Paul Hirt is a historian specializing in the American West, environmental history, environmental policy, and sustainability studies. Hirt's publications include a monograph on the history of electric power in the U.S. Northwest and British Columbia, titled The Wired Northwest (Univ Press of Kansas, 2012). He also published a history of national forest management since WWII (A Conspiracy of Optimism, 1994), and edited two collections of essays on Northwest history (Terra Pacifica, 1998 and Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples, 1999). Professor Hirt has also authored more than two-dozen articles and book chapters on environmental and western history and policy. His current research projects include collaborative interdisciplinary research on energy transitions, water use and conservation, urban growth and sustainability in southern Arizona, and adaptive management in the Colorado River Basin.
Professor Hirt is involved in many public engagement programs focused on the above topics, including the Smithsonian Museum on Main Street traveling exhibit Water/Ways, an administrative history of the Glen Canyon Dam Adaptive Management Program funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, renewable energy development for the Navajo Nation, and various water, energy, and sustainability initiatives of the Global Institute of Sustainability and ASU's Global Drylands Center. For an example of a completed public history project funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, see http://grandcanyonhistory.clas.asu.edu/
Professor Hirt has served as a book and manuscript reviewer for more than a dozen academic presses and journals and has held positions on several editorial boards and professional association program and prize committees. From 2007-2011, he served on the Executive Committee of the American Society for Environmental History (ASEH) and, from 2011-2015, he served on the editorial board of the journal Environmental History. For several years he chaired ASEH's Sustainability Committee and its Advisory Board for Professional Development and Public Engagement.
In his private life, Professor Hirt holds an elected position on the board of directors of Salt River Project, one of the nation's largest nonprofit water and power utilities centered in greater Phoenix, and he is involved with regional conservation organizations, serving on the board of directors of the Sky Island Alliance based in Tucson, Arizona from 2002-2011.
- Senior Sustainability Scholar, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
- Professor, School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
- PhD, U.S. History, University of Arizona, 1991
- MA, Asian Studies, University of Arizona, 1982
- BA, Philosophy, University of Arizona, 1978
- Responsible Consumption and Production
- landscape studies
- food policy
- fire management
- human values
- human dimensions of science and technology
- environmental history
- energy conservation
- environmental humanities
- citizen engagement
- border studies
- environmental policy
- energy policy
- natural resource management
- renewable energy
- utilities regulation
- water conflicts
- water resource management
- urban development
- land use and land cover
- history of electric power
Hirt, P. W., R. Snyder, C. M. Hester and K. L. Larson. 2017. Water and sustainability in Arizona: A tale of two cities. Journal of the Southwest 59(1-2):264-301. (link )
Barry, M., P. Hirt and H. Petric. 2015. Building the resilience of Croatian agriculture to environmental and economic shock. Economics and Ecohistory (Ekonomska i ekohistorija - Časopis za gospodarsku povijest i povijest okoliša) XI(11):105-122. (link )
Hirt, P. W. 2012. A brief history of river development and river conservation in North America. Ekonomska I Ekohistorija VIII:63-65.
Hirt, P. 2011. Teaching U.S. history with environmentally themed cartoons. OAH Magazine of History 25(4):45-48. (link )
Hirt, P. W. and L. Sargeant Wood. 2011. Teaching nature, culture and history in the West: A Grand Canyon multimedia partnership. Journal of the West 49(3):10-33.
Larson, K. L., A. Gustafson and P. W. Hirt. 2009. Insatiable thirst and a finite supply: Assessing municipal water conservation policy in greater Phoenix, Arizona, 1980-2007. Journal of Policy History 21(2):107-137. DOI: 10.1017/S0898030609090058. (link )
Hirt, P. W., A. Gustafson and K. L. Larson. 2008. The mirage in the Valley of the Sun. Environmental History 13(3):482-514. DOI: 10.1093/envhis/13.3.482v. (link )
Goble, D. D., P. Hirt and S. J. Kilgore. 2005. Dale D. Goble, Paul Hirt, and Susan J. Kilgor on environmental cartoons. Environmental History 10(4):776-792. DOI: 10.1093/envhis/10.4.776. (link )
Hirt, P. W. 2003. Creating an American Studies curriculum for Ukraine. The Newsletter of the American Studies Association of Ukraine 2:2-3.
Hirt, P. W. 1997. Following the money. Inner Voice 9(1):1, 6-8.
Hirt, P. W. 1989. The transformation of a landscape: Culture and ecology in southeastern Arizona. Enviornmental Review; ER 13(3/4):167-189. DOI: 10.2307/3984395. (link )
Hirt, P. W. 2012. The Wired Northwest: The History of Electric Power, 1870s-1970s. University Press of Kansas. Lawrence, KS. ISBN: 978-0700618736.
Goble, D. D. and P. W. Hirt eds. 1999. Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples: Readings in Environmental Histories. University of Washington Press. ISBN: 978-0295978383.
Hirt, P. W. 1998. Terra Pacifica: People and Place in Northwest States and Western Canada. Washington State University Press. ISBN: 978-0874221626.
Hirt, P. W. 1994. A Conspiracy of Optimism: Management of the National Forests since World War Two. University of Nebraska Press. ISBN: 978-0803272880.
Ferguson, C. and P. W. Hirt. "Power to the People": Grassroots advocacy, environmental protection, and democratic governance in the late 20th century. In: Miller, C. and J. Crane eds., The Nature of Hope: Grassroots Organizing, Environmental Justice, and Political Change. University Press of Colorado.
