David Benac

Photo of David Benac
David Benac
Associate Professor of History
(269) 387-5361
4428 Friedmann Hall, Mail Stop 5334
Mailing address: 
Department of History
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
  • Ph.D., History, University of Missouri, 2003
  • M.A., Public history: Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, 1997
  • B.A., History: Michigan State University, 1995
Research interests: 
  • The American environmental movement of the late-twentieth century.
  • The heritage and history of the timber industry in culture and landscape, especially in the Pacific Northwest.

Dr. David Benac is associate professor of history, Public History Coordinator, and history internship supervisor at Western Michigan University.

Courses he teaches include:

Benac advises graduate students in environmental and public history, including cultural resources management, environmental movements, heritage tourism, historic preservation, and oral history.

His research, at the intersection of environmental and public history, investigates how individuals and communities develop cultural ties to environments (built, natural, and landscape) and how these connections emerge in grassroots activism.

Recent public history projects and publications:

  • Conflict in the Ozarks: Hill Folk, Industrialists, and Government in the Courtois Hills.  Kirksville, MO: Truman State University Press, 2010.
  • Criffield-Whiteley House, Dowagiac, Michigan. National Register of Historic Places.  September 23, 2016.
  • “The Value of a Historical Landscape: Heritage and Nature at Bridal Veil.” Oregon Historical Quarterly. Vol. 116, no. 4. Winter 2015.
  • “The New Orleans Lakefront: Created Land and Planned Development.” Journal of Urban History.  May 2015.