GREGORY E SMOAK portrait
  • Director American West Center
  • Associate Professor, History

Research Statement

My research focuses on the Native and environmental history of the American West. As a publicly engaged historian I have worked on projects for the National Park Service and the United States Forest Service as well as numerous Native peoples including the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, the Big Sandy Rancheria of Western Mono Indians, and the Navajo Nation.

Research Keywords

  • Social Welfare Planning or Policy
  • Celestial Navigation

Presentations

  • “The Bear River and Utah’s Water Ways,” Hyrum City Museum and Utah Humanities, Hyrum, Utah. , Presented, 2021.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlQMJLS5S3w
  • “The Uinta Basin and Utah’s Water Ways,” Online Lecture and Discussion, Uintah County Heritage Museum, Vernal, Utah, and Utah Humanities. , Presented, 2021.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bl6Kj6ip8Y&t=4s
  • “The Rise and Fall of John Wesley Powell’s Hydraulic West,” Online Lecture and Discussion, John Wesley Powell River History Museum, Green River, Utah, and Utah Humanities. , Presented, 2021.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkWjxOCrEK8
  • “Thinking Downstream: Great Salt Lake and Utah’s Past and Future Water Ways,” Online Lecture and Discussion, Swaner Preserve and Eco-center, Park City, Utah, and Utah Humanities. , Presented, 2021.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=REmYl_-0-68
  • “Kanab and Utah’s Historical and Cultural Water Ways,” Online Lecture and Discussion, Kanab Heritage Museum and Utah Humanities, Online. , Presented, 2020.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gyUZhoZd1A
  • “Great Salt Lake in Utah’s History,” Utah History Lecture Series, Park City Library, Park City, Utah, 31 May 2019. , Presented, 2019.
  • “Native Peoples and the Building of the Wasatch Front,” Design Futures Student Leadership Forum 2019, Salt Lake City, 20 May 2019. , Presented, 2019.
  • “Environmental Legacies of the Transcontinental Railroad in Three Images,” Utah Museum of Fine Arts, Salt Lake City, 6 March 2019. , Presented, 2019.
  • “Native Peoples and the Utah Territory -1847-1854,” Utah History Lecture Series, Park City Library, Park City, Utah. , Presented, 2018.
  • “Peril, Conflict, and Storytelling in Community History,” Plenary Session Speaker, Utah State History Conference, West Valley City, 11 October 2017. , Presented, 2017.
  • “’Peace With the Indians, September 1852:’ Native Peoples and the Art of the Utah State Capitol,” Invited Lecture to Capitol Docents, 30 May 2017. , Presented, 2017.
  • "The Nature of Custer's Last Stand: How Environment Shaped the Course of the Battle of the Little Bighorn." Utah Westerners. , Presented, 2014.
  • “Remembering the Bear River Massacre,” Lecture commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Massacre, American Indian Resource Center, University of Utah. , Presented, 2013.
  • “Stories of War and Diplomacy: Oral History and New Understandings of the Navajo-Mormon Conflict of the 1860s,” Western History Association Annual Meeting, Online. , Presented, 2020.
  • “Place Names and Community Values: The View from Utah,” Western History Association Annual Meeting, San Antonio. , Presented, 2018.
  • “Powering Public History Programs: Funding College and University Public History Programs,” National Council on Public History Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada. , Presented, 2018.
  • “Remembering the Life and Work of Louise Pubols,” Roundtable Organizer and Participant, Western History Association Annual Meeting, San Diego, California, 1 November 2017. , Presented, 2017.
  • “The Economics and Ethics of Unpaid Internships at the Center of Public History Education,” Working Group Organizer and Facilitator, National Council on Public History annual meeting, Indianapolis, Indiana, 22 April 2017. , Presented, 2017.
  • “More than a Killing Field: Native Subsistence and Land Use Practices in the Little Bighorn Valley,” Annual Conference of the American Society for Ethnohistory, Las Vegas, Nevada. , Presented, 2015.
  • “’Our Inland Sea’: Great Salt Lake and Utah’s Sense of Place,” Western History Association Conference, Portland, Oregon. , Presented, 2015.
  • “Rediscovering Utah’s Native Voices through the Utah American Indian Digital Archive,” Utah State History Conference, West Valley City. , Presented, 2015.
  • “Pulling Back the Curtain:’ How Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Inhabits the Present,” National Council on Public History annual meeting, Nashville, Tennessee. , Presented, 2015.
  • "Quenching the Thirst: Water, Development, and Public History in the Urban West," Roundtable Panel, Organizer and Panelist, Western History Association, Newport Beach, California. , Presented, 2014.
  • "Living on the Shores of an Inland Sea: Oral History and Great Salt Lake," Utah State History Conference, Salt Lake City Utah. , Presented, 2014.
  • "Saline Stories: An Oral History of Great Salt Lake." Public event at the Salt Lake City Public Library in partnership with the Utah Humanities Council and Utah Division of State History, featuring participants in the oral history project. , Presented, 2014.
  • "Saline Stories: An Oral History of Great Salt Lake," Friends of Great Salt Lake Issues Forum, Salt Lake City, Utah. , Presented, 2014.
  • “Do We Take a Stand?: Public Historians and the Debates that Define Today’s West – Historians and Wildland Fire in the American West,” Roundtable Organizer and Participant, Western History Association Conference, Tucson, Arizona. , Presented, 2013.
  • “Custer’s Last Stand . . . of Big Sagebrush: Environmental History and the Visitor Experience at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument,” Western History Association Conference, Tucson, Arizona. , Presented, 2013.
  • "Roads to the Greasy Grass: The Battle of the Little Bighorn and Environmental History," University of Utah, Department of History Conference,. , Presented, 2013.
  • “Native Americans and the Rural West,” Session Moderator and Commentator, “The Rural West: Toward a Regional Approach to Common Issues,” Sponsored by the Rural West Initiative of Stanford University’s Bill Lane Center for the American West, Ogden, Utah. , Presented, 2012.
  • "Making Meaning Out of Place in the Twentieth Century," Session Chair and Comment, Annual Meeting of the Western History Association, Denver, Colorado. , Presented, 2012.
  • "The Past, Present, and Future of Public History in the Western History Association," organizer, moderator and participant in a roundtable panel, Annual meeting of the Western History Association, Oakland, California. , Presented, 2011.
  • "Public History, Native Americans, and Contested Narratives," Session Chair and Comment, Annual Meeting of the National Council on Public History, Pensacola, Florida. , Presented, 2011.
  • “Family Stories and the Preservation of Tribal History: A Conversation with Darren Parry,” Presidential Plenary Session Moderator, National Council on Public History Annual Meeting (Online). Other, Presented, 2021.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MJWPtwWn-f8
  • “Land Back: A Critical Conversation About Reconciliation,” Roundtable Panelist, Online Symposium, University of Utah Office of Student Development and Inclusion, Online. Other, Presented, 2020.
  • “Under Native American Skies: Native People and the West’s Public Lands,” Session Chair and Commentator, Western History Association Annual Meeting, Online. Other, Presented, 2020.
  • “Stories of Change Since We Last Met in Vegas: Retrospectives on the WHA,” Session Organizer and Commentator, Western History Association Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, 17 October 2019. Other, Presented, 2019.
  • “A Critical Review of Being and Becoming Ute: The Story of an American Indian People,” Session Chair, Utah State History Conference, West Valley City, 27 September 2019. Other, Presented, 2019.
  • “New Approaches to Utah Studies: A Lightning Round,” Session Organizer and Commentator, Utah State History Conference, West Valley City. Other, Presented, 2018.
  • “Student Success at the University of Utah,” Panel Moderator, American Indian Resource Center Utah Tribal Leaders Education Summit, University of Utah, Salt Lake City. Other, Presented, 2015.
  • Moderator of "Journeys Toward Leadership," at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, West Valley City, Utah. Part of the statewide tour of the Smithsonian Institution exhibit "Journey Stories" in conjunction with the Utah Humanities Council. Other, Presented, 2014.
    https://www.facebook.com/events/1469649076637262/