Hirt, P. W. 2012. Prólogo. Pp. 15-22 In: Cordova, A. and C. A. de la Parra eds., El muro fronterizo entre México y Estados Unidos: Espacios, insrumentos y actores para un dialogo consructivo. El Colegio de la Frontera Norte. ISBN: 978-607-479-073-3.
Hirt, P. W. and A. M. Sowards. 2012. The past and future of the Columbia River. In: Cosens, B. ed., The Columbia River Treaty Revisited: Transboundary River Governance in the Face of Uncertainty. Oregon State University Press. ISBN: 978-0-87071-691-1.
Hirt, P. W. 2008. Back to the future: The rise, decline and possible return of the U.S. Forest Service as a leading voice for conservation in America, 1900-2000. Pp. 124-153 In: Sample, V. A. and S. Anderson eds., Common Goals for Sustainable Forest Management: Divergence and Reconvergence of American and European Forestry. Forestry History Society. ISBN: 978-0890300701.
Hirt, P. W. 2008. Developing a plentiful resource: Transboundary rivers in the Pacfiic Northwest. Pp. 147-188 In: Whiteley, J. M., H. Ingram and R. Warren Perry eds., Water, Place, & Equity. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. ISBN: 978-0262232715.
Hirt, P. W. 2008. The rise, decline, and possible return of the U.S. Forest Service as a leading voice for conservation in America, 1900-2000. In: Sample, V. A. and S. Anderson eds., Common Goals for Sustainable Forest Management: Divergence and Reconvergence of American and European Forestry. Forest History Society. ISBN: 978-0890300701.
Hirt, P. W. 2001. Biopolitics: A case study of political influence on forest management decisions, Coronado National Forest, Arizona, 1980s-1990s. Pp. Chapter 8 In: Huggard, C. J. and A. R. Gomez eds., Forests under Fire: A Century of Ecosystem Mismanagement in the Southwest. University of Arizona Press. Tucson, AZ. ISBN: 978-0816517756.
Hirt, P. W. 2000. Predicting the future by understanding the past: A historian considers the Forest Service. Pp. 149-169 In: Sedjo, R. A. ed., A Vision for the U.S. Forest Service: Goals for Its Next Century. RFF Press. ISBN: 978-1891853029.
Hirt, P. W. 1999. Creating wealth by consuming place: Timber management on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Pp. Chapter 8 In: White, R. and J. M. Findlay eds., Power and Place in the North American West. University of Washington Press. Seattle, WA. ISBN: 9780295996639.
Hirt, P. W. 1999. Dupes, conspirators, truth seekers, and other breeds: A typology of the human animal in environmental history. Pp. 105-120 In: Herron, J. P. and A. G. Kirk eds., Human/Nature: Biology, Culture, and Environmental History. University of New Mexico Press. Albuquerque, NM. ISBN: 0-8263-1915-7.
Hirt, P. W. 1999. Getting out the cut: A history of National Forest management in the northern Rockies. Pp. 437-461 In: Goble, D. D. and P. W. Hirt eds., Northwest Lands, Northwest Peoples: Readings in Environmental History. University of Washington Press. ISBN: 978-0295978383.
Hirt, P. W. 1999. Institutional failure in the U.S. Forest Service: A historical perspective. In: Freudenburg, W. R. and T. I. Youn eds., Research in Social Problems and Public Policy. Vol 7. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. ISBN: 9780762302789.
Gustafson, A., K. L. Larson, P. W. Hirt and L. Zautner. 2008. An assessment of municipal water conservation policy in greater Phoenix, Arizona, 1980-2007. Poster presented at 10 January 2008 CAP LTER 10th Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )
Gustafson, A., K. L. Larson, P. W. Hirt and J. B. Chirumamilla. 2007. Assessing water conservation policy and water use in an arid metropolitan region: Phoenix, Arizona. Poster presented at the February 17, 2007 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, San Francisco, CA. (link )
Gustafson, A., K. L. Larson, P. W. Hirt and J. B. Chirumamilla. 2007. Water conservation policy in an arid metropolitan region: A historical and geographical assessment of Phoenix, Arizona. Poster presented at the January 10, 2007 CAP LTER 9th Annual Poster Symposium, Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ. (link )
Gustafson, A., K. L. Larson, P. W. Hirt and L. Zautner. 2007. A historical and geographical review of municipal water conservation policy in Greater Phoenix, Arizona, 1980-2007. Poster presented at the September 2007 Regional Water Symposium: Sustainable Water, Unlimited Growth, Quality of Life, Tucson, AZ.
Gustafson, A., K. L. Larson, P. W. Hirt and L. Zautner. 2007. An assessment of municipal water conservation policy in greater Phoenix, Arizona. Poster presented August at the Regional Water Symposium, Tucson, AZ.
Gustafson, A., K. L. Larson, P. W. Hirt and J. B. Chirumamilla. 2007. Water conservation policy in an arid metropolitan region: A historical and geographical assessment of Phoenix, Arizona. Presentation at the February 2007 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of the Sciences, San Francisco, CA.
Hirt, P. W. 2005. Creating an adaptable American Studies curriculum for Kygyzstan: The benefits of flexibility. Archives of the Second Annual American Studies Symposium Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. America's Changing Role: American Studies in Central Asia.
Hirt, P. W. 1995. Obstacles to achieving federal land management goals: The disjunction between planning and funding: A case study of the Coronado National Forest, Arizona. Pp. 451-460 In: DeBano, L. F., P. F. Ffolliott, A. Ortega-Rubio, R. H. Hamre and C. B. Edminster eds., Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago: The Sky Islands of Southwestern United States and Northwestern Mexico. Tucson, AZ.