Current Research Areas: environmental history; history of human-animal relationships; conservation; hunting; wildlife; U.S. history; history of science
Combining his interests in animals, environmental history, the history of science, and American history, Taylor studies the relationship between conservation, hunting, and the science and practice of wildlife management in the twentieth-century United States.
His current project examines the history of wildlife restoration projects under the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration (Pittman-Robertson) Act of 1937, a bill passed during the New Deal that placed an excise tax on the sale of firearms and ammunition to fund wildlife research, the acquisition and restoration of habitat, and restocking programs. P-R funded projects created wildlife refuges, restored wetlands and prairies, and reintroduced popular game species like white-tailed deer, elk, and wild turkey to states where they had been previously been extirpated or declared extinct. Taylor’s dissertation will examine the ways in which the science of wildlife management, by drawing on ideas from ecology and scientific forestry, precipitated a shift in federal wildlife policy toward restoration that culminated in the passage and implementation of the P-R Act.
Taylor received his B.A. in Political Science from Otterbein University in 2015 and his M.A. in History from Portland State University in 2018, where he wrote his master’s thesis on the early capture and display of live cetaceans (dolphins and whales) at the Los Angeles aquarium Marineland of the Pacific in the 1950s and 1960s.