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MEGAN RABY

Curriculum Vitae

ACADEMIC APPOINTMENTS

Assistant Professor, Department of History, University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2013-present.

Faculty Associate, Teresa Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies (LLILAS-Benson), 2016-present.

Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of History, Saint Olaf College, Spring 2013.

EDUCATION 

PhD, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, December 2012.

Dissertation: “Making Biology Tropical: American Science in the Caribbean, 1898-1963.”

Committee: Gregg Mitman (chair), Lynn Nyhart, William Cronon, Francisco Scarano, Donald Waller

PhD Minor: Certificate on Humans and the Global Environment (CHANGE), Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies

MA, History, Montana State University-Bozeman, 2007.

MA paper: “Making Science Travel: Geographies of Collection and the American Ornithologists’ Union Code of Nomenclature.”

Committee: Michael S. Reidy (chair), Sara B. Pritchard, Brett L. Walker

BS, Earth Sciences, Minor in History, Montana State University-Bozeman, 2004.

CURRENT RESEARCH AND WRITING

Second book project on the life of Marston Bates and the changing role of science and environment in US relations with the Global South.

PUBLICATIONS

Book

American Tropics: The Caribbean Roots of Biodiversity Science, University of North Carolina Pres, in the series Flows, Migrations, and Exchanges, edited by Mart Stewart and Harriet Ritvo. In press, forthcoming November 2017.

Refereed Articles and Book Chapters

“A Laboratory for Tropical Ecology: Colonial Models and American Science at Cinchona, Jamaica.” In Spatializing the History of Ecology: Sites, Journeys, Mappings, edited by Raf de Bont and Jens Lachmund, (New York: Routledge, 2017): 56-78.

“‘The Jungle at Our Door’: Panama and American Ecological Imagination in the Twentieth Century.” Environmental History 21, no. 2 (2016): 260-269.

“Ark and Archive: Making a Place for Long-term Research on Barro Colorado Island, Panama.” Isis 106, no. 4 (2015): 798-824.

Awarded the History of Science Society’s 2016 Price/Webster Prize for best article appearing in Isis during the years 2013-2015.

Subalternity vs. Hegemony, Cuba’s Outstanding Achievements in Science and Biotechnology, 1959-2014 by Angelo Baracca and Rosella Franconi. Isis (In press, forthcoming 2017).

Stations in the Field: A History of Place-based Animal Research by Raf de Bont. Archives of Natural History 43, no. 1 (2016): 178.

Ordering Life: Karl Jordan and the Naturalist Tradition by Kristen Johnson. Centaurus 55, no. 4 (2013): 437-438.

The Maximum of Wilderness: The Jungle in the American Imagination by Kelly Enright. H-Environment, H-Net Reviews. May, 2012. URL:http://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=35629

The Second Jurassic Dinosaur Rush: Museums and Paleontology in America at the Turn of the Twentieth Century by Paul D. Brinkman. Journal of the History of Biology 44, no. 1 (2011): 155-57.

With Erin F. Madden and Anne J. Shudy Palmer. Weathering Risk in Rural Mexico: Climatic, Institutional, and Economic Change by Hallie Eakin. Society & Natural Resources: An International Journal 22, no. 10 (2009): 944-46.

Encyclopedia Articles

“United States––Caribbean holdings.” In Encyclopedia of American Environmental History, edited by Kathleen Brosnan, 1309-1311. New York, NY: Facts on File, 2011.

“Corn” and “Potatoes” in Encyclopedia of American History: Colonization and Settlement 1608 to 1760, edited by Billy G. Smith, 80-81, 304-305. New York, NY: Facts on File, 2009.

Online Articles and Interviews 

“How to Fit a Forest in Five Boxes,” The Bigger Picture: Exploring Archives and Smithsonian History (February 11, 2014):  http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/how-fit-forest-five-boxes

“BHL and Our Users: Megan Raby and the History of Biology,” Biodiversity Heritage Library Blog (September 27, 2011): http://blog.biodiversitylibrary.org/2011/09/bhl-and-our-users-megan-raby-and.html

“On Being a Scientist and a Historian,” AmericanScience (February 2011): http://americanscience.blogspot.com/2011/02/on-being-scientist-and-historian.html

“A Laboratory in the Jungle,” The Bigger Picture: Exploring Archives and Smithsonian History (September 9, 2010): http://siarchives.si.edu/blog/a-laboratory-in-the-jungle

SELECTED GRANTS, AWARDS, AND FELLOWSHIPS

College Research Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts, UT Austin, Fall 2017.

Bordin/Gillette Fellowship, support for research on the papers of Marston Bates, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan, 2017.

Derek Price/Rod Webster Prize for best article in Isis, 2013-2015, awarded by the History of Science Society for “Ark and Archive: Making a Place for Long-term Research on Barro Colorado Island, Panama,” 2016.