Research Groups

  • Keely Mruk, . American West Center. 2021 - 2022. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: School of Medicine Fellowship.
  • Megan Weiss, . American West Center. 2020 - present. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Utah Humanities - Think Water Utah Fellow.
  • John Flynn, . American West Center / Digital Matters. 2020 - 2021. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: AMC/DM Fellow.
  • Jacob Northcutt, . American West Center. 2019 - 2020. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: AWC/Environmental Humanities Fellow.
  • Jeffrey Turner, . American West Center / Digital Matters. 2019 - 2020. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: AWC/DM Fellow.
  • Ami Chopine, . American West Center. 2019 - 2021.
  • Scott Morris, . American West Center. 2019 - present. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Assistant Director.
  • Matthew Green, . American West Center. 2019 - 2020.
  • Erin Adam, . American West Center - Department of History Intern. 2017 - 2018.
  • Michael L. Shamo, . American West Center - Red Cliffs Land Use History. 2017 - 2020.
  • Benjamin B. Kiser, . American West Center - Beaver Dam Wash Land Use History. 2017 - 2018.
  • Amanda Scheuerman, . American West Center - Stewart Indian School Project. 2016 - 2019.
  • Lisa Barr, . American West Center - Pipe Spring National Monument Historic Inscription Project. 2016 - 2018.
  • Kailey Kornhauser, . American West Center. 2015 - 2016.
  • Sarah Brey, . American West Center. 2015 - 2016.
  • Chelsey Zamir, . American West Center - Pipe Spring National Monument Project - Utah Architects Project. 2015 - 2017.
  • Vicky Newman, . American West Center - Oral History Program. 2014 - 2015.
  • Michael Shamo, . American West Center. 2014 - 2016.
  • Suzanne Catherine, . American West Center. 2013 - 2015.
  • Leighton M. Quarles, . American West Center. 2013 - 2020. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Zion National Park Administrative History.
  • Becky Lloyd, . American West Center - Oral History Program. 2012 - 2016.
  • Anne Palmer, . American West Center - Oral History Program. 2012 - 2014.
  • Cassandra L. Clark, . American West Center. 2012 - 2019. Awards/Scholarships/Stipends: Program Coordinator.
  • Christopher Dunsmore, . American West Center. 2012 - 2019.

