Dan Flores

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For the American football player, see Dan Flores (American football).
Dan Louie Flores
Born (1948-10-19) October 19, 1948 (age 68)
Vivian, Caddo Parish
Louisiana, USA
Residence Santa Fe, New Mexico
Alma mater

Northwestern State University

Texas A&M University
Occupation Writer, Historian
Professor Emeritus at the University of Montana
Years active ca. 1980-
Spouse(s) Susan I. Flores (married 1972-1978, divorced), Sara Dant (married 2014-present)

Dan Louie Flores (born 1948) is an American writer and historian who specializes in cultural and environmental studies of the American West. He held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana until he retired in May 2014.


Dan Flores is a writer who lives in the Galisteo Valley outside Santa Fe, New Mexico, and is A. B. Hammond Professor Emeritus of Western History at the University of Montana-Missoula. Flores was born in Vivian in Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana and grew up in nearby Rodessa. During the 1970s, he received his MA in history from Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana, and his Ph.D. in 1978 from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, where he studied under Professor Herbert H. Lang.[1] He began his academic career at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where he taught from 1978 to 1992, spent a year at the University of Wyoming in 1986, and then relocated to the University of Montana, where he held the A.B. Hammond Chair in Western History from 1992 until he retired in May 2014.[2]



Flores is the author of ten books.

  • Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History (New York: Basic/Perseus, 2016)
  • American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains (Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2016)[3]
  • Visions of the Big Sky: Painting and Photographing the Northern Rocky Mountain West (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010)
  • Caprock Canyonlands: Journeys into the Heart of the Southern Plains, 20th Anniversary Edition (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010)
  • The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001; paperback edition, 2003)
  • Southern Counterpart to Lewis & Clark: The Freeman & Custis Expedition of 1806 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, Red River Books paperback, 2nd edition, 2002)
  • Horizontal Yellow: Nature and History in the Near Southwest (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999; paperback edition, 1999)
  • The Mississippi Kite: Portrait of a Southern Hawk, with Eric Bolen (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993)
  • Caprock Canyonlands: Journeys into the Heart of the Southern Plains (Austin and London: University of Texas Press, 1990; paperback edition, 1997)
  • Canyon Visions: Photographs and Pastels of the Texas Plains, with Amy Winton, Foreword by Larry McMurtry (Lubbock: Texas Tech University Press, 1989; paperback edition, 1989)
  • Journal of an Indian Trader: Anthony Glass and the Texas Trading Frontier, 1790-1810 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985; paperback edition, 1998)
  • Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1984; paperback edition, 1986)

Essays and articles[edit]

Flores' essays on the environment, art, and culture of the West have appeared in magazines such as Texas Monthly, Orion, Wild West, Southwest Art, The Big Sky Journal, and High Country News, and include:

  • "Reviewing an Iconic Story: Environmental History and the Demise of the Bison," in Geoff Cunfer and Bill Waiser, eds., Bison and People on the North American Great Plains: A Deep Environmental History (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2016): 30-50 [4]
  • "Wolf West," Wild West (June 2016), 46-53[5]
  • “Western Art for the War Weary,” Wild West (December 2015), 50-57
  • "Where Pronghorns Play," Wild West (August 2015), 58-65
  • "Mother Earth Laid Bare: Learning to Love the Badlands of the American West," Site Lines: A Journal of Place X (II) Spring 2015
  • "Empires of the Sun: Big History and the Southern High Plains," OAH Magazine of History (September 2013)
  • "Coyote, An American Original," Wild West 25 (April 2013): 52-9
  • "Earthlings: Evolution and Place in Environmental History," in Douglas Sackman, ed., A Companion to American Environmental History (London: Wiley-Blackwell Publishers, 2010): 595-614
  • "Bringing Home All The Pretty Horses: The Horse Trade in the Early American West, 1785 - 1825," Montana the Magazine of Western History 58 (Summer 2008): 3-21, 94-6
  • "Wars over Buffalo: Stories vs. Stories on the Northern Plains," in Native Americans and the Environment: Perspectives on the Ecological Indian, Michael Harkin and David Rich Lewis, eds. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2007): 153-72
  • "Land That I Love," Texas Monthly 35 (July 2007): 74-80
  • "Societies to Match the Scenery: Twentieth-Century Environmental History in the American West," in A Companion to The American West, William Deverell, ed. (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004): 256-71
  • "Beyond Ecology: Restoring a Cultural Landscape," High Country News, May 13, 2002
  • "A Very Different Story: Exploring the Southwest from Monticello With the Freeman and Custis Expedition of 1806," Montana the Magazine of Western History 50 (Spring 2000): 2-17
  • "Nature's Children: Environmental History as Human Natural History," in Andrew Kirk and John Herron, eds., Human Nature: Biology, Culture, and Environmental History (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1999): 11-30
  • "Essay: The Great Plains ‘Wilderness’ as a Human-Shaped Environment," Great Plains Research 9 (Fall 1999): 343-55
  • "In Montana, The View from the Ranchette," High Country News, May 10, 1999
  • "Place: An Argument for Bioregional History," Environmental History 18 (Winter 1994): 1-18
  • "Bison Ecology and Bison Diplomacy: The Southern Plains from 1800 to 1850," Journal of American History 78 (September 1991): 465-85
  • "The Ecology of the Red River in 1806: Peter Custis and Early Southwestern Natural History," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 88 (July 1984): 1-42
  • "Zion in Eden: Phases of the Environmental History of Utah," Environmental Review, 7(4) 1983, 325-344.

