Professor McKenzie’s research interests include marine environmental history, eighteenth and nineteenth century American social and labor history, maritime history, history of tourism and working waterfronts.
McKenzie took his PhD in Maritime History from the University of New Hampshire in 2003. As a PhD candidate, he worked with UNH’s Gulf of Maine Cod Project, an interdisciplinary team of historians and fisheries scientists exploring ecological change in the 19th century Scotian Shelf cod-fishery. In 2003, McKenzie began teaching Maritime Studies at the Sea Education Association in Woods Hole, Mass., during which time he sailed offshore in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans in US and Canadian waters. At sea, he continued his courses while also filling in as Assistant Engineer, deckhand, and science deck lackey. He came to UConn’s Avery Point campus in August, 2006, where his position as American Studies Program Coordinator has pulled his interests closer inshore.
McKenzie’s book, Clearing the Coastline: The Nineteenth Century Ecological and Cultural Transformation of Cape Cod (University Press of New England, 2011) explores perceived changes in nineteenth century southern New England’s inshore marine ecology; fishermen’s and scientists’ responses to those changes; and how these economic and ecological transformations helped create the modern tourist communities of the early twentieth century.