Associate Professor


  • Website:

    Leisl Carr Childers - HISTORIAN
  • Office Hours:

    MWF 1-2 pm or by appointment
  • Role:

  • Position:

    • Associate Professor
    • Director, The Digital Hub
    • Council Member, Public Lands History Center
  • Concentration:

    • Public History
    • Digital History
    • American West History History
    • Environmental History
    • Public Lands History
  • Department:

    • History and Public Lands
  • Education:

    • Ph.D. University of Nevada, Las Vegas
    • M.A. Pepperdine University
    • B.A. Pepperdine University



Dr. Carr Childers’s research focuses on the American West, specifically the environmental history and management of the region’s public lands. Her first book, The Size of the Risk: Histories of Multiple Use in the Great Basin (University of Oklahoma Press, 2015), won the Western Writers of America 2016 Spur Award for Contemporary Nonfiction. Her research has been featured on KNPR's State of NevadaBundyville (Season 1) and Voices from Your Public Lands (Episode 7) podcasts, PBS Frontline (American Patriot), and in the High Country News. Her digital projects have included the Nevada Test Site Oral History Project and student-driven projects such as My National Parks.

Dr. Carr Childers is actively engaged in scholarly research and production in her fields of study. Currently, she is a co-primary investigator with Michael Childers on the USDA Forest Service History project that covers the development of the agency from 1960 to the present. She is also facilitating the Art of Ranching project with CSU Extension and  ranchers in Colorado counties. She is the director of The Digital Hub in the College of Liberal Arts, a co-lead on the university's Climate Adaptation Partnership, and a member of the Public Lands History Center. She is an active member of the Western History Association, the American Society for Environmental History, and the National Council on Public History.

For Graduate Students

Dr. Carr Childers generally supports graduate student training in digital history methods in the Master of Arts in History program through the graduate-level digital history class. She takes 1-2 graduate students per year who largely work on the Liberal Arts non-thesis track (program code HIST-LBAZ-MA Plan B), directing the committees of those who want to specialize in public history (public-facing interpretation and applied history), and environmental history. Specifically, Dr. Carr Childers directs the committees of students whose research interests align with hers around public lands management and multiple use policies, climate adaptation, rural ranching landscapes, nuclear testing and communities in the American West, and equine history. Graduate students interested in working with Dr. Carr Childers must email her for an introductory meeting before applying.



The Size of the Risk: Histories of Multiple Use in the Great BasinNorman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2015.

Journal Articles:

The Other Side of the Coin: Rothman and the Periphery,Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, Fall/Winter 2020: 172-175.
‘Understanding Cliven Bundy’: Using Narrative, Geographic, and Visual Empathy in Public Lands History,” Utah Historical Quarterly, Spring 2020: 96-107.
Gallery: Leisl Carr Childers on the Gus Bundy Photographs and the Wild Horse Controversy,” Environmental History, July 2013: 604-620.
National Parks as a Vehicle for Understanding Complexity,” Journal of the West, Summer 2012: 62-83.
Field Notes: Black-Light Shows and the National Finals Rodeo: Curating Gene Autry’s Cowboy Spectacle,” Western Historical Quarterly, August 2010: 353-361.
The National Finals Rodeo: Evolution of an Urban Entertainment Phenomenon,” Nevada Historical Society Quarterly, Winter 2008: 267-291.
Rationalizing the Cold War Home Front,” Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Technology and Society Magazine, Fall 2008: 13-18.

Chapter Essays:

“Taking a Public Turn: Public History as Public Service in the American West,” in Western Lands, Western Voices: Public History in the American West. Gregory E. Smoak, editor. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2021. 43-82.
“The Angry West: Understanding the Sagebrush Rebellion in Rural Nevada,” in Bridging the Distance: Common Issues in the Rural West. David Danbom, editor. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2015. 269-315.
“Incident at Galisteo: The 1955 Teapot Series and the Mental Landscape of Contamination,” in Proving Grounds: Militarized Landscapes, Weapons Testing, and the Environmental Impact of U.S. Bases. Edwin Martini, editor. Seattle: University of Washington Press, 2015. 75-110.
Coauthored work with Bettina Fabos. “Digital Literacy, Public History, and Fortepan Iowa,” in Media Education for a Digital Generation. Julie Frechette and Rob Williams, editors. New York: Routledge, 2015. 244-260.
“Every Mine, Every Cow Camp, Every Ranch Near the Nevada Test Site: Oral History as Field Work,” in Oral History, Community, and Work in the American West. Jessie Embry, editor. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2013. 284-304.


Daniel Rothberg and Jackie Valley, “Extremism, with Roots in the West, Casts Unease Over Inauguration Day Activities,” Nevada Independent, January 20, 2021.
Michael DiGregorio, “Gus Bundy: Mustangs, Myths, and Misfits,” B&W Magazine, Winter 2021.
James Skillen and Leisl Carr Childers, “Opinion: Why the United States Needs to Change How it Manages Public Land,” Thomas Reuters Foundation News, October 27, 2020.
Brad Westwood, “Leisl Carr Childers: Understanding Cliven Bundy and Utah Public Lands,” Speak Your Piece, Season 2 Episode 2, Parts I and II (September 2020).
Jim Dalrymple II, “Trump’s Latest Pardons Could Fan Anti-Government Anger In The Rural West,” BuzzFeed News, July 10, 2018.
Leah Sottile, “Bundyville,” Longreads and Oregon Public Radio, May 2018.
Joe Schoenmann, “UNR Professor Argues Wild Horses Hurting Nevada’s Ecosystem,” KNPR State of Nevada, February 13, 2018.
“Disturbing Conclusions,” in “What Happens Now That the Bundy Trial is Over?,”, January 10, 2018.
Rachel Layman, “The Great American Road Trip, Part I,” Episode 7, out•LAND•ish: Voices from Your Public Lands Podcast, September 28, 2017.
“The Federal Government Can’t Manage Them Alone,” in “Up For Debate: Should Federal Lands Be transferred to Western States,” PERC Reports (Summer 2017): 8.
Abby Ellis, “American Patriot,” PBS Frontline, May 16, 2017.
Joe Schoenmann, “Will the Wild Horses be Dragged Away?,” KNPR State of Nevada, April 13, 2017.
Tay Wiles, “How Ryan Bundy Sees the West,” High Country News, February 20, 2017.
Tay Wiles, “What to Read to Prepare for the Bundy Trial,” High Country News, February 6, 2017.
Leah Sottile, “A Year Ago, Armed Occupiers Seized a Wildlife Refuge in Harney County. This Oregonian Was Ready to Join,” Portland Monthly, January 23, 2017.
Tay Wiles, “Federal-Lands Ranching: A Half-Century of Decline,” High Country News, June 13, 2016.
Essential Reading on the Incidents at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge,”, January 10, 2016.
Cliven Bundy Revisited,”, January 4, 2016.
Understanding Cliven Bundy,”, April 21, 2014.

For a more complete listing of Dr. Carr Childers's publications and other activities, please feel free to email her at and request a recent copy of her curriculum vitae.


  • HIST 475: History in the Digital Age (Methods in Digital History)

    Digital history theory and practice as part of the historical discipline and the larger Digital Humanities landscape. Offered each spring.

  • HIST 505: Historical Method – Digital History

    Historiographical skills and methods; emphasis on theory and practice of digital history. Offered odd years in the fall semester.

  • HIST 151: US History Since 1876

    Major issues and themes in the historical development of public lands in the United States since 1876.