Donald Worster '59

Educator and environmental history pioneer

Donald Worster has enriched the lives of many with his love for history and the environment. He is renowned for his expertise in the field of environmental history. He has combined his love for history, nature, science, agriculture, and technology and has lectured in Africa, Asia, Europe, Canada, Central America, and Australia on these subjects. His main areas of research and teaching include North American and world environmental history and the history of the American West. Dr. Worster did his undergraduate work at the University of Kansas and Harvard, receiving his Ph.D. in 1971 from Yale. 

He has published numerous books, papers, articles, chapters, essays, and book reviews. He has been asked to serve in assorted chair and commentary roles at academic conferences, lending his expertise in the areas of history, the environment, and technology. He has served as a consultant to the Denver Art Museum, the Newberry Library, and the National Park Service. He has served as an advisor for eight films.

Dr. Worster taught graduate courses at the University of Kansas from 1989 to 2001 and served as chairperson on examinations for various Ph.D. candidates. He has also served on the board of directors for The Land Institute in Salina, the Kansas Land Trust in Lawrence, the Thoreau Society, and the Kansas State Historical Society. He and his wife, Beverly, live in Lawrence.