Char Miller, Pomona's W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis, was honored with the Pinchot Medallion "in recognition of distinguished leadership and sustained contributions to advancing forest thought, policy and action," from the Pinchot Institute for Conservation. The award was given during the Institute's 50th anniversary celebration in late September.
In awarding the medallion, Nels Johnson, chair of the Institute's Board of Directors noted that the Miller is "a prolific, award-winning author and beloved professor [who has] introduced new generations of students and conservationists to the fundamental principles upon which the Conservation Movement in America was founded."
He also noted Miller's scholarship in environmental history as the nation's leading biographer of Gifford Pinchot, and "a master myth-buster in interpreting the intertwined lives and philosophies of Pinchot and other early conservation leaders, notably John Muir…creating a richer and more nuanced contextual understanding of our past as a way of better informing us in the present, and guiding us toward more successful environmental conservation in the future."
Miller, who is the director of the environmental analysis program at Pomona, is the author of eight books, including Gifford Pinchot: The Evolution of an American Conservationist (1993), the award-winning Gifford Pinchot and the Making of Modern Environmentalism (2001), On the Edge: Water: Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest (2013) and Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot (2013). He plays a central role in the 2012 PBS documentary film of the same title. In addition, he is the editor or co-editor of 10 more volumes and a regular contributor of essays, commentary and reviews to professional journals, newspapers and online media. Through his current blog, Golden Green, he explores environmental issues in the West for KCET.org.
Miller first arrived in Claremont in 1972 to start his freshman year at Pitzer, graduating in 1976. After earning his M.A. and Ph.D. at The Johns Hopkins University, he taught at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, for 28 years before finally returning to Claremont to join the Pomona College faculty in 2007.
A sought-after lecturer on the history of conservation and environmental policy, Miller is also a consultant for the U.S. Forest Service, participating in new employee, mid-level and senior administration training since the late 1980s and consulting with its research division and Grey Towers national historic site. He has written extensively about the agency's historical challenges and contemporary dilemmas.