Grants, Contracts & Research Gifts

  • Utah Architects Project. PI: - 2017. Total project budget to date:
  • FISHLAKE NF GRAZING HISTORY. PI: - 2015. Total project budget to date:
  • MANTI-LASAL GRAZING HISTORY. PI: - 2014. Total project budget to date:
  • Great Salt Lake Oral History Project. PI: - 2014. Total project budget to date:
  • UAIDA TASK 1. PI: - 2014. Total project budget to date:
  • UAIDA Phase IV. PI: http://www.utahindians.org/archives. - 2012. Total project budget to date:

Geographical Regions of Interest

  • United States
  • Canada

Publications

  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). A Public Environmental History of Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. University of Oklahoma Press. Accepted, .
  • (date unknown). Ghost Dances and Identity: Prophetic Religion and American Indian Ethnogenesis in the Nineteenth Century (Berkeley: University of California Press).. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). "Reimagining 'Wild Life' on the Northern Plains: Lessons from the Little Bighorn.". (pp. 79-103). Vol. Reimagining a Place for the Wi, University of Utah Press. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “Putting History to Work in the American West.". (pp. 1-12). University of Utah Press. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “The Newe (the People) and the Utah Superintendency,” In: Dale L. Morgan, Shoshonean Peoples and the Overland Trail: Frontiers of the Utah Superintendency of Indian Affairs, 1849-1869, Richard L. Saunders, ed., Logan: Utah State University Press, 2007, pp. 33-55.. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “The Great Basin,” in Frederick Hoxie, ed., Oxford Handbook of American Indian History. This chapter will explore the history of the Native peoples of the Great Basin. Forthcoming from Oxford University Press in March 2016.. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). "The Native West Before 1700," in Gordon Morris Bakken, ed., The World of the American West (New York: Routledge, 2011), pp. 50-81.. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Western Lands, Western Voices: Essays on Public History in the American West. University of Utah Press. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “Beyond the Academy: Making the New Western History Matter in Local Communities.” The Public Historian 31 (November 2009): 85-89. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “Fort Hall and the Ghost Dance Movements.” Idaho Yesterdays 47 (Fall/Winter 2006): 6-27, 72-73. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “Broken Promise: The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes Unresolved Claim to the Great Camas Prairie,” Idaho Issues Online (Fall 2004). Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “The Mormons and the Ghost Dance of 1890,” South Dakota History 16 (Fall 1986): 269-294. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). "Public Historians and the WHA: An Introduction," Western History Association Newsletter (Fall 2012): 2-3. I also helped tto organize this special edition of the newsletter, "Public History and the West.". Accepted, .
  • (date unknown). “Tenure, Promotion, and the Publicly Engaged Academic Historian,” a Report by the Working Group on Evaluating Public History Scholarship (Joint Committee of the American Historical Association, National Council on Public History, and the Organization of American Historians), 2010. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Utah Water Ways. (pp. 40). Utah Humanities. Accepted, .
  • Leighton Quarles (date unknown). "The American West Center, University of Utah," in Journal of the West 52 (Fall 2013): 91-94. Appeared in special issue devoted to academic centers studying the American West. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Dibé Ch’é’nil –”Where the Sheep Were Let Out”: An Oral Historical and Ethnohistorical Study of the Pipe Spring Raid and Navajo-Mormon Relations in the 1860s and 1870s,”. (pp. 291). National Park Service. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Utah's Journey Stories (Salt Lake City: Utah Humanities Council, 2014). Essay to accompany the Smithsonian Institution's travelling exhibit "Journey Stories.". Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). "Identity, Soveriegnty, and Idaho's Native Peoples: The Shoshone-Bannock and Coeur d'Alene Experiences," The Blue Review (February 2014). Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). “In Memoriam: Floyd A. O’Neil.”. Utah Historical Quarterly. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Review of Leisl Carr Childers, The Size of the Risk: Histories of Multiple Use in the Great Basin in Western Historical Quarterly 47 (WInter 2016): 505-06. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Review of "Ute Land Religion in the American West, 1879-2009," by Brandi Denison. Tribal College: Journal of American Indian Higher Education. Accepted, .
  • Gregory E. Smoak (date unknown). Review essay of The Lakota Ghost Dance of 1890, by Rani Henrik-Andersson, and At Standing Rock and Wounded Knee: The Journals and Papers of Father Francis M. Craft, edited by Thomas W. Foley. In Ethnohistory 57 (Spring 2010): 325-27. Accepted, .