Leif Fredrickson


Field & Specialties

Environmental History; Urban History; History of Technology and Health


BA Vassar College, Cognitive Science


From Ecocide to Eco-ally: Picloram, Herbicidal Warfare, and Invasive Species, 1963-2005,” in Global Environment: A Journal of History and Natural and Social Sciences, 2014, 7.1, 172-217.


Bio-Invasions and Bio-Fixes: Mysid Shrimp Introductions in the Twentieth Century,” Environment and History (forthcoming).


“The Rise and Fall of an Ecostar: Green Technology Innovation and Marketing as Regulatory Obstruction,” in Hartmut Berghoff and Adam Rome, eds., Green Capitalism? Exploring the Crossroads of Environmental and Business History (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, forthcoming).

Current Research

My dissertation is titled, "The Age of Lead: Metropolitan Change, Environmental Health, and Inner City Underdevelopment in Baltimore." In it, I analyze how metropolitan development -- electrification, suburbanization, highway development, etc. -- has increased or decreased lead hazards and exposed different groups to the toxic metal. I then look at how lead exposure and attempts to deal with it have affected communities and governance in the Baltimore metropolitan area. Baltimore has the best records of any city on lead poisoning in the twentieth century, and it was a leader in many aspects of dealing with lead poisoning, so the focus on this city makes for a rich and significant case study.


I have written about the implications of my research for current lead poisoning problems at The Conversation, We're History and the AHA Blog.


I also research and write about invasive species, noise pollution, and enviornmental regulation of automobiles.


As a Mellon Fellow, I am helping build American Panorama, an online atlas of United States history.

Awards & Honors

Ambrose Monell Foundation Fellowship in Technology and Democracy, Miller Center, University of Virginia (2016-2017)
Double Hoo Research Grant, University of Virginia (2016-2017)
Mellon Fellowship, Digital Scholarship Lab, University of Richmond (2015-2016)
Mellon Graduate Seminar: Composing the Humanities in the Digital Age (2014-2015)
History Project Research Grant, Institute for New Economic Thinking, Harvard University (2014)
National Endowment for the Humanities, Mapping Nature Across the Americas Summer Institute, Newberry Library, Chicago (2014)
Raven Fellowship, University of Virginia (2013)
President’s Fellowship, University of Virginia, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (2011-2015)

Courses Taught

As Primary Instructor:

United States History since 1865

The Changing Context of Public Policy

The Urban Environment: Technology, Policy and History

Urban Environmental Policy

Corcoran Department of History
University of Virginia
Nau Hall - South Lawn
Charlottesville, VA 22904


(434) 924-7147
(434) 924-7891
M-F 8am to 4:30pm
Department Contacts