Adam Sowards, Ph.D.
College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
Greater Seattle Area
Department of History
Director, Institute for Pacific Northwest Studies
With UI Since 2003
Ph.D., History, 2001, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
M.A., History, 1997, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
B.A., (with honors), History, 1995, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA
North American Environmental History
History of the North American West
History of Science
Adam M. Sowards is an environmental historian who focuses on North America, especially the West and is affiliate faculty with Environmental Science, Water Resources and American Studies. A prize-winning historian, he has primarily focused on the American conservation movement and forest history. Currently, Sowards is interested in how environment and culture affect scientific inquiry and is studying Arctic exploration and a Northwestern ecologist. Periodically, he works with U-Idaho students, faculty, and other collaborators on regional environmental history projects, especially ones that focus on water use and management. Sowards has been at the University of Idaho since 2003 and has been active in interdisciplinary teaching, research, and service. He has worked with dozens of graduate students in many academic programs, besides the hundreds of undergraduates who have passed through his classroom.
- The Environmental Justice: William O. Douglas and American Conservation. (Oregon State University Press, 2009)
- United States West Coast, An Environmental History. (ABC-CLIO, 2007)
Articles and Essays
- “Making the Idaho Landscape of 1863,” Idaho Landscapes: History, Science, and Art, special issue on the Sesquicentennial of the Creation of Idaho Territory, 2013.
- “The Past and Future of the Columbia River.” In The Columbia River Treaty Revisited : Transboundary River Governance in the Face of Uncertainty, ed. Barbara Cosens. (Oregon State University Press, 2012) (co-authored with Paul Hirt)
- “‘We’re All Kinda Crazy’: Smokejumpers and Western Forests.” Oral History Forum d’histoire orale 30 (2010). Special Issue: Talking Green: Oral History and the Environment:
- “From Virgin Forest to Modern Farm: Picturing Ecological Change in Northern Idaho’s Cutover Land.” Idaho Yesterdays 50, no. 2 (2009).
- “William O. Douglas’s Wilderness Politics: Public Protest and Committees of Correspondence in the Pacific Northwest.” Western Historical Quarterly 37, no. 1 (2006): 21-42.
- Editorial Board, Journal of the West
- Associate Editor, History for a Sustainable Future Book Series, MIT Press
- Governing Council, Idaho Water Resources Research Institute
- Core Faculty, Program in Environmental Science
Waters of the West work in local communities.
Sponsored lecture series through the Institute for Pacific Northwest History.
American Society for Environmental History, serving on several professional committees.
Advisory council for the Sustainable Future History Project Book Series with MIT Press.
- Leadership Academy, University of Idaho, 2011-12
- Association for American University Presses Books for Understanding, U.S. Supreme Court, for The Environmental Justice, 2010
- Outstanding Faculty Award, Environmental Science Program, University of Idaho, 2009-10
- Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2008, for United States West Coast An Environmental History
- University of Idaho Alumni Association Award for Faculty Excellence, 2008