Timothy LeCain

Membership:  2011/2012

Member Bio

Professor LeCain's research and publications focus on the environmental and technological history of twentieth century mining and related topics. His 2009 book, Mass Destruction: The Men and Giant Mines that Wired America and Scarred the Planet (Rutgers University Press, 2009), won the 2010 George Perkins Marsh Prize, conferred by the American Society for Environmental History for the best book in environmental history published each year. In 2007, he was awarded a  $306,000 three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to do a comparative environmental history of American and Japanese copper mining in cooperation with his colleague, Professor Brett Walker. LeCain is an associate professor of history at Montana State University in the United States, where he teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in American history, environmental history, and the history of technology. He received his PhD from the University of Delaware in 1998, and he wrote his dissertation under the direction of David A. Hounshell, now of Carnegie Mellon University.


  • Mass Destruction: The Men and Giant Mines that Wired America and Scarred the Planet. New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 2009.
  • “‘See America the Bountiful’: Butte, Anaconda, and the American Culture of Consumption.” Montana: The Magazine of Western History 56 (2007): 5-17.
  • “When Everybody Wins Does the Environment Lose? The Environmental Techno-Fix in Twentieth Century American Mining.” In The Technological Fix, edited by Lisa Rosner, 137-53. New York: Routledge Press, 2004.
  •  "The Biggest Mine." Invention & Technology (Winter 2001): 10-19.
  • "The Limits of Eco-Efficiency: Arsenic Pollution and the Cottrell Electrical Precipitator in U.S. Copper Mining." Environmental History 5 (2000): 336-51.