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November 16, 2015
Christopher Morris, Ph.D.
Professor of History
Christopher Morris is Professor of History and a member of the advisory committee for the Institute for Sustainability and Global Impact. He regularly teaches Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies, which is the core course for the ESS minor, and The Environmental History of the United States. In addition, he has taught Rivers in American History, and Natural Disasters in History.
Morris’s research focuses on past relationships between humans and non-human nature in North America, and in particular, in the American South. He is the author of two books, including The Big Muddy: An Environmental History of the Mississippi and Its Peoples from Hernando de Soto to Hurricane Katrina, co-editor of three collections of essays, and the author of fifteen essays, articles, book chapters, and of numerous conference presentations on topics ranging from early America encounters with bison and black bears to Great Lakes climate and cartographic history to modern American engineering along the Mississippi River. He is currently working on a study of fish, fishing, and fish processing along the southeastern coast from Virginia to Texas as a kind of energy industry that helped sustain southern agriculture, with implications for the sustainability of land and ocean ecologies.
Raised in Canada, Morris grew up on the Great Lakes before moving south to attend graduate school at the University of Florida. He has been a resident of Texas since 1992, and helped raise two children here. In addition to his work, Morris enjoys tennis, hiking, camping, fishing, canoeing—he regularly takes students on a half-day canoe trip down a portion of the Trinity River—reading about gardening but not actually doing it, travelling, cooking, jazz, old time rock ‘n’ roll, good books, good wine, and good conversation. He misses Canadian winters but loves springtime in Texas.