Public Policy

Randall K. Wilson


Environmental Studies



Campus Box 2455


Science Center
Room 154 D
300 North Washington St.
Gettysburg, PA 17325-1400


BA Humboldt State Univ.
MA Univ. of Colorado-Boulder
PhD University of Iowa

Academic Focus

Environmental Policy and History, US Federal Lands, Sustainable Communities

My teaching and research interests focus on the intersection of nature and society. How are decisions about environmental resources made? Who benefits and who doesn't from different forms of environmental management? And which work best to achieve sustainable and just nature/society relations in various ecological, political, economic and cultural contexts? My courses include Environmental Science and Society, Environmental Policy, a Senior Seminar on Sustainable Communities, Key Ideas in American Environmentalism, and a summer field course entitled, The Rocky Mountain West: Physical & Cultural Geography, which takes place in Colorado in late May. I have also taught courses on Environmental History, Environmental Literature and on the Culture and Nature of the American West. My research examines the relationship between local communities and natural resource management. In particular, I have published numerous articles and book chapters on community-based natural resource management as practiced on national parks, forests and other forms of public land in the United States. Other research centers on the theme of rural transformation, and includes studies of farmers' markets, environmental planning, and the impacts of sprawl in rural Pennsylvania. On campus, I serve as faculty advisor for Painted Turtle Farm (the student-run organic campus garden), a founding member of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Committee, and a member of the Faculty Advisory Committee for the Eisenhower Institute. Off campus, I have served on the US Forest Service National Science Panel, the Board of Directors for the Rural Geography Research Group within the Association of American Geographers, and earned a Fulbright Fellowship to the University of Vienna. My recent book, America's Public Lands: From Yellowstone to Smokey Bear and Beyond, with Rowman and Littlefield Publishers, was named an Outstanding Academic Title from Choice Reviews and the winner of the J.B. Jackson Prize from the Association of American Geographers.