Maya Peterson was a Visiting Scholar from June 2012 until September 2012 and June 2013 until December 2013.
Maya Peterson received her PhD from Harvard in 2011, with a dissertation under the direction of Terry Martin entitled" Technologies of Rule: Empire, Water, and the Modernization of Central Asia, 1867–1941." From 2011 to 2012, Peterson taught classes on Russian and Soviet history, as well as environmental history as a college fellow in Harvard's Department of the History of Science. Since September 2012, Peterson has been an assistant professor of history at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she teaches courses on Russian and European history, environmental history, and the history of the Silk Roads. Peterson's work stands at the intersection of environmental history and imperial history. She contributes to ongoing debates about what empires are and what they do by bringing empire and environment together and exploring how a focus on the physical environment might open up new avenues for thinking about modernity and colonial relationships. Her research has been supported by grants from the Social Science Research Council, Fulbright-Hays, and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies at Harvard University.