Austin is currently employed as an archaeologist while taking classes remotely this fall. In the fall of 2021 he will enter a graduate program at Montana State University. Austin completed his M.A. in history from the University of Oklahoma in spring 2020 his thesis examined the competing need for capital and water in early Las Vegas, Nevada, and situated an East Mojave Desert homesteading community within the larger out-migration of Black people from the American South and into the American West. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Pittsburgh. Informed by his field experiences as a national park ranger and archaeologist, Austin’s primary interests are in Western and environmental history. His dissertation at Montana State University, in its nascent development, is a study of how settler colonialism worked in the North American West and created the idea and political reality of “Montana,” with special attention paid to the environmental changes that contributed to that process.
MA thesis: “Homesteading Vegas: Promotion, Race, and Water in the East Mojave”