Research Interests

While I consider myself a historian of science and technology first and a maritime historian second, my research interests are quite broad. My current research focuses on the operation and efficiency of American seaports in the Early American Republic and Antebellum periods. I am interested in how seaport technologies such as marine observatories, lighthouse lamps and lenses, and harbor dredging, towing, and piloting influenced the economic, political, and social aspects of seaport life as well as shape the physical geographical space of nineteenth century coastal towns. This research examines topics relevant to my doctoral fields in the History of Science and Technology, Public History, and Environmental History such as the production and transfer of technical knowledge, history of space and place, and the role of the environment in shaping urban growth.

Other research projects include the life and ideals of Stephen Pleasonton, Fifth Auditor of the Treasury from 1820 to 1852 and the man historians have scapegoated for the delay in bringing the Fresnel lighthouse lens to the United States, and the right of public access to historic properties under private ownership.

  • History of Science and Technology
  • Public History
  • Environmental History
  • Maritime History
  • Nineteenth Century United States
  • Imperial Russia
  • Genealogy

If you would like more information about my research or my historical interests, please contact me from my CV page.


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