The Blue Review Writers

Todd Shallat


Todd Shallat is a historian and urban studies professor at Boise State University. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Boise State University Office of Publications. Born in Chicago and raised in San Mateo, California, he received a Ph.D. in applied history and social science from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1985.


Todd is the sole author of four books and the lead co-author of another seven about cities, technology, and the environment. He is the winner of the Henry Adams Book Prize from the Society for Federal History, the Abel Wolman Book Award from the American Public Works Association, the Idaho Book Award from the Idaho Library Association, the Independent Publishing Association’s “honorable mention” for history publishing and the Gold Medal for feature writing from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE).


His book publications include Structures in the Stream: Water, Science, and the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (1994), Snake: The Plain and its People (1994), Secrets of the Magic Valley and Hagerman’s Remarkable Horse (2002), Water and the Rise of Public Ownership on the Fresno Plain (1978), and Ethnic Landmarks: Ten Historic Places That Define the City of Trees (2007). He is the senior coauthor of the Idaho State Department of Education top-ranked history textbook, The Idaho Adventure (2010). A 1988 contract history of the Birds of Prey National Area won the Secretary of the Interior’s Outstanding Service Award. From 1997 to 2000, Todd studied flooding and the environment as a visiting scholar with the U.S. Mississippi River Commission.

Todd’s public history work has been nationally featured in The New York Times, Money Magazine and National Public Radio’s Morning Edition. In 2002 he was the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Education’s “Idaho Professor of the Year.” Named “City Historian” by the Boise Mayor and City Council, he founded the Boise City Office of the Historian and the First Thursday Fettuccine Forum. In 2007, Shallat led a citywide investigation concerning the plight of Boiseans evicted from mobile home parks. The report won Idaho’s urban planning “grow smart” award. Meanwhile his production work on the journal "Idaho Yesterdays" received the Idaho Heritage Trust Media Award. In 2007 and 2008, Shallat won his college’s “researcher of the year” award and the Boise State University Foundation public service award. In 2009 he won the city’s arts and history “excellence” award. From 2008 to 2011, he was the editor of the state’s acclaimed research magazine, Idaho Landscapes: History, Science, and Art.


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