Our Faculty and Staff

Ted Catton

Associate Research Professor



Personal Summary

A public historian for more than twenty-five years, Ted Catton has specialized in writing history for the National Park Service.  Most of his work focuses on the history of the public agency itself and analyzes the political, economic, philosophical, and scientific basis for policy changes and management decisions as applied to national parks.  He has written nine administrative histories for specific units in the National Park System.  Other historical studies include a cultural history of the Buffalo River Valley in Arkansas for Buffalo National River and a history of the fur trade experience in the Rainy Lake Region for Voyageurs National Park.


University of Washington, Ph.D., history, 1994
University of Montana, M.A., history, 1986
University of Montana, B.A., history, 1983

Field of Study

History of conservation, Indians and the environment, the fur trade, National Park Service organizational history

Selected Publications

Rainy Lake House: Twilight of Empire on the Northern Frontier (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2017)

American Indians and National Forests (Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2016)

To Make a Better Nation: An Administrative History of the Timbisha Shoshone Homeland Act (Missoula: University of Montana/Rocky Mountain Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit, 2009)

National Park, City Playground: Mount Rainier in the Twentieth Century (Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2005)

Inhabited Wilderness: Indians, Eskimos and National Parks in Alaska (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1997)

"The Hegemony of the Car Culture in U.S. National Parks," in Public Nature: Scenery, History, and Park Design, edited by Ethan Carr, Shaun Eyring, and Richard Guy Wilson (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2013)

"A Short History of the New Zealand National Park System," in National Parks beyond the Nation: Global Perspectives on "America's Best Idea," edited by Adrian Howkins, Jared Orsi, and Mark Fiege (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2016)

"The Rainy Lake Region in the Fur Trade" and "The Fur Trade Experience at Rainy Lake" in Lake Superior to Rainy Lake: Three Centuries of Fur Trade History, A Collection of Writings, edited by Jean Morrison (Thunder Bay, Ontario: Thunder Bay Historical Museum, 2003)

"Wildlife Management on the Western National Forests: From Game Refuges to Ecosystem Assessments," Journal of the West 37 (October 1999)