Research Fellowship, Institute for Historical Studies, University of Texas at Austin, 2015-2016.

Summer Research Assignment, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, Summer 2015.

Writing Flag Faculty Retreat, School of Undergraduate Studies, UT Austin, May 11-12, 2015.

Fellow of the John E. Green Regents Professorship in History, University of Texas at Austin, January-August 2015.

Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the National Museum of American History, advisors: Pamela Henson and Jeffrey Stine, 2013.

Supplemental College Research Fellowship, College of Liberal Arts, University of Texas at Austin, Fall 2013.

University Prize Fellowship, UW-Madison, Fall 2008-Spring 2009, Fall 2011-Spring 2012.

Smithsonian Predoctoral Fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution Archives and the National Museum of American History, advisors: Pamela Henson and Jeffrey Stine, June 1-August 31, 2010.

History of Science Society Travel Grant, 2009 and 2010.

National Science Foundation Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program (NSF-IGERT) Fellow, Certificate on Humans and the Global Environment (CHANGE), UW-Madison, Fall 2007-Spring 2008, Fall 2009-Spring 2010.

Montana State University (MSU) Graduate Achievement Award, 2007.

Smithsonian Institution Short-Term Visitor Travel Grant to research at the Smithsonian Institution Archives, advisor: Pamela Henson, October 1-14, 2006.

Best paper by a Master’s student, MSU Department of History and Philosophy, 2006.

PRESENTATIONS

Academic Conferences

[Upcoming] “Land Tenure, Land use, and Long-term Research: The Case of El Yunque, Puerto Rico,” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, November 9-12, 2017.

“From Tropicality to Biodiversity,” Biodiversity and its Histories, Columbia University and the New York Botanical Garden, New York, NY, April 24-25, 2017.

Session chair, “Science and the State in China, Mexico, and the US,” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Atlanta, Georgia, 3-6 November 2016.

Species Richness and Revolution in the Caribbean: Transforming Tropical Diversity into a “Global Resource,” VIII Simposio de la Sociedad Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Historia Ambiental (SOLCHA), Puebla, México, August 3-5, 2016.

“Diversity and the Tropics:  The ESA and a Century of Tropical Ecology,” in session “The ESA at 100: Historical Perspectives on Ecology and Ecological Management,” 100th Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, August 9-14, 2015.

“Landscapes of Leisure or Labor?: Making a Place for US Field Biology in the Caribbean.” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, November 6-9, 2014.

“A ‘Little Panamanian Community’: Science and Labor on Barro Colorado Island.” American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Washington, DC, January 2-5, 2014.

“Institutionalizing ‘Tropical Biology’: US Science in the Postcolonial Caribbean.” Southern Historical Association Annual Meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, October 31-November 3, 2013.

“‘Nature’s own laboratory?’: The Construction of Barro Colorado Island a Site for Tropical Ecology.” American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, April 3-6, 2013.

“‘A Scientist’s Eden’: Disciplining Tropical Biology at Barro Colorado Island.” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, November 15-18 2012.

“A Place for ‘Pure Botany’: The Cinchona Station, Jamaica, and the Origins of American  Tropical Ecology,” American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting, Madison, Wisconsin, March 28-31, 2012 (Session organizer).

“The Cinchona Botanical Station: American Botany in British Jamaica,” Columbia History of Science Group Annual Meeting, Friday Harbor Biological Research Station, March 9-11, 2012.

“Sixty-one Years of Soledad: University and Corporate Science at Harvard’s Research  Station in Soledad, Cuba, 1898-1959,” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Montréal, Quebec, November 4-7, 2010 (Session organized with Christine Manganaro).

Participant in the ASU-MBL History of Biology Seminar: “From Linnaeus to the Encyclopedia of Life: Tracking Diversity in the Natural World,” Woods Hole, Massachusetts. May 19-26, 2010.

“Imagining a Tropical Laboratory: US Science in the Caribbean after 1898,” History of Science Society Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona, November 2009.

“‘Birdskins are capital’: Western Expansion and the geography of Nineteenth-Century American Ornithological Collection,” American Society for Environmental History Annual Meeting, Boise, Idaho, March 12-16, 2008.

“Names and Places: The American Ornithologists’ Union Code of Nomenclature and the Geography of Collection in the U.S. West,” 4th Annual Michael P. Malone Memorial Conference: “Natural and Unnatural Geographies,” Chico Hot Springs, Pray, Montana, January17-21, 2007.

“‘Without rule or example…’:  Nineteenth Century Codes of Zoological Nomenclature,” Columbia History of Science Group Annual Meeting, Friday Harbor Biological Research Station, February 24-26, 2006.

Invited Presentations

[Upcoming] “Advancing the Interdisciplinary Environment,” Center for Culture History and Environment 10th Anniversary Symposium, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI, November 3-5, 2017.

