In this episode, we visit one of the most iconic national parks in the United States: Yellowstone. Megan Kate Nelson talks to us about how Yellowstone came to be a park, as well as how all the amazing geothermal features and animals came to be in the area.
Guest bio: Megan Kate Nelson
Megan Kate Nelson was born and raised in Colorado; she is now a writer and historian living in Massachusetts. She earned her BA from Harvard University in History and Literature and her PhD from Iowa in American Studies. She taught at Texas Tech, Cal State Fullerton, Harvard, MIT, and Brown before leaving academia to become a full-time writer in 2014.
Her most recent book, The Three-Cornered War: The Union, the Confederacy, and Native Peoples in the Fight for the West, was published by Scribner in February 2020. This project was the recipient of a 2017 NEH Public Scholar Award and a Filson Historical Society Fellowship, and was chosen as a Top Ten History Book of 2020 by Smithsonian Magazine, and a 2020 Best Book in Civil War History by Civil War Monitor. In March 2022, Scribner will publish her next book, This Strange Country, which tells the story of the creation of Yellowstone National Park in the context of Reconstruction.
Dr. Nelson is the author of two previous books: Ruin Nation: Destruction and the American Civil War (Georgia, 2012) and Trembling Earth: A Cultural History of the Okefenokee Swamp (Georgia, 2005). She writes about the Civil War, the U.S. West, and American culture for The New York Times, Washington Post, The Atlantic, Smithsonian Magazine, Preservation Magazine, and Civil War Times. Her column on Civil War popular culture, “Stereoscope,” appears regularly in the Civil War Monitor.