James E. Sherow 
529 Pierre Street
Manhattan, KS 66502

phone: 785/565-0086



Department of History

Kansas State University

Manhattan, Kansas 66506-1002

phone: 785/532-0375



Ph.D.: University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, May 1987

Present Position

Professor, American History, Environmental History, Kansas History, Ethnohistory, and American West.


The Grasslands of the United States: An Environmental History (Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio, 2007).

A Sense of the American West: An Anthology of Environmental History (Albuquerque: The University of New Mexico Press, 1998).

Watering the Valley: Development along the High Plains Arkansas River, 1870-1950 (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1990).


“William Allen White and ‘What’s the Matter with Kansas?’ Once More,” Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy (No. 2, 2006),

"Wes Jackson, Kansas Ecostar," in John Brown to Bob Dole: Movers and Shakers in Kansas History, edited by Virgil Dean (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005), 317-27.

"Water," in the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains, edited by David J. Wishart (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2004).

"'The Fellow Who Can Talk the Loudest and Has the Best Shotgun Gets the Water': Water Regulation and the Montana State Engineer's Office, 1889-1964," Montana: The Magazine of Western History 54 (Spring 2004): 56-69.

"The Art of Water and the Art of Living: Review Essay," Kansas History 25 (Spring 2002): 52-71.

“The Decline of Agriculture in the Arkansas River Valley Was Predictable Due to the Limitations of Irrigation,” in Water and Environment since 1945: Global Perspectives, Char Miller, editor.  Vol. 7, History in Dispute (Manly Inc., 2001), 11-13.

"Water, Sun, and Cattle: The Chisholm Trail as an Ephemeral Ecosystem," in Fluid Arguments: Five Centuries of Western Water Conflict. Char Miller, editor (University of Arizona Press, 2001).

"Greens and Farmers: Environmentalism and Agriculture in the American West, 1945-1990," in The Rural West Since World War II. R. Douglas Hurt, editor (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1998).

Coauthor with William S. Reeder, Jr., "A Richly Textured Community: Fort Riley, Kansas, and American Indians, 1853-1911" Kansas History 21 (Spring 1998):2-17.

"On the Rim of the Desert's Heart: Kansas and Water" Kansas History 19 (Spring 1996):2-5.

Coauthor with Homer Socolofsky, "Kansas and Water: Survival in the Heartland" in Politics in the Postwar American West . Richard Lowitt, editor (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1995).

"Book Review Essay" Forest & Conservation History 38 (October 1994): 193-5.

"Agricultural Marketplace Reform: T.C. Henry and the Irrigation Crusade in Colorado, 1870-1914" Journal of the West 31 (October 1992): 51-8.

"The Latent Influence of Equity in Wyoming v. Colorado, (1922)" Great Plains Research 2 (February 1992): 7-26.

"Workings of the Geodialectic: High Plains Indians and Their Horses in the Region of the Arkansas River Valley, 1800-1870" Environmental History Review 16 (Summer 1992): 61-84.

"The Contest for the 'Nile of America': Kansas v. Colorado, (1907)" Great Plains Quarterly 10 (Winter 1990): 48-61.

"The Chimerical Vision: Michael Creed Hinderlider and Progressive Engineering in Colorado" Essays and Monographs in Colorado History (Essays Number 9, 1989): 37-59.

"Utopia, Reality, and Irrigation: The Plight of the Fort Lyon Canal Company in the Arkansas River Valley" Western Historical Quarterly 20 (May 1989): 162-84.

"Watering the Plains: An Early History of Denver's Highland Canal" Colorado Heritage (Issue 4, 1988): 2-13.

"Rural Town Origins in Southwest Reno County" Kansas History 3 (Summer 1980): 99-111.

Pending Publication:

Their Days Were As Grass: An Ecostory of the Central Grasslands, 1780-1870. An advance contract in hand with the University Press of Kansas.

Awards and Honors:

Recipient of the Phillip A. Danielson Award for the Best Paper, Westerners International, 1994. Awarded October, 1995.

Recipient of the William L. Stamey Teaching Award, College of Arts and Sciences, Kansas State University, May 1995.

Recipient of the Bradley Fellowship, the Montana Historical Society, 1994.

Recipient of a Newberry Library Fellowship in the Indians Voice in the Academy Program, Summer 1994.

Non-resident Fellow of the Center for Great Plains Studies, Spring 1991.

Presidential Seminar Award received in recognition of scholarly and creative achievement at Southwest Texas State University, Spring 1991.

The First Annual Phi Alpha Theta/Westerners International Award for the Best Dissertation in Western History, announced and awarded at the Twenty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Western History Association, October 1987.

Professional and Service Related Activities:

Active in four departmental committees; have assisted in programs sponsored by the Kansas Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Have written over forty book reviews; have participated in over twenty conferences and symposiums; and have given numerous public talks and presentations.

Have worked as a consulting historian and in various aspects of public history.

Have grant proposals funded by the Department of Defense ($76,000), the National Endowment for the Humanities (the first $223,000, and the second $228,000), Kansas State University (two of $1,200 and another for $1,750), and by Southwest Texas State\par University ($4,500).

Work in Progress:

Researching an environmental history of state engineers in the Rocky Mountain West.

Researching an environmental history of Kansas.