Hal K. Rothman Book Prize

The Western History Association announces the Hal K. Rothman Book Prize given annually for the best book in western environmental history defined in its broadest sense. The award consists of $500 and a certificate to the author, and a certificate to the press. The award is supported by contributions from individuals and publishers, and administered by the WHA. Publishers may submit more than one title from their list. In 2017 the prize changed from a biennial award to an annual award. 

All submissions must have a 2018 publication date. While the formal process requires presses/journals to submit the work of their authors, the WHA strongly recommends that authors check with the award committee chair a week before the deadline to see if they received a copy of their work. Presses should submit nominations and a copy of the book to each member of the award committee listed below. 

Award Submission (postmark) Deadline: April 15, 2019

The award recipient and editor/publisher will be notified by September 15. View a list of past recipients.


Jared Orsi, Chair

Colorado State University

Department of History
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 80523-1776

William Swagerty
University of the Pacific

Dept. of History, WPC 222
University of the Pacific
3601 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95211


Sara Dant

Weber State University

Weber State University
1299 Edvalson Street
Department of History 1205
Ogden, UT 84408-1205


Past Recipients

2019James E. Sherow, The Chisholm Trail: Joseph McCoy’s Great Gamble (University of Oklahoma Press, 2018)

2018 | Terence Young for Heading Out: A History of American Camping (Cornell University Press, 2017)

2017 | Frederick Brown for The City is More Than Human: An Animal History of Seattle (University of Washington Press, 2016).

2015 | Andrew Needham for Power Lines: Phoenix and the Making of the Modern Southwest (Princeton University Press, 2014). 

2013 | Lissa K. Wadewitz for The Nature of Borders: Salmon, Boundaries, and Bandits on the Salish Sea (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2012). 

2012 | Brian Frehner for Finding Oil: The Nature of Petroleum Geology, 1859-1920 (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2011). 

2011 | Marsha Weisiger for Dreaming of Sheep in Navajo Country (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2011). 

2009 | Richard A. Walker for The Country in the City: The Greening of the San Francisco Bay Area (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2008).

2007 | Robert Righter for The Battle Over Hetch Hetchy: America's Most Controversial Dam and the Birth of Modern Environmentalism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2006). 

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