Awards and honors[edit]

Flores' work has received numerous accolades and awards including:

  • Society of American Historians Member, elected 2017.
  • 2017 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award for Coyote America[6]
  • Best Non-Fiction Book, 2017 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association and National Cowboy Museum, for American Serengeti[7]
  • PEN 2017 E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award Finalist for Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History [8] [9]
  • Stubbendieck Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, 2017, Finalist, for American Serengeti
  • Best Western Historical NonFiction, 2017, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for American Serengeti[10]
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2016, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for "Where the Pronghorns Play"
  • Outstanding Magazine Article, 2014 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association and National Cowboy Museum, for “Coyote, An American Original”
  • High Plains Book Awards, 2011, Winner in the category of Art/Photography Books, for Visions of the Big Sky
  • Montana Book Awards, 2010 Honor Book, for Visions of the Big Sky
  • Southwestern Book Design Awards, 2011, Finalist, for Visions of the Big Sky
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2011, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for “Horse Trading in the Early West”
  • Ray Allen Billington Prize, 2009 Article Award, Western History Association, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Outstanding Magazine Article, 2009 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association and National Cowboy Museum, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Friends Choice Award, 2009, from Friends of the Montana Historical Society, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 2009, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Vivian A. Paladin Award, Best Article for 2008, Montana, the Magazine of Western History, for “Bringing Home All the Pretty Horses”
  • Julian Rothbaum Prize, 2005, Distinguished Book Prize, University of Oklahoma Press, for The Natural West
  • Caroline Bancroft History Book Prize Honor Book, 2002, Denver Public Library, for The Natural West
  • Best Contemporary Nonfiction Book, 2000, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for Horizontal Yellow
  • Nonfiction Book Prize, Finalist, 2000, Oklahoma Book Awards, for Horizontal Yellow
  • Best Western Short Nonfiction, 1998, Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, for “When Buffalo Roamed”
  • Outstanding Magazine Article, 1997 Wrangler Award, Western Heritage Association, National Cowboy Hall of Fame, for “When Buffalo Roamed”
  • Ray Allen Billington Prize, Best Article, 1984, Western History Association, for “Ecology of the Red River in 1806”
  • Best Book on the West, 1984, Westerner's International Co-Founders' Award, for Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration
  • Best Book on Texas History, 1984, Coral Tullis Prize, Texas State Historical Association, for Jefferson & Southwestern Exploration
  • Best Article on Texas History, 1984, H. Bailey Carroll Prize, Texas State Historical Association, for “Ecology of the Red River in 1806”

Invited lectures[edit]

  • In March 2017, Flores gave the Tyson Family Lecture on the Preservation and Restoration of Southern Ecosystems at Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina.[11]
  • In March 2016, Flores discussed "Animals, Art, and the Environment" as part of the Russell Event at the Charles M. Russell Museum in Great Falls, Montana.[12]
  • In January 2016, Flores gave the keynote address, entitled "Loss and Remorse over the 'American Serengeti,'" for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering in Elko, Nevada.[13]
  • In October 2015, West Texas State A&M University invited Flores to present their annual Distinguished Lecture.[14]
  • In 2013, Flores delivered the fourth annual Pilster Great Plains Lecture at the Mari Sandoz Heritage Society's annual conference at Chadron State College in Chadron, Nebraska.[15]
  • Flores delivered the Town/Gown Lecture at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, CA, in May 2011.
  • In March 2011, Flores gave the Plenary Lecture for the Georgia Historical Association in Savannah.
  • In October 2010, Flores gave two public lectures for the Colorado Historical Society.
  • In January 2010, Flores gave the Sparks Lecture at the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe, NM.
  • In November 2009, Flores gave the Hall Symposium Lecture at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
  • In 2008, Flores presented the prestigious C. Ruth and Calvin P. Horn Lecture in Western History and Culture at the University of New Mexico's Center for the Southwest.[16]
  • Flores spoke at the June 2008 Prix de West Art Awards at the National Cowboy Museum and Western Heritage Center in Oklahoma City.
  • In April 2008, Flores presented the Snell Lecture at Lee University of Tennessee, and the President’s Lecture hosted by the History and Biology Departments at Belmont University in Nashville.
  • As part of the Santa Fe (NM) Salon, Flores spoke in December 2007.
  • In June 2007, Flores was invited to deliver a talk at the Conference on Rivers and Civilization for the Academia Sinica in Taipei, Taiwan.
  • In April 2006, Flores spoke and was the featured writer at the High Plains Writers Series at West Texas State University in Canyon, Texas.
  • At the February 2006 National Park Service conference on Lewis and Clark in St. Louis, Flores gave an invited talk.
  • In October 2003, Flores delivered the Aubrey L. Haines Lecture at Yellowstone National Park.[17]
  • In 2002, Flores delivered the Catherine Cater Humanities Lecture at North Dakota State University.[18]
  • Flores gave the Hartman Hotz Lecture at the University of Arkansas in November 2002.
  • In April 1996, Flores delivered the Charles Wood Lecture at Texas Tech University.

