Sara Gregg

Membership:  2017

Member Bio

Sara Gregg is an associate professor of history and environmental studies at the University of Kansas. She teaches the environmental history of North America, with a particular focus on the intersections of environmental change with politics, law, and agriculture. Her current book project, Free Land: Homesteading the American West, examines the history of the several Homestead Acts and their environmental impacts between 1862 and 1986. This project uses historical GIS to map the landscapes of homesteading and is animated by microhistories of the Great Plains grasslands and peoples of Kansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, and Montana.
Gregg received her PhD from Columbia University and her BA from Middlebury College. She taught at Iowa State University and was a fellow of the Smithsonian Institution and the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library before moving to the University of Kansas in 2010. She is an associate fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies and a member of the editorial board for Agricultural History, and served on the board of directors of the Forest History Society and the executive committee of the American Society for Environmental History.


  • “Visualizing the Homestead Act: Cartographic Representations of US Land Policy.” In Mapping Nature Across the Americas, edited by James Akerman and Kathleen Brosnan. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, forthcoming 2018.
  • “Beyond Stories: A Place for the Spatial Humanities in Environmental History.” In A Field on Fire: Essays on the Future of Environmental History Inspired by the Work of Donald Worster, edited by Mark Hersey and Ted Steinberg. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, forthcoming 2017.
  • “From Breadbasket to Dust Bowl: Rural Credits, the Great Plains Plow-Up, and the Federal Hand in Agriculture.” Great Plains Quarterly 35 (2015): 129–66
  • With Edwin Hagenstein and Brian Donahue, eds. American Georgics: Writings on Farming, Culture, and the Land. New Have, CT: Yale University Press, 2011.
  • Managing the Mountains: Land Use Planning, the New Deal, and the Creation of a Federal Landscape in Appalachia. New Have, CT: Yale University Press, 2010. (Winner of the Charles E. Weyerhaeuser Award for Best Book in Forest and Conservation History)
  • “Cultivating an Agro-Environmental History.” In A Companion to American Environmental History, edited by Douglas Sackman. Hoboken, NJ: Blackwell Publishing, 2010.