Colorado State University History faculty member, Dr. Douglas Sheflin, was selected to receive the 2019 Choice Outstanding Academic Title designation for his book, Legacies of Dust: Land Use and Labor in the Colorado Plains. The award recognizes the top academic titles of the year, as reviewed by Choice.

Dr. Sheflin has also participated on an American West Program panel on immigration and the American West, where he shared key findings from Legacies of Dust. He found that attempts to limit or bar human movement during times of scarcity or instability have a long history, despite being unsuccessful. Importantly, that historical precedent that is being revisited in our own time. In addition, he is the editor of the PLHC’s contributions to the Colorado Encyclopedia.

Dr. Sheflin has also been an important contributor to the past PLHC research. His past projects include co-authorship of a digital history and historical report of Scotts Bluff National Monument. Sheflin’s research analyzed the contention over water in and around the monument’s borders. He noted that as demand for water grows in western Nebraska, famers and urbanites are finding themselves clashing over this vital resource.

As Sheflin remarks, stakeholders interested in recreating on the Platte River, including kayaking and fishing, are also increasingly finding their voices as they advocate for the preservation of the Platte. These community members also understand that maintaining the Platte is also crucial to the region’s ecological health and the wildlife that depend on it for survival. Climate change, he notes is also playing a role. As western Nebraska’s already-arid environment continues to dry, Nebraskans are exploiting both major sources of water–the Platte River and the Oglala Aquifer–at unsustainable levels.

To learn more about Legacies of Dust, or to pick up a copy, visit the University of Nebraska Press’ page by clicking here.