A native Texan, Mary E. Mendoza joined the UVM History Department in the fall of 2015. She received her B.A. from Middlebury College in 2006, an M.A. in U.S. History from American University in 2010, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis in 2012 and 2015. Her work focuses on the intersections between environmental and borderlands history and she teaches courses on colonial and modern U.S. history, race in the American West, environmental history, Chicano history, and borderlands history.
Mendoza’s current research project explores the intersections between the natural and built environments along the U.S.-Mexico border. Specifically, Mendoza writes about the history of fence construction along the border, the ways that nature has shaped and been shaped by construction, and how fences, though practically powerless to stop the movement of dynamic nature, have become a symbol of a racialized landscape of power, control, and exclusion.
Mendoza has also written about migration, public health, and U.S.-Mexico relations. Her work has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian, the Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.