Andrew Kirk

Director, UNLV Public History Education Program
Professor, History
Expertise: Public History, U.S. History, Ecology


Andrew Kirk is a professor of history and director of UNLV's public history education program. Kirk's research and teaching focuses on the intersections of cultural and environmental history in the modern U.S. with a special interest in the American West. Kirk founded Preserve Nevada, a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of Nevada’s cultural, historical, and archeological heritage.

His public history projects include a fifteen-year partnership with the National Park Service to research the historic and cultural resources of Western National Parks and public lands, The award-winning, Nevada Test Site Oral history Project which most recently included an international research exchange of scholars and students sending UNLV students to Kazakhstan to conduct oral histories and cultural landscape studies of the former Soviet Polygon Nuclear Test Site.

He is the author of Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Atomic Testing (New York: Oxford University Press, 2016), co-author of American Horizons: U.S. History in a Global Context (New York: Oxford Press, 2015), Counterculture Green: The Whole Earth Catalog and American Environmentalism (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, Culture/America Series, 2007), and Collecting Nature: The American Environmental Movement and the Conservation Library (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001).


  • Ph.D., University of New Mexico
  • M.A., University of Colorado, Denver
  • B.A., University of Colorado, Denver

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environment, history

Andrew Kirk In The News

KSNV-TV: News 3
April 23, 2019
April 22 is Earth Day. The first ever Earth day came about in 1970 after several environmental hazards brought about a call for change.
Las Vegas Sun
June 19, 2017
In 2012, then-President Barack Obama issued a 20-year ban on mining claims near the Grand Canyon. The move halted future uranium extraction projects in the region, a win for environmentalists and local tribes that had fought against the industry for years. But some elected officials in Arizona and Utah disputed their claims of contamination risk, arguing that the ban would unnecessarily sacrifice jobs for overblown environmental concerns.
December 20, 2012

Articles Featuring Andrew Kirk

view of Earth from the moon
ResearchJuly 17, 2018
How the Whole Earth Catalog’s optimistic message reinvented the environmental movement in 1968
Len Jessup, Harry Reid and Jon Huntsman Sr.
Campus NewsNovember 15, 2017
Faculty hire, expected as early as Fall 2018, will further position UNLV history department as leader in the study of the Intermountain West.
illustration of Maude Frazier Hall and Hospitality Hall
UNLV HistoryOctober 18, 2017
It wasn't a popular decision to tear down Maude Frazier Hall, but the demolition had a silver lining for preservationists.
two women looking at art exhibit
Arts and CultureAugust 30, 2017
History professor finds the humanity in a Barrick Museum exhibit meditating on the minutiae of atomic testing history.