C.J. Alvarez is an assistant professor in the department of Mexican American and Latina/o Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. Before receiving his doctorate in history at the University of Chicago, he studied the history of art and architecture at Harvard University and art and art history at Stanford University. He writes and teaches about the history of the U.S.-Mexico border and environmental history. His first book, Border Land, Border Water: A History of Construction on the U.S.-Mexico Divide (University of Texas Press, 2019) is a history of the built world of the U.S.-Mexico borderline. This book is the winner of the Vernacular Architecture Forum’s Abbott Lowell Cummings Award, given annually to the newly-published book that has made the most significant contribution to the study of vernacular architecture and cultural landscapes of North America. His second book project is about the history of the Chihuahuan desert, the largest and least known expanse of dryland in North America.