Christopher Pastore

Membership:  2012/2013

Member Bio

Christopher L. Pastore is a social and cultural historian of early America and the Atlantic world with interests in the human dimensions of environmental change, the history of science, and law. He holds a PhD from the University of New Hampshire and is currently Assistant Professor of History at the University of Montana. At the Rachel Carson Center, he is completing his book manuscript, Between Land and Sea: The Atlantic Coast and the Transformation of New England, which examines the environmental history of Narragansett Bay (Rhode Island) from first European settlement in 1636 through industrialization during the first third of the nineteenth century. To what extent, this work asks, does the liminal nature of coasts, and estuaries in particular, blur legalities and shape local economies, and how did that in turn lead to environmental change? This work was funded through fellowships at the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, the American Antiquarian Society, and the New England Regional Fellowship Consortium, which provided support for archival research at the Harvard Baker Library, the Rhode Island Historical Society, and Mystic Seaport’s G.W. Blunt Library. This work has also been influenced by Pastore’s participation in a National Endowment for the Humanities summer institute titled “The American Maritime People,” which was hosted by the Frank C. Munson Institute at Mystic Seaport in 2010 and a summer historical hydrology institute funded by the National Science Foundation, sponsored by the Northeast Consortium for Hydrologic Synthesis, and hosted by MIT in 2008.


  • Between Land and Sea: The Atlantic Coast and the Transformation of New England. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, forthcoming 2014.
  • “Extending Boston Commons: Law, Culture, and Ecology in the Seventeenth-Century Saltmarsh.” In John Gillis and Franziska Torma, eds. Fluid Frontiers: Exploring Oceans, Islands, and Coastal Environments. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, forthcoming 2013.
  • “Tapping Environmental History to Recreate America’s Colonial Hydrology.” Environmental Science & Technology 44, no. 23 (2010): 8798–8803. With Mark B. Green, Daniel J. Bain, Andrea Muñoz-Hernandez, Charles J. VÖrÖsmarty, Jennifer Arrigo, Sara Brandt, Jonathan M. Duncan, Francesca Greco, Hyojin Kim, Sanjiv Kumar, Michael Lally, Anthony J. Parolari, Brian Pellerin, Nira Salant, Adam Schlosser, and Kate Zalzal.