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Mars Plater


Research and Teaching Fields:

Environmental history; urban history; nineteenth and twentieth-century U.S. history; New York City; immigration; whiteness; the histories of science, technology, environment, and health.




Ph.D., History, Rutgers University, September 2020

Dissertation: “Escaping Gotham: Working People and the Nineteenth-Century Struggle over Urban Nature.”

Committee: Ann Fabian (co-chair), Neil Maher (co-chair), Jamie Pietruska, and Michael Rawson (Brooklyn College)


M.A., History, Brooklyn College, 2013

Thesis: “Shades of Green: Competing Nature Cultures in 19th-Century New York City”

Advisor: Michael Rawson


B.A., Environmental Studies and Human Rights, Bard College, 2008

Senior Project: “‘A Lily-White Achilles Heel’: Challenges to Institutionalized Racism in the Mainstream Environmental Movement”

Advisor: Mark Lindeman


Current Employment:

Assistant Professor. History Department, University of Connecticut-Stamford, 2022-

Fellowships & Awards:                                                                                                       


American Council of Learned Societies Fellowship, 2022-2023


Dissertation Fellowship, Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library, 2019

Warren and Beatrice Susman Dissertation Completion Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2019-2010

Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship in Museum Education, Museum of the City of New York, 2017-2018 


Exploratory Grant, Hagley Museum and Library, 2017


Neal Ira Rosenthal History Travel Award, Rutgers University, 2016


Teaching Assistant Professional Development Fund Award, Rutgers University, 2014, 2015, and 2017


Graduate Fellowship, Rutgers Center for Historical Analysis, 2014-15


Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Summer Research Fellowship, Rutgers University, 2014


John Hope Franklin Memorial Prize, Brooklyn College, 2013


William and George W. Stidstone Graduate Prize in History, Brooklyn College, 2013


Dean’s List Scholarship, Brooklyn College, 2012 and 2013


Alice P. Doyle Prize in Environmental Studies, Bard College, 2008

Conferences and Presentations:                                                                                     


Presenter and Panel Co-organizer. "Defending the 'poor man's park': Cross-class Environmental Activism in New York City, 1876-1892." American Society for Environmental History, Columbus, Ohio, April 2019.

Presenter. “‘Don’t want them eny more’: Tensions in New York City’s Recreational Hinterland, 1868-1910.” European Association for Urban History, Rome, Italy, August 2018.

Guest Lecturer. "Merriment and Mayhem on the Hudson." Hudson River Maritime Museum, August 2018.

Guest Lecturer. "Nature, Pleasure, and Mayhem: Nineteenth-century Steamboat Excursions." Palisades Interstate Park, May 2018.

Guest Lecturer. "Defending Public Parks in Early New York City." Museum of the City of New York, April 2018.


Presenter and Panel Co-organizer. “Eroticism and Outrages at the Elysian Fields, 1830-1898,” American Society for Environmental History, Riverside, CA, March 2018.


Guest Lecturer. “The People’s Boats: Nineteenth-century Steamboat Excursions on the Hudson River.” Storybarge, SS Columbia Project, Kingston, NY, October 2017.


Panelist. “Turtlegusters and Loafers: Classed Struggles over Recreational Space in Nineteenth-Century Hoboken.” New Jersey Forum, The New Jersey Historical Commission, Morristown, NJ, November 2016.


Panelist. “Dreams of Elysian Fields: Struggles over Manhattan’s Recreational Hinterland.” Town & Country Conference, Agricultural History Society, Briarcliff Manor, NY, June 2016.


Workshop Participant. “Dreams of Elysian Fields: Competing Cultures of Outdoor Recreation in Nineteenth-Century Hoboken.” E is for Environment Conference, Center for Culture, History, and Environment, University of Wisconsin, March 2016.


Panelist. “The Meanings of Fresh Air: Nature Vacations, Reformers, and the Reformed in

Progressive-Era New York City.” Warren and Beatrice Susman Graduate Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, April 2014.




Instructor, "Global Environmental History," CUNY-Queens College, Summer 2022.

Instructor, "The History of NYC Parks," Queens Library, Summer 2022.


Visiting Assistant Professor, "History of the Environment," "Race and the Environment," "EnvironmentalismS," and "Parks in U.S. History," Dickinson College, 2021-2022.


Instructor, "Open to the Public?: The History of NYC Parks," Bard Microcollege at the Brooklyn Public Library, Spring 2021.

Instructor, "Green Apple: NYC's Environmental History," Gotham Center for New York City History, March 2021.

Instructor, “Open to the Public?: Parks in 19th-Century NYC,” Museum of the City of New York Saturday Academy, Spring 2019.


Tours for K-12 students and adult audiences, Museum of the City of New York, 2017-2018.

Instructor, "History of the United States after 1865," Rutgers University-Newark, Spring 2017.


Walking Tour Guide, “A People’s History of Central Park,” for the Miss Major-Toole Building Giving Circle’s fundraiser, December 2015.


Grader, Jamie Pietruska’s “The Development of the United States II,” Rutgers University, Fall 2015.


Teaching Assistant, Jamie Pietruska’s “The Development of the United States II,” Rutgers University, Spring 2015.


Teaching Assistant, Rachel Devlin’s “Sexuality in America,” Rutgers University, Fall 2014.


Class Facilitator, “Bard Prison Initiative’s College Prep Class,” Woodbourne Correctional Facility and Eastern Correctional Facility, Fall 2007-Spring 2008.


Tutor, “Bard Prison Initiative’s GED class,” Beacon Correctional Facility, Fall 2005, Spring 2006.




"Tonic for Body or Soul: Fresh Air for Poor Children in Progressive-Era New York City," Journal of Urban History (Summer 2021)


Review of “Climates of Inequality: Stories of Environmental Justice” exhibition by the Humanities Action Lab in The Journal of American History (Spring 2020)


Review of Tobin Miller Shearer, Two Weeks Every Summer: Fresh Air Children and the Problem of Race in America in The Journal of the History of Childhood and Youth (Spring 2018)




Contributing Scholar, Hudson River Maritime Museum, Summer 2019-present.


Rutgers University

Co-chair of planning committee for the Workshop for the History of Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science (W.H.E.A.T.S.), 2015-2016.


Rutgers University

Co-organizer for the Interpreting American History Lecture Series, 2014-2016.


Work Experience:                                                                                                                


The Concord Review

Instructor, The Concord Review History Camp, Summer 2019.

Friends of the High Line

Researcher curriculum writer for K-8 field trip to the High Line Park in NYC, Summer 2018.


Dr. Jamie Pietruska

Research Assistant for digital humanities and public history project based on mapping weather forecasting stations between 1820 and 1891, May 2016-present.


Dr. Ann Fabian

Research Assistant for a presidential address to the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic on the topic of nineteenth-century naturalists, September 2014-May 2015.


The Floating Hospital

Lead blogger for a public history project on the organization’s past, July 2014-December 2015,


The Archives at the Museum of the City of New York

Manuscripts and Reference Intern, Summer 2012.


GRITtv with Laura Flanders

General Manager of daily news television program and assistant to its host, October 2010-July 2012.


American Civil Liberties Union, Racial Justice Program

Legal Assistant, 2008-2010.


New York Office of the Attorney General, Environmental Protection Bureau

Policy Analysis Intern, Fall 2006.


Urban Ecology Institute

Intern with the Greater Boston Urban Forestry Inventory Project, Summer 2006.

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