|Name Stephen Pyne|
Role Environmental Historian
|Awards MacArthur Fellowship|
|Education University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University|
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Books Fire: A Brief History, Fire in America, Year of the Fires, The Ice a Journey to Antarctica, World fire
Stephen J. Pyne is a professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University, specializing in environmental history, the history of exploration, and the history of fire.
Education and academic activities
Pyne received his bachelor's degree at Stanford University after graduating from Brophy College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school, in Phoenix, Arizona. He later attained his master's (1974) and Ph.D. degrees (1976) at the University of Texas at Austin. A MacArthur Fellowship came to him in 1988. He has also received a Fulbright Fellowship to Sweden, been awarded two National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowships (one to Antarctica), and has enjoyed two tours at the National Humanities Center. He has been a professor at Arizona State University since 1985.
He spent fifteen seasons as a wildland firefighter at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park between 1967 and 1981. He later spent the summers of 1983-85 writing fire plans for Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone national parks. Pyne credits his entire corpus of work to those years on the Rim.
His academic writings have focused mostly on the history of exploration, using the concept of three great ages of discovery as an organizing theme. These writings include his biography of G.K. Gilbert, The Ice, How the Canyon Became Grand, and Voyager. He also co-wrote The Last Lost World with his daughter, Lydia V. Pyne.
Since the publication of his second book, Fire in America in 1982, he has been known as one of the world's foremost experts on the history and management of fire. He has written big-screen fire histories for Australia, Canada, Europe (including Russia), and Earth overall, as well as essays on other lands. He has written or co-authored three textbooks on landscape fire and its management. Since 2011 he has been writing a history of fire in contemporary America as both a narrative (Between Two Fires) and a series of regional surveys under the rubric To the Last Smoke. In 2015 he gave a TED Talk on "Fire, a biography."
His papers are housed in the Arizona State University Archives.