About the Author

Dr. Christopher J. Manganiello has served as the Water Policy Director at Chattahoochee Riverkeeper since October 2016.  His book, titled Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region, was published by the University of North Carolina Press (2015).

Prior to joining Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Chris was the Georgia River Network Policy Director for almost five years.  Before that he was a Smithsonian Institution Fellow, and a University of Georgia and Georgia Gwinnett College faculty member.  Chris has published in the Journal of the History of Biology, the Journal of Southern History, and Southern Cultures, and was co-editor, with Paul S. Sutter, of Environmental History and the American South: A Reader (University of Georgia Press, 2009).

Curriculum Vita:

Current Employment

Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Water Policy Director, October 2016-present
  • Duties: policy analysis; public & government affairs.


University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia

  • Ph.D. with Honors in United States History, May 2010
  • Dissertation: “Dam Crazy with Wild Consequences: Artificial Lakes and Natural Rivers in the American South, 1845-1990,” awarded the Rachel Carson Prize by the American Society for Environmental History for Best Dissertation in Environmental History in 2010
  • Major Advisor: Paul Sutter. Committee: James Cobb, Shane Hamilton, Bethany Moreton
  • Exam Fields: Environmental, United States, and World History

Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina

  • M.A. with Honors in American History
  • Thesis: “From a Howling Wilderness to a Howling Tour: Revisiting the Wolf in North Carolina, 1585-2000”
  • Advisor: Scott Philyaw. Committee: Daniel S. Pierce, Vicki Szabo

Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida

  • B.A. with Honors in History and a minor in Political Science

Major Publications


Southern Water, Southern Power: How the Politics of Cheap Energy and Water Scarcity Shaped a Region (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015).

Environmental History and the American South: A Reader, Edited by Paul S. Sutter and Christopher J. Manganiello (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2009).

Chapters & Articles

“The Gold Standard: Sunbelt Environmentalism and Coastal Protection,” commissioned to contribute original research to conference (February 2016) and edited collection: Coastal Nature, Coastal Culture: Environmental Histories of the Georgia Coast (forthcoming, University of Georgia Press, 2017).

“Fish Tales and the Conservation State,” for special “Southern Waters” edition of Southern Cultures 20, no. 3 (August 2014): 43-62.

“Hitching the New South to White Coal: Water and Power, 1890-1933,” Journal of Southern History 78, no. 2 (May 2012): 255-292.

“From a Howling Wilderness to Howling Safaris: Science, Policy and Red Wolves in the American South,” Journal of the History of Biology 42, no. 2 (May 2009): 325-397.

Media & Popular Publications

  • Editor, “Georgia Water Wire” blog, a source for analysis and interpretation of water related policy and news.
  • Media source and quoted in numerous print stories by Associated Press, Athens Banner Herald, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Augusta Chronicle, Circle of Blue, Flagpole Magazine, Florida Environments, Georgia Public Broadcasting Radio, Macon Telegraph, Morris News Service, Rome News-Tribune, Savannah Morning News.
  • “The Flint River: A Sun Belt River and the Burden of History,” Flint River Special Edition, Georgia Wildlife Foundation Magazine, November 2013.
  • Cover and feature essay, “Georgia’s Urban Drought History. Who Knew?” Flagpole Magazine, May 6, 2009.
  • “Chattooga River” (2006), The New Georgia Encyclopedia entry. Ed. John Inscoe et al.

Awards and Honors

  • Rachel Carson Prize, American Society for Environmental History, Best Dissertation in Environmental History (in 2010), awarded April, 2011.
  • C. Vann Woodward Dissertation Prize finalist for the best dissertation in southern history completed and defended in 2010, Southern Historical Association, 2011.
  • Graduate Student Excellence-in-Research Award, University of Georgia, 2011. One of four awarded University-wide.
  • Dissertation Completion Fellowship, University of Georgia Graduate School, 2009-2010.  One of twenty awarded University-wide.
  • Smithsonian Institution Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, National Museum of American History, 2008-2009.  Advisors: Jeffrey K. Stine and Pete Daniel.
  • Graduate Student Research and Performance Grant, Willson Center for Humanities and Arts, University of Georgia, 2007-2008. One of ten awarded University-wide.
  • Carl Vipperman Teaching Assistant Scholarship, Department of History, University of Georgia, Spring 2008.
  • Thomas Pleasant Vincent, Sr. Scholarship Award for research in Georgia History, Department of History, University of Georgia, Spring 2007.
  • University of Georgia Department of History Travel Awards, Spring 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011.
  • Thomas Pleasant Vincent, Jr. Fellowship, Department of History, University of Georgia, 2004-2006.
  • Sole nomination to Conference of Southern Graduate Schools 2004 Master’s Thesis Award by the Western Carolina University Graduate School, August 2003.
  • Comprehensive Examination in American History, High Pass Distinction, Western Carolina University History Department, March 2003.
  • Western Carolina University History Department Travel Award, Spring 2002.

