Ryan C. Edwards, Ph.D.

Term: Winter 2020Ryan C. Edwards, PhD


Ryan is an environmental historian and geography of the Americas. He received his PhD from Cornell University, and was an Associate Research Scholar at Princeton University during his writing residency at Grey Towers.

Visiting Associate Research Scholar 2018-2020
Program in Latin American Studies, Princeton University


A Carceral Ecology: From Natural Prison to National Park in Southern Patagonia explores the relationship between penal colonization in the early twentieth century and the rise of forestry in Patagonia through the Ushuaia prison-timber economy. The book ends with an analysis of Tierra del Fuego National Park, home to the world’s southernmost forest, which occupies the former felling zone of the Ushuaia penal colony.


My two weeks at Grey Towers were exactly what any writer—though especially one who works on environmental issues—dreams of as they finish their manuscript. The community is welcoming, knowledgeable, and supportive of a diverse range of scholarship in the tradition of the Pinchot family. I could not have asked for a better space to write, walk, and reflect during the quiet month of January with a fresh snowfall.

Recent Works:

“Convicts and Conservation: Inmate Labor, Fires and Forestry in Southernmost Argentina,” Journal of Historical Geography 56, no. 2 (April 2017): 1-13
“From the Depths of Patagonia: The Ushuaia Penal Colony and the Nature of ‘The End of the World,’” Hispanic American Historical Review 94, no. 2 (May 2014): 271-302