“Tropical Biology and the History of Biodiversity,” Smithsonian Botanical Symposium: Exploring the Natural World: Plants, People and Places, National Museum of Natural History Department of Botany and United States Botanic Garden, Washington, DC, May 19, 2017.

Seminar and author question and answer session on “Ark and Archive: Making a Place for Long-Term Research on Barro Colorado Island, Panama,” Biological Sciences Working Group, Philadelphia Area Consortium for the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, October 27, 2016.

“Making ‘Jungle Island’: How Barro Colorado Became a Place for Science,” Bambi Seminar, Barro Colorado Island, Panama, June 16, 2016.

“The Panama Canal: From the Conquest of Nature to the Construction of New Ecologies,” with Marixa Lasso,  Ciudad del Saber, Panama, June 15, 2016.

“Why do Biologists Work Where They Work in the Tropics?: The History and Geography of Tropical Research Stations,” Tupper Seminar, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama, June 14, 2016.

“A Laboratory for Tropical Ecology: Colonial Models and American Science at Cinchona, Jamaica,” Spaces of Ecological Knowledge: Exploring the Geographies of a Field Science, Interdisciplinary Workshop, Faculty for Arts and Culture, Maastricht University, Netherlands, November 20-21, 2014.

Discussant of “Oceanic environment(s): Places of Marine Botany in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” by Franziska Torma, Spaces of Ecological Knowledge: Exploring the Geographies of a Field Science, Interdisciplinary Workshop, Faculty for Arts and Culture, Maastricht University, Netherlands, November 20-21, 2014.

“Tropical Encounters and the Idea of Biodiversity,” Food for Thought Lecture Series, Austin, Texas, August 18, 2014.

“A Tale of Two Research Stations,” Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, DC, October 23, 2013.

“Mapping the History of Botany: Using JSTOR Plant Science for Historical Research,” 4th Global Plants Initiative Meeting, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama, January 10-14, 2011.

“From Luxuriant Tropics to Biodiversity Hotspot: A History of US biology in the Caribbean,” poster presentation, Conference for Sustainability IGERTS 2, Tempe, Arizona, October 8-10, 2009.

“Situating Biogeography: Toward a historical account of post-Darwinian distribution studies,” poster presentation, 2008 IGERT Project Meeting, Arlington, Virginia, May 18-20, 2008.

Presentations at UT Austin

“Bridging the Two Cultures: Perspectives on Teaching STEM Educators the History of Science,” introductory speaker, Summer Teachers’ Institute: What’s STEM got to do with it? Teaching Social Studies in a Science and Tech-Obsessed World,  Hemispheres: the International Outreach Consortium, UT Austin, June 6, 2017.

Panelist, “Deep History,” Institute for Historical Studies, April 13, 2016.

Panelist, “The Age of Man: What are the Scientific and Social Implications of the Anthropocene?” 10th Annual Polymathic Scholars Chautauqua, College of Natural Sciences, April 4, 2017.

“Tropical Field Stations and the Global Distribution of Ecological Knowledge: Some Historical Perspective,” PopBio Seminar, Department of Integrative Biology, March 2, 2017.

Responder, “Habitat and Habitus: Woodland Peoples in an Agrarian Society,” by Sumit Guha, Workshop, Institute for Historical Studies, November 14, 2016.

“The History and Geography of Tropical Science: The Legacies of Field Stations,” Geography Colloquium, September 2, 2016

“Biological Diversity: From a ‘Tropical Problem’ to a ‘Global Crisis,’” Workshop, Institute for Historical Studies, February 8, 2016.

Responder, “Writing a Deep History of ‘Humboldt’s Current,'” by Kristin Wintersteen, Workshop, Institute for Historical Studies, December 1, 2014.

“The Tropics and the Idea of Biodiversity,” History and Philosophy of Science Colloquium, UT Austin, September 12, 2014.

“Perspectives on Science and Mathematics: Interactive Presentation,” with Van Herd, UTeach Conference, Austin, Texas, May 20, 2014.

Presentations at UW Madison

“Taming ‘Jungle Island:’ The Transformation of Barro Colorado Island into a Field Station for Tropical Biology,” History of Science Colloquium, UW-Madison, September 7, 2012.

“Sixty-one Years of Soledad: University and Corporate Science at Harvard’s Research Station in Soledad, Cuba, 1898-1959,” History of Science Brownbag, UW-Madison, October 22, 2010.

“Imagining a Tropical Laboratory,” Center for Culture, History, and Environment Graduate Student Symposium,  UW-Madison, April 4, 2009.

“Placing the idea of biodiversity: US tropical biology in the Caribbean after 1898,” History of Science Brownbag, UW-Madison, October 23, 2009.

