Stephanie Fuglaar Statz, PhD
Senior Historian | Creative Problem Solver
“History helps us understand and wholly acknowledge who we are and to make sense of the world we live in. As an historian, I use documents, media, and objects to peel back the layers of the past, uncover details, find connections, and put it all together to shine light on the true, complex stories of people and organizations.”
Work at HAI
Stephanie is an historical researcher and expert witness based in Austin, Texas. Her work is focused on research and analysis for litigation projects. She also assists or advises in projects that involve preservation, small museums, and history education.
Stephanie’s subject areas of expertise include business history, environmental history, and urban development. Through commodities studies, she combines these fields to reveal the stories behind the products we consume, particularly those of government regulation, natural resource use, workers, science, and economic development. She has studied and written about industrial food production, copper mining/processing, and urban transportation technologies in the 20th century.
Path to HAI
Prior to joining HAI, Stephanie’s career as an historian includes work as a history research consultant, preservation advocate, and museum director. She has also served on a number of committees and boards for: National Council of Public History, American Society of Environmental Historians, Utah Museums Association, Utah State Historical Society, Agricultural History Society, Tooele Historical Preservation Commission, and Mormon History Association.
At the University of Texas-Austin, Stephanie received a BA anthropology and history. She then studied with Martin Melosi, PhD and Kathleen Brosnan, JD, PhD, at the University of Houston receiving a MA in Public History and a PhD in History. At UH, she worked as an Assistant Editor of the Encyclopedia of American Environmental History, Assistant Project Manager for “To Bear Fruit for Our Race”: A History of African-American Physicians in Houston. She wrote a thesis on the history streetcar systems in Houston, Texas, and their role in expansion of local government authority. The thesis was later turned into a book published by the American Public Works Association, Bayou City Rails. Her dissertation “California’s Fruit Cocktail: A History of Industrial Food Production, the State, and the Environment in Northern California” about the strategies used by the deciduous fruit canning industry and local governments in the Bay Area and Central Valley to capture and control natural resources. Sections of her dissertation research were published in Service as Mandate: How Land Grant Universities Shaped the Modern World, 1920-2015, edited by Alan Marcus, PhD.
Stephanie advanced initiatives to preserve and share the past within local communities. While serving as chair of Tooele City Historical Preservation commission, she raised money, wrote tours, and assisted in preparing applications for buildings to join the National Register of Historic Sites. As director of the Tooele Valley Museum, she revived a small history museum by initiating preservation projects, fundraising, creating education programs, and building strong community relationships. For her unique and responsive work in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, she received the Utah Museums Association Innovation Award.