Jared P. Orsi, PhD.



Fields of Expertise


Areas of Interest

Environmental history, Borderlands history, Colorado history


Jared Orsi is a professor of history at Colorado State University, specializing in environmental and borderlands history. A graduate of the University of California at Davis, he holds an M.A. from Northwestern University and a doctorate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At CSU he teaches U.S. and Mexican history and serves as director of CSU's Public Lands History Center. In 2003 he won the College of Liberal Arts Excellence in Teaching Award and in 2012 the CSU Alumni Association's Best Teacher Award. In 2017, he won the college's Ann Gill Excellence in Teaching award and in 2019 the college named him one of its two Professor Laureates. Jared's favorite class is a summer field course in which he and the students spend a week following Zebulon Pike's 1806-1807 route across Colorado. He is the author of the prize-winning Hazardous Metropolis: Flooding and Urban Ecology in Los Angeles and Citizen Explorer: The Life of Zebulon Pike, as well as numerous articles and book chapters. In 2008-2009 he was the Ray Allen Billington Distinguished Visiting Professor at Occidental College and the Huntington Library. Currently, he is writing an environmental history of Quitobaquito Springs at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. Jared is grateful for many blessings: for his partner Becky, daughter Renata, and son Carlos, for camping, hiking, and snowshoeing with family and friends in the Colorado mountains, for Kirk Gibson's 1988 homerun, for American freedom and democracy, for good country music, for great colleagues, and for the opportunity to teach at Colorado State University.