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Michael J. Rawson
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Brooklyn College|Graduate Center
Room Number: 5104
Degrees/Diplomas: Ph.D. University of Wisconsin – Madison
Research Interests: U.S. Environmental and Cultural History; Urban History

The Nature of Tomorrow: A History of the Environmental Future. (Yale, 2021).

Eden on the Charles: The Making of Boston (Harvard, 2010) (Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for History) .

Selected Articles, Book Chapters, and Review Essays

"Discovering the Final Frontier: The Seventeenth-Century Encounter with the Lunar Environment," Environmental History 20, no. 2 (April 2015): 194-216.

“Creating the Urban Hydraulic Machine: Water, Technology, and the Building of Boston,” in Terje Tvedt and Terje Oestigaard, eds., A History of Water, Series 3, Vol. 1. From Jericho to Cities in the Seas: A History of Urbanization and Water Systems (forthcoming from I. B. Tauris).


“The March of Bricks and Mortar” (invited essay), Environmental History 17, no. 4, October 2012.


“Rethinking Conservation: The Nineteenth-Century Battle to Save Boston Harbor,” in Richard Judd and Blake Harrison, eds., A Landscape History of New England (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2011).


“A Horse Is a Horse, of Course, but Also Much More: Recovering the Animal Contribution to the Urbanization and Industrialization of America,” review essay in Journal of Urban History 37, no. 4 (July 2011): 614-618.


“Gendered Waters: Boston’s Frog Pond Fountain,” in Ari Hynynen, Petri Juuti, and Tapio Katko, eds., Water Fountains in the Cityscape (Kansas City, MO: Public Works Historical Society, 2011).


“What Lies Beneath: Science, Nature, and the Making of Boston Harbor,” Journal of Urban History 35, no. 5 (July 2009): 675-697; Finalist, 2010 Alice Hamilton Prize and 2010 Fishel-Calhoun Prize for best article. Reprinted in Anthony Penna and Conrad Wright, eds., Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and Its Surroundings (Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 2009).


“On Common Ground: The Overlapping Fields of Environmental History and Planning History,” review essay in Journal of Planning History 7, no. 4 (November 2008): 354-360.


“The Nature of Water: Reform and the Antebellum Crusade for Municipal Water in Boston,” Environmental History 9 (July 2004): 411-435; winner, 2005 Michael Robinson Award from the Public Works Historical Society for the best article in the field of public works history.