Bell Travel Grants

The Forest History Society annually offers a number of competitive Alfred D. Bell Jr., Travel Grants to support travel and lodging expenses of up to $950.00 incurred by researchers conducting in-depth studies at the Society's Alvin J. Huss Archives and Carl A. Weyerhaeuser Library. FHS established the award to honor the memory of wholesale lumberman, forest industry editor, and former FHS vice president Alfred D. Bell Jr., who died in 1985.

Award Details

The Forest History Society awards several Bell Travel Grants each year to researchers who use FHS resources to support their work. Decisions are made on a case-by-case basis, with awards going to persons whose research topics are well covered in the FHS library and archives. Preference is given to young scholars per the wishes of the Bell family.

To apply for a Bell Travel Grant, submit an application (PDF) and resume to:

Bell Travel Grants
Forest History Society
2925 Academy Rd.
Durham, NC 27705

For further information, or to submit an application via email, contact: Eben Lehman.

Recent Recipients

Recent winners of the Bell Travel Grant award include several graduate students working on doctoral dissertations, and others pursuing research on a variety of environmental history topics:

Shing Yin Khor is a Malaysian-American cartoonist and experience designer making stories about immigrants trying to find a home in nostalgic Americana. They examined the William B. Laughead Collection and other materials on Paul Bunyan.

Ian Snider is a PhD candidate in Forest Resources at Clemson University. He used FHS resources to construct an in-depth literature review on the history of draft animal logging in Appalachia and how it informs Artisan Forestry’s future.

Bert Geyer is a lecturer in the Art and Design Department at Chicago State University. He visited FHS to research the history of the Nebraska National Forest, the Bessey Tree Nursery, and early tree planting efforts in Nebraska.

Kerri Dean is a PhD candidate in American History, with minor fields of Environmental History and Museum Studies, at Claremont Graduate University in California. Her dissertation examined how the changing values attached to the Christmas tree in the United States have reflected shifts in American culture and society.

Tatiana Konrad is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of English and American Studies at the University of Vienna, Austria. Her project traced the cultural history of climate change as reflected in literature, looking at transformations of the environment as well as of socio-political and eco-cultural thought since the Industrial Revolution.

Kelly Kay, an assistant professor of Geography at UCLA, conducted research for a project looking at the restructuring of the U.S. forest products industry, particularly with regard to ownership structures. This included changes such as the conversion to Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs), and the selloff of land or processing facilities.

Emily Knox, a visiting assistant professor of Landscape Architecture at Auburn University, conducted research on the history of livestock grazing on U.S. Forest Service lands. She investigated how early grazing practices, as well as regulations, varied in response to ecological conditions.

Jennifer Dunn is a postdoctoral researcher at Michigan Technological University. Her research focuses on the history of forest management policies of the national forests in Montana during Orville Daniels' tenure as forest supervisor. Daniels was supervisor of the Bitterroot National Forest from 1970 to 1974, during the clearcutting controversy, and was also a key player in challenging the long-time wildland fire policy. He then served on the Lolo National Forest from 1974 to 1994.

Kendra Smith-Howard, Associate Professor at University at Albany, State University of New York, conducted research for a book project tentatively entitled “The Dirty History of Cleaning Up.” The book tracks the history of changing cleaning technologies and industries in the United States, including the shifting environmental footprint of disposable paper products used for cleaning, such as paper towels, disposable handkerchiefs, and disposable diapers.

Charlotte Leib is in the Master of Landscape Architecture program at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. At FHS she accessed a number of collections critical to her research into the ways in which trees and their representation in text and image shifted popular understandings of the American forest, and how these representations of the wilderness contributed to movements toward preservation and conservation in the latter half of the 19th century.

Will Mundhenke, a graduate student at the University of South Carolina and a park guide with the National Park Service, conducted research on the history of El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico. His work examines the role played by the U.S. Forest Service in promoting recreation, American tourism, and notions of Edenic landscape in the Caribbean tropics.

David Benac, an associate professor of history at Western Michigan University, conducted research for his manuscript, "Town for Sale: Oregon's Timber Industry Heritage." He gathered information on representations of timber heritage by corporate entities, unions, and social organizations in advertising/publicity, art, music, folklore, and festivals, with a special focus on thirteen communities that serve as his case studies.

Jon Hazlett is a Ph.D. candidate at Case Western Reserve University whose dissertation examines the history of recycling as a business initiative within various industries. At FHS he focused on conservation efforts within the lumber and paper industry and how they influenced early recycling movements.

Jameson Karns, a doctoral student at the University of California-Berkeley in the History of Science Program, conducted research on the history of fire science. Karns examined the notebooks and photographs of Harold Weaver, an American forester best known for his mid-twentieth century work on prescribed burning and a pioneer in the fire science field. This research will also be shared with several environmental scientists, foresters, and fire scientists, who will apply the findings to current and ongoing studies.