Erica Morin

Dr. Erica Morin

Contact Information:

Office: 148 Holden Hall


U.S. Environmental History, Environmental Policy, Gender History, 20th Century United States History

About Dr. Morin:

A native of northern New York State, Dr. Morin earned her B.A. in History and Women’s Studies from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2004. From there she moved to Purdue University to pursue her M.A. in American Studies and decided to stay a few years longer. She graduated with her Ph.D. in History from Purdue University in May 2012. Dr. Morin specializes in Modern American Environmental History and Policy. She is particularly focused on developing interdisciplinary approaches to environmental policy-making that are informed by historical expertise. Her secondary interest is gender and popular culture. She recently published an article entitled “‘No Vacation for Mother’: Traditional Gender Roles in Outdoor Travel Literature, 1945-1960” in the May 2012 issue of Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

In her dissertation, Erica examined the transformation of environmental legislation and public policy in the Adirondack Park from 1967 to 1990 alongside the growth of so-called “anti-environmental” attitudes in the rural mountain region. Originally established in 1894, the modern-day Adirondack Park in northern New York State is a six-million acre mosaic of public and private lands, including industrial sites, residential communities, recreational lands, and wilderness preservation areas governed by an expansive system of environmental regulations and land use zoning administered by the Adirondack Park Agency (APA). During the formative stages of the modern Adirondack Park Agency, New York residents may have generally agreed that the wild landscape needed to be protected from excessive industrial, residential, and recreational development, but when the time came for concrete legislation and regulation, participants and planners proved bitterly divided in their goals and opinions. Her project explains how an environmental protection plan initiated by public demands and shaped by public concerns in the late 1960s transformed into one of the most contentious topics in New York State politics and most distinctive park management arrangements in the United States by the 1980s. She has presented her research on the Adirondack Park at annual meetings of the American Society for Environmental History, the American Studies Association, and the Midwest Political Science Association in the past, and will be presenting at the Urban History Association conference in October 2012. In the future, she hopes to further investigate the effect of anti-environmental attitudes on the national scale.

Dr. Morin looks forward to teaching a range of U.S. History courses at Texas Tech. In Fall 2012, Dr. Morin is teaching HIST4306: The Roaring Twenties, Great Depression, and World War II and her unique version of HIST2301: United States Since 1877. Dr. Morin’s survey is structured around the motif of the newspaper. The curriculum is modeled after the newspaper both visually and symbolically. The newspaper provides a recurring stylistic theme, an instructional tool, a topic for historical discussion, and a prolific source for reading assignments. Aspects of the newspaper are incorporated into syllabus design, lecture titles, Power Point presentation layout and images, lecture topics, classroom activities, and reading and writing assignments. She presented her teaching motif at the Annual Meeting of the American History Association in January 2012 and TEDx PurdueU in March 2012. A more detailed explanation of the course method entitled “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!: Structuring the U.S. History Survey Around the Motif of the Newspaper” will also be published in The History Teacher in November 2012. In addition to the survey, she hopes to offer other courses on 20th Century U.S. history, gender, and the environment at Texas Tech.