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 2019 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. 

-2020 Awards Cycle opens January 25, 2020

-2020 Award Submission (Postmark) Deadline: April 15, 2020

UPDATE: Due to the unexpected challenges of the global pandemic of the novel coronavirus, all WHA book and article deadlines are extended to May 15, 2020. Publishers unable to access physical copies or journals and books are allowed to submit electronic book copies to each award committee member.

The WHA office sends award notifications in August. View a list of past recipients.


William Swagerty, Chair

University of the Pacific

Dept. of History, WPC 222
University of the Pacific

3601 Pacific Ave
Stockton, CA 95211

Sara Dant
Weber State University

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


Annie Gilbert Coleman

University of Notre Dame

Department of American Studies

1047 Flanner Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556


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). 

Return to Awards

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The WHA is grateful to KU's History Department and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for their generous support!

Western History Association

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