Teaching Experience

  • Instructor, Georgia Gwinnett College, Lawrenceville, Georgia, School of Liberal Arts (History), August-December 2011.  Designed & implemented course: U.S. History from 1865 to the Present (intro).
  • Instructor, Department of History, University of Georgia, August 2010 – May 2011.  Designed & implemented courses: Energy & Power (upper level); U.S. History from 1865 to the Present (intro); World Civilizations from 1500 to the Present (intro).
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Georgia, United States History To 1865 (3 semesters).
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Georgia, United States History Since 1865 (4 semesters).
  • Teaching Assistant, Scott Philyaw, North Carolina History, History Department (1 semester), Western Carolina University.

Public History Experience

  • Archival Processing Assistant, Eugene P. Odum Papers, Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia, Summer 2009.
  • Research Assistant, Dr. Jim Manning, for a planned documentary film on “Cold Mountain,” Communication and Theater Arts Department, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, North Carolina, Fall 2002.
  • Project Coordinator, Blue Ridge Parkway Public History Project, Dr. Scott Philyaw, History Department, Western Carolina University, Culllowhee, North Carolina, August 2001 – May 2002.

Published Book Reviews

Academic Conference Panels & Presentations

  • Invited to comment on panel, “Diving into Histories of Water, Environment, and Technology of the American South,” at the Southern Historical Association annual meeting (St. Pete Beach, Florida), November 2016.
  • Panel co-organizer, and paper – “Sunbelt Transitions: The Power of Drought, 1954” – Southern Historical Association (Atlanta), November 2014. Commentator: Pete Daniel, National Museum of American History.
  • Paper Presented: “‘Paradise o’ Ponds:’ Resolving Agricultural and Urban Drought in Georgia, 1951-1956,”Agricultural History Society, June 2010.
  • Panel organizer; “Ideology and Action in Southern Environments,” Southern Historical Association, November 2009.  Commentator: Elizabeth D. Blum, Troy State University.
  • Paper presented: “The Nature of Southeastern Lakes: Agriculture, Industry, and Leisure in the Savannah River Valley,” Southern Historical Association, November 2009.
  • “Still ‘For the Greatest Good’?: Managing Savannah River Valley Water-power, Floods, and Fish, 1930-1944,” Workshop in the History of the Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science (WHEATS), Mississippi State University, October 2009.
  • Panel organizer: “Drainage Districts, Private Power, and Conservation Policy in the American South, 1900-1940,” American Society for Environmental History Conference, February 2009. Commentator: Martin Reuss, Historian, United States Army Corps of Engineers (Ret.).
  • Paper presented: “Shaping Artificial Waterscapes: Georgia Power, the Tallulah River and the American South, 1913-1927,” American Society for Environmental History Conference, February 2009.
  • Paper presented: “Building Southern Waterscapes Before and After the TVA,” National Museum of American History Colloquium, Smithsonian Institution, January 6, 2009.
  • Paper presented: “The Nature of Southern Lakes: Reservoirs and Recreation in the Savannah River Valley, 1944-1990,” Southern Regional Conference on the History of Science and Technology (SHOST), Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, April 2008.
  • Moderator and co-organizer, Workshop in the History of the Environment, Agriculture, Technology, and Science (WHEATS), University of Georgia, October 2007.
  • Panel organizer: “Environmental and Cultural Histories of Southern Landscapes,” American Society for Environmental History Conference, March 2006. Commentator: Mart Stewart, Western Washington University.
  • Paper presented: “Cooperation and Division in the Chattooga Wild and Scenic River Corridor, 1965-76,” American Society for Environmental History Conference, March 2006.

