The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Instagram

Mapping an explorer’s life

Environmental historian wins Clements Prize for writing, research on Southwest America

Environmental historian Donald Worster was awarded the William P. Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America, Friday in the McCord Auditorium.

The Clements Prize recognizes exemplary writing and research on Southwestern America. All non-fiction works, biographies, or any other books on past or present Southwest America qualify for consideration. The Clements Prize awarded $2,500 to Worster and his publisher.

Worster’s book, A River Running West: the Life of John Wesley Powell, chronicles Powell’s adventures of mapping the Colorado River and revealing the Grand Canyon. Powell explores what Worster refers to as “watershed democracy.” Worster said that Powell fashioned a revolutionary approach towards envisioning the American landscape.

“A real democracy must be built on an agricultural as well as economic and political base,” Worster said.

Worster’s interest in environmental history and the changing perception of nature has led him to publish many books including, An unsettled Country: Changing Landscapes of the American West, The Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination, Dust Bowl and Nature’s Economy. He received a B.A. in 1963 and an M.A. in 1964 from the University of Kansas. He also earned his Master’s Philosophy in 1970 and a Ph.D. in 1971. Worster serves as chairman of the Board of Directors of the Land Institute. For the past two decades, Worster has been lecturing around the world in places such as Europe, Africa, Latin America, Asia and throughout North America.

After accepting his award, a bearded Worster clad in a dark gray suit, presented a lecture entitled “Watershed Democracy: Recovering the Lost Vision of John Wesley Powell.”

“Worster has a real relevance today. It [Worster’s book] is history at best with a wonderful adventure,” advisory board member, Jim Watson said.

More to Discover