Film and Media[edit]

  • Flores joined Joe Rogan for a free-wheeling podcast in Episode #942 of The Joe Rogan Experience (original broadcast date April 6, 2017).[19]
  • Flores and Steven Rinella recorded an extremely successful podcast as part of Rinella's MeatEater program (original broadcast date April 14, 2016, Episode 033)[20]
  • Flores appeared in the “Finding Fenn’s Fortune” episode of Expedition Unknown in 2015 (original air date: November 18) and was featured in Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown “New Mexico” episode in 2013 (original air date: September 29).[21]
  • Flores provided much of the historical narration for the 2010 documentary film Facing the Storm: The Story of the American Bison, which aired nationally on PBS in April, 2012.[22]
  • Flores provided historical narration for the documentary El Caballo: The Wild Horses of North America, produced by The Fund for Animals and High Plains Films in 2001.[23]

Critical reception[edit]

As a historian of place, Flores is "one of the best this country has produced," according to acclaimed author Annie Proulx. "His work ranks with that of Thoreau, William Bartram, Aldo Leopold, John Muir, Peter Matthiessen."[24] Douglas Brinkley calls him "a master of the American West and a personal hero."

Flores' latest book, Coyote America, has been widely praised as "terrific," "fascinating," "absorbing," and "brilliant." Natural History proclaims "The coyote stories in this book are among the best, and Flores is a master storyteller."[25]

Historian Elliott West has called Flores "one of the most respected environmental historians of his generation"[26] and William Kittredge concurs, stating that Flores belongs in "the ranks of first-string Western American writers." "Engaging and provocative," "personal, passionate, and scholarly,"[27] Flores' work draws broad praise, including from author William deBuys, who calls Horizontal Yellow "one of the best books about place you'll ever read.".[28]


  1. ^ Dan Louie Flores, The Natural West: Environmental History in the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press. 2001. p. i. Retrieved June 26, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Dan Flores". University of Montana. Archived from the original on October 5, 2011. Retrieved July 30, 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.basicbooks.com/full-details?isbn=9780465052998; https://kuecprd.ku.edu/~upress/cgi-bin/subjects/history-american-west/978-0-7006-2227-6.html
  4. ^ http://www.tamupress.com/product/Bison-and-People-on-the-North-American-Great-Plain,8595.aspx
  5. ^ http://www.historynet.com/wolf-west.htm
  6. ^ https://www.northland.edu/earth-day/earth-day-books-year/
  7. ^ https://nationalcowboymuseum.org/awards-halls-of-fame/western-heritage-awards/western-heritage-awards-current-winners/
  8. ^ https://pen.org/literature/2017-pene-o-wilson-literary-science-writing-award
  9. ^ http://pen.org/2017-pen-america-literary-awards-finalists/
  10. ^ http://westernwriters.org/winners/
  11. ^ https://www.wofford.edu/newsroom/2017/Tyson-Family-Lecture-to-focus-on-coyotes-in-the-South/
  12. ^ https://www.cmrussell.org/the-russell-events
  13. ^ http://www.nevadahumanities.org/calendar/dan-flores-2016-national-cowboy-poetry-gathering-keynote-address
  14. ^ http://www.wtamu.edu/aspx/calendar.aspx?m=10&y=2015&event=99585
  15. ^ http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/10447
  16. ^ https://centerforthesouthwest.unm.edu/events/horn-lecture-series/index.html
  17. ^ http://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/upload/2003summary.pdf
  18. ^ https://www.ndsu.edu/ndsu/news/state/ihas/2002/ihas.11132002.pdf
  19. ^ http://podcasts.joerogan.net/podcasts/dan-flores
  20. ^ http://www.themeateater.com/podcasts/episode-033/
  21. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3302926/?ref_=ttep_ep12
  22. ^ http://itvs.org/films/facing-the-storm/photos-and-press-kit
  23. ^ http://www.highplainsfilms.org/films/el_caballo
  24. ^ Caprock Canyonlands, Twentieth Anniversary Edition, ix.
  25. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Coyote-America-Natural-Supernatural-History/dp/0465052991/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=0R6F5C0J4HJJWAKPNK3P
  26. ^ The Natural West, back cover
  27. ^ https://kuecprd.ku.edu/~upress/cgi-bin/978-0-7006-2227-6.html
  28. ^ Horizontal Yellow, back cover