University of Wisconsin–Madison

Lauren Ayers

lkayers@wisc.edu

Advisor: William J. Cronon

Lauren Ayers


Biography

I am a PhD student in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, concentrating on American Environmental History. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas at Austin, I traveled to South Asia, interned for the federal government, and wrote a senior thesis on a southern plains town. After graduating, I volunteered in West Africa. Recently, I completed a master’s thesis on the Rockefeller Foundation’s involvement in agricultural research and development in 1940s Mexico. My experiences, the places I live, and the people I meet along the way all inspire me. As such, I’m broadly interested in how science and expertise have informed development, how institutions often construct narratives, and the relationship between conservation and consumption.  My dissertation explores the history of the Forest Products Laboratory located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Education

B.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Field

  • U.S. History, American Environmental History, and Forest History

MA Title

  • “Blueprint for Hungry Nations: The Mexican Agricultural Program and the Origin of the Green Revolution”

Working Dissertation Title

  • “The Forest Products Laboratory, 1910 -1980: Institutionalizing Innovation in the Forest Service”

Selected Publications

Awards

  • Alternate for History Summer Support Competition (UW-Madison)
  • Phillip Loring Allen Fellowship
  • University Fellowship
  • Lewis L. Gould Best Thesis Prize for Excellence in U.S. History (from the University of Texas at Austin)

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society for Environmental History
  • Forest History Society
  • Agricultural History Society
  • Phi Beta Kappa

History Courses Taught as TA

  • History 102: America from the Civil War to the Present
  • History 460: American Environmental History