Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 26:1 (Winter 2006) Copyright © 2006 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


I undertook an investigation of how rural populations responded to a period of adverse climatic conditions in rural eastern Oklahoma during the 1930s, with particular interest in those households that adapted by migrating to rural California. This is not the first time that 19305 Oklahoma has been the subject of research into how people and communities adapt to difficult environmental conditions. In the wake of a 1985 conference entitled "Social Adaptation to Semi-Arid Environments" at the Center for Great Plains Studies in Lincoln, Great Plains Quarterly presented a series of papers by well-known scholars exploring human-environment interactions that gave rise to the "Dust Bowl" conditions of the 1930s and the consequent social impacts.