Public Lectures & Presentations

  • Invited Talk, “Before TVA: Energy and Water in the New South,” as part of “Alabama Rigged,” an Alabama Humanities Foundation funded series, Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation, May 20, 2016.
  • Invited Talk, “Energy and Water Scarcity in the New South,” for the Oconee County Public Library’s and the Oconee Heritage Center’s “The Land Before the Waters” series, sponsored by the South Carolina Humanities, Oconee County Public Library, Walhalla, South Carolina, April 21, 2016.
  • Invited Talk, “Water and Power in the American South,” the Mercer Senior University, November 11, 2015.
  • Invited to the 27th Annual Red Clay Conference, to participate in panel, “Sustaining Supply: Balancing Public and Private Water Usage,” University of Georgia Law School, February 27, 2015.
  • Invited Talk, “The Vital Role of Rivers in Georgia’s History and Development,” the Brenau University Life & Leisure Institute, January 8, 2015.
  • Invited Talk “Water and Politics: Adventures in Resource Planning,” for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Georgia, November 11, 2014.
  • Invited Talk, “Water and Politics in the Bankers Box,” the Politics of the Environment Session, Richard B. Russell, Jr. Library for Political Research and Studies’ 40th Anniversary Scholars and Policymakers Symposium, October 27-28, 2014.
  • Invited Talk for film screening, “Deliverance, the Chattooga River and Environmental History,” Cine Theater, Athens, Georgia, December 14, 2013.
  • Invited Talk and co-field guide, “Beauty and Utility: Tallulah Gorge and the Georgia Power Company, 1905-1927,” for the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Georgia, November 19 and 21, 2013.
  • Invited to Participate on Panel by Union of Concerned Scientists, “Energy and Water in A Warming World,” Waterkeeper Annual Conference, Callaway Gardens, Georgia, June 6, 2013.
  • Invited Talk, “Hot and Dry: Energy and Water in Georgia,” Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell, Georgia, March 2012.
  • Invited Talk, “Red, Hot and Dry: New South Responses to Old Problems,” River Basin Center, University of Georgia, January 2012.
  • Invited to Participate on Panel: “High Water/Low Water: Lessons from Natural Extremes and Manmade Mistakes,” Deluge Exhibit Closing Day, Athens Institute for Contemporary Art (ATHICA), May 2010.
  • Invited Talk: “Dam Crazy: Southern Water and Southern Power,” Western Carolina University History Department, April 2010.
  • Invited Panel Presentation, “Environmental History and the American South,” Decatur Book Festival, Decatur, Georgia, September 2009.
  • Invited Commentator, Workshop in the Environmental and Agricultural History of the New South, University of South Carolina Institute for Southern Studies, Columbia, S.C., July 2009.
  • Invited Book Presentation, “Environmental History and the American South,” organized by the Georgia Center for the Book and Fulton County Central Library, Atlanta, Georgia, April 2009.
  • Invited Book Presentation, “Environmental History and the American South,” organized by the Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center, Buford, Georgia, April 2009.
  • Invited lecture: “Wildness, Wolves & Labor in North Carolina,” Western Carolina University History Department, October 2005.


  • American Society for Environmental History
  • Southern Historical Association

Leadership & Service

  • Invited to peer-review for: Agricultural History, Georgia Historical Quarterly, Southern Cultures, University of Georgia Press, and University of Tennessee Press.
  • Invited submission, “The Profession: From State Schools to the State Capitol,” American Society for Environmental History Quarterly Newsletter, Summer 2012.
  • Rachel Carson Prize Committee, American Society for Environmental History, 2011-2012.
  • Board Member, Upper Oconee Watershed Network, Athens, Georgia, January 2010-December 2011.
  • Agricultural History Society Book Auction Committee Member, for the Society’s Annual Meeting, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida, June 2010
  • Graduate Student Representative, Department of History of Policy Committee, Spring 2008
  • Steering committee, National Issues Forum – Public Policy Institute, hosted by the University of Georgia’s Richard B. Russell Library, Spring & Summer 2007
  • PhD Representative, History Graduate Student Association, 2006-2007
  • National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), Instructor Course, May 2000, Lander, Wyoming

Non-Profit Employment Experience

Georgia River Network, Athens, Georgia.

  • Policy Director, January 2012-October 2016
  • Volunteer & part-time, beginning 2009
  • Duties: policy analysis; public & government affairs; communications; fundraising; event planning.

The Wilderness Society, Washington, DC.

  • Refuges and Wildlife Intern, Internship October–December 2000.  Duties: policy research, coalition work.

Eagle’s Nest Foundation, Pisgah Forest, North Carolina

  • Program Director, Eagle’s Nest Camp, January–May 1999. Duties: risk management, purchasing, staffing.
  • Wilderness Program Coordinator, Outdoor Academy of the Southern Appalachians, January–May 1999
  • Outdoor Educator, Birch Tree Program, Seasonal 1997 & 1998
  • Trip Leader, Eagle’s Nest Camp, Seasonal 1997-2001

Updated 10/2016