Regents Professor David Pietz Receives Prestigious NEH Grant for Innovative K-12 Teacher Workshop on Grand Coulee Dam

Oct. 24, 2023
David Pietz standing outside

David Pietz

David Pietz, Regents Professor in the Department of History and UNESCO Chair in Environmental History at the University of Arizona, was recently awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to lead a K-12 teacher workshop focused on the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington. The project, Grand Coulee Dam: The Intersection of Modernity and Indigenous Cultures, aims to explore the complex historical narratives about the construction and impact of the dam.

The National Endowment for the Humanities grant makes awards to institutions such as libraries, historical societies, museums, and universities to help build their humanities capacity and infrastructure.

The funding will allow Pietz’s team to address how different social groups experience and remember environmental change. The workshop will delve into diverse and complex memories of the dam and its construction, examining both the celebration of modernity and the impact on indigenous cultural identities and livelihoods.

“Our team was so pleased to receive this grant that will allow us to engage K-12 humanities, social science, and even science teachers in thinking about how they might incorporate issues of environmental change into their classrooms,” Pietz said. “Having received this grant on two previous occasions, it is remarkable to see the dedication and energy of these teachers and it is truly a co-learning experience as we explore place-based learning and teaching opportunities.”

The workshop will consist of two one-week sessions to be held in summer 2024 in Spokane, Wash., where 64 K-12 teachers from across the nation will gain unique analytical frameworks to facilitate meaningful discussions in their classrooms about how different social groups experience, interpret, and remember transformative changes in landscapes. This $189,145 award is part of the National Endowment for the Humanities’ Landmarks in American History and Culture Program that supports programs and seminars for schoolteachers and college faculty.