (2018), and Where There’s Smoke: The Environmental Science, Public Policy, and Politics of Marijuana. Other recent books include Not So Golden State: Sustainability vs. the California Dream (2016), America’s Great National Forests, Wildernesses, and Grasslands (2016), On the Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest (2013).