“People, Plants, and Culture: Bringing Humanistic Inquiry to a Botanical Database,” with Gregg Mitman, Sara Hotchkiss, and Lynn Nyhart, Center for Culture, History, and Environment Colloquium, UW-Madison, October 22, 2008.

“The Natural History of Nearly Everything: A publishing trend,” with Lynnette Regouby and Meridith Beck Sayre, History of Science Brownbag, UW-Madison, March 7, 2008.

“‘Birdskins are capital’: Western Expansion and the Geography of Nineteenth-Century American Ornithological Collection,” Center for Culture, History, and Environment Colloquium, UW-Madison, March 5, 2008.

TEACHING

Courses Taught at UT Austin

“History of the Modern Life Sciences,” HIS322G.

“Global Environmental History,” HIS350L.

“Perspectives on Science and Math,” HIS329U/UTeach Natural Sciences.

Advising 

Ph.D. Committee Member

Felipe Fernandes Cruz,“Flight of the Steel Toucans: Aeronautics and Nation-Building in Brazil’s Frontiers,” 2016.

Blake Charles Scott, “From Disease to Desire: Panama and the Rise of the Caribbean Vacation,” 2016.

Trevor Mark Simmons, “Selling the African Wilds: A History of the Safari Tourism Industry in East Africa, 1900-1939,” 2015.

Plan II Honors Thesis Supervisor

Michael E. Baumgartner, “Blind Men and a Neuron: Problems and Perspectives in Neuroscience Research,” 2015. (Selected as a Model Thesis by Plan II.)

Plan II Honors Thesis Second Reader

Shelley Broman, “Dam It!: Austin’s Water Supply, Use, and Technology Past, Present, and
Future,” 2016.

Sarah Douglas, “The Sea In-Situ: Using Immersive Experiences to Further the Field of Oceanography,” 2015.

Teaching Assistants Mentored

Daniel Jean-Jacques, “Perspectives on Science and Math,” HIS329U (four sections), 2015; HIS329U (two sections), 2016; “History of the Modern Life Sciences,” HIS322G.

Angela Smith, “Perspectives on Science and Math,” HIS329u (four sections), 2014.

Undergraduate Interns Mentored

Nathan Wong, UTeach, 2016.

Past Teaching Experience

Saint Olaf College

“American Environmental History,” History Department, Spring 2013.

University of Wisconsin-Madison 

“Western Culture: Science, Technology, Philosophy II” and “Science in the 20th Century,” Teaching Assistant, History of Science Department, 2010-2011.

Montana State University

“Darwinian Revolution,” “Latin American History,”“American History Before 1860,” “History of Japan,” Teaching Assistant, History and Philosophy Department, 2005-2007.

SERVICE AND RELATED EXPERIENCE

National and International

Peer reviewer for Harvard University Press and the journals Environmental HistoryHistorical Studies in the Natural Sciencesand Society and Space (Environment and Planning D)

George Perkins Marsh Prize Committee, American Society for Environmental History, 2017-2020.

Co-chair, Women’s Caucus of the History of Science Society, 2015-2017.

History of Science Society Forum for the History of Science in America Philip J. Pauly Publication Prize Committees, 2011 (article), 2012 (book), and 2013 (article).

History of Science Society Forum for the History of Science in America Steering Committee, 2010-2013.

UT Austin Department of History

Undergraduate Research Coordinator, 2017-2018.

Institute for Historical Studies Steering Committee, 2016-2017.

Executive Committee, 2014-2015, 2016-2017.

Salary Committee, 2015-2016.

Special committee on Peer Observation, Executive Committee, 2014-2016.

Chair, Science, Medicine, and Technology Symposium, 2014-2015.

Jan Carleton Perry Prize committee for best master’s report or thesis written in the university History Department, 2014.

Other Service and Experience

UW Center for Culture, History, and Environment (CHE) Graduate Student Associate, 2007-2012.

History of Science, Medicine, and Technology at the University of Wisconsin graduate student blog co-administrator and author, 2011-2012.

Project assistant, UW-Madison Department of the History of Science, 2012.

Project assistant, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation “Plants and their Collectors:  A  Mapping Tool for the JSTOR Plants Database and the History of Botany,” 2010-2011.

Planning committee, 1st, 2nd, 3rd and  5th Annual CHE Graduate Student Symposia, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012.

UW CHE  Graduate Student Representative, Fall 2009-Spring, 2010.

Workshop for the History of Environment, Agriculture, Technology and Science (WHEATS) planning committee, 2010.

Research Assistant, MSU History and Philosophy Department, 2005.

Museum of the Rockies Paleohistology Lab Assistant, 2002-2003.

Museum of the Rockies Paleontology Field Crew, 2000-2003.

LANGUAGES

Spanish, intermediate reading; French and German, beginner reading.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS

American Historical Association

American Society for Environmental History

History of Science Society

Sociedad Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Historia Ambiental

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