Lawrence Culver

Membership:  2013

Member Bio

Lawrence Culver was a Carson Fellow from June 2010 to December 2010 and from February 2013 to August 2013.
Lawrence Culver is an associate professor in the Department of History at Utah State University, where his areas of research and teaching include the cultural, environmental, and urban history of the USA. He received his PhD at UCLA in 2004. His dissertation received the 2005 Rachel Carson Prize for best dissertation from the American Society for Environmental History. His first book, based on that dissertation, is The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America, published in September 2010 by Oxford University Press.
Returning to the Center, Culver will continue to work on his new book project, Manifest Disaster Climate and the Making of America, which explores the role of climate and debates about climate in the history of the United States and North America. He will also assist in further developing the Carson Fellow Alumni Association, of which he is copresident.


  • The Frontier of Leisure: Southern California and the Shaping of Modern America. Oxford: Oxford University Press, September 2010.
  • “America’s Playground: Recreation and Race.” In A Companion to Los Angeles, edited by William Deverell and Greg Hise, 421-37. Blackwell Companions to American History Series. Malden, Mass: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010.
  • “Promoting the Pacific Borderlands: Leisure and Labor in Southern California, 1870-1950.” In Land of Necessity: Consumption in the United States-Mexico Borderlands, edited by Alexis McCrossen, 168-95.  Durham: Duke University Press, 2009.
  • “Sin City or Suburban Crucible?: Searching for Meanings in the New Las Vegas.” Journal of Urban History,  November 2009, 1052-58.
  • “Economic Aspirations and the Politics of National Park Creation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, 1919-1929.” In People and Place: The Human Experience in Greater Yellowstone, edited by Paul Schullery and Sarah Stevenson, 180-94. Yellowstone National Park, Wyo.: National Park Service and Yellowstone Center for Resources, 2005.