Dane Vanhoozer comes to SHRA with a BA in History and an MA in Cultural Resource Management. Dane’s interest in history and his career with the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter informed his decision to take courses from environmental historian- and editor of the Journal of Environmental History- Dr. Lisa Brady as an undergraduate at Boise State University. Dr. Brady encouraged Dane to explore his fascination with nature’s role as an active participant in history, specifically as it related to public lands management. In May 2009, Dane graduated Summa Cum Laude with a BA in History and a Minor in Japanese Studies.
While Dane took a five-year hiatus from his academic pursuits he continued to work for the U.S. Forest Service in a variety of capacities. He spent several seasons on specialized helitack crews in Idaho and Montana that rappelled from helicopters into fires in the remote backcountry. Dane also became instrumental in training and mentoring those he supervised both in the classroom and out in the field. While not traveling throughout the West to suppress wildfires Dane participated in climate change studies that examined the resiliency of forests in the Northern Rockies (Flathead National Forest), and worked closely with Burned Area Emergency Recovery Teams (BAER) in the wake of catastrophic wildfires to minimize soil erosion and encourage the regrowth of native species.
Dane’s continued interest in environmental history led him to enroll in a history graduate program at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado in August of 2014. While in Fort Collins, Dane worked closely with the preeminent environmental historian and co-founder of The Public Lands History Center at Colorado State University–Dr. Mark Fiege. Dane pursued his interest in public lands management by working with Rocky Mountain National Park to examine the park’s controversial policy of lethally removing elk to address the environmental problems caused by an over-abundant elk herd. Dane presented his research to park staff and the public at Rocky Mountain National Park’s Biennial Research Conference in February of 2015. In addition to working with public lands agencies, Dane also worked with the Colorado Humanities as a Content Specialist for the Colorado Encyclopedia, where he produced original scholarship to be used by Colorado’s state school system. In August 2016, Dane graduated Summa Cum Laude from Colorado State University with an MA in Cultural Resource Management.
Dane’s interest in the past continues to dovetail with his extracurricular pursuits as he enjoys taking extended backpacking trips, mountain biking, and, most importantly, exploring the intersection of the built and natural environments throughout the nation’s public lands.