William D. Bryan is an environmental historian, and his work provides a historical perspective on the relationship between nature and economic development, sustainability, tourism, and the American South. He is completing his first book, Nature and the New South, which explores how the conservation of natural resources shaped economic development in the South in the years after the Civil War. Rather than advocating a get-rich-quick strategy premised on exploiting natural resources to depletion, Southern business and municipal officials looked for “permanent” ways of using their resources so that they would be available indefinitely. Their efforts to achieve environmental permanence through conservation share a great deal with contemporary efforts to make economic development more sustainable, and this project ultimately uses the South’s search for permanence to reflect on the challenges of sustainability.
Dr. Bryan is an active teacher, and he has designed and taught a variety of courses, including survey and advanced courses on American environmental history, Southern history, the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the history of tourism, and American history surveys.
For more, please visit his personal webpage: www.williamdbryan.net