Penn State University
Altoona College
My research emphasis is on the landscape and environmental history of North America, particularly in relation to the application and use of technology. My first book used the Pennsylvania oil boom of the 1860s as a case study of rapid industrialization in the post-bellum U. S. 

My current research includes:

A book-length study of the use and management of the Gettysburg Battlefield as a sacred landscape. One particular emphasis is the use of ecological restoration in the park after 1990.

The cultural history of petroleum use in the 20th century and what it reveals about American environmental ethics and preferences.

America's dramatic shift in industrial intensity during the Civil War era. To clarify this point, I contrast the two primary illuminant industries of the ante- and post- bellum periods (whaling and petroleum mining, respectively). 

The impact of modernism and land-use planning on the modern environmental movement. For this project, I am focusing on the New Deal's land planning policies-specifically TVA-as precursors of the modern environmental movement which dates to the late 1960s. 

Brian Black is an Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies with a tenure home in the Altoona College of the Pennsylvania State University. 
Education/ Preparation

Education PhD., American Studies, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, May 1996. Fields: U.S. history; architectural history; environmental history; cultural geography. M.A., American Civilization, New York University, New York, NY, May 1991. B.A., major in English, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, PA, May 1988. 

Fall 1999- present Assoc. Professor, Depts.of History and Environmental Studies. Pennsylvania State University, Altoona College, PA. 

Fall 1997-Summer 1999 Visiting Asst. Professor, Dept of American Studies. Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY. 

Fall 1994-Spring 1997 Visiting Asst. Professor, Depts. of History and Environmental Studies. Gettysburg College, PA. 

Related Experience 
January 1995-present Historical Consultant, Oil Heritage Park. Planning the interpretive framework of this newest and largest of the state-funded Heritage Parks in Pennsylvania's state park system; also assisting to design and oversee the development of each of the seven museum venues being constructed within the park. 

January 1989-present, Freelance Writer, educational publishing. AMERICA AT WAR! Battles that Turned the Tide, a book on military history for junior high school students. 

Contributing writer : Encyclopedia of Energy, Elsevier. Encyclopedia of World Environmental History, Routledge. Encyclopedia of American Studies, multiple entries, Grolier Publishing Company. Encyclopedia of 20th Century Architecture, multiple entries, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. Encyclopedia of Garden and Landscape History, multiple entries, Fitzroy Dearborn Publishers. St. Martin's Encyclopedia of Popular Culture, multiple entries, St. Martin's Press. Famous Americans: Historical Plays for Classroom Use.

Places in Texas, supplement for McGraw-Hill history text, A People and a Nation. 

Consultant and writer to Communities and Places, a Houghton Mifflin Social Studies text. Numerous non-fiction articles have been published in high school social studies magazines: Search, Update, and Junior Scholastic; also Cobblestone and Highlights magazines for young readers. 

Staff writer for American Adventures, an eighth grade American history textbook. 

Editorial Experience 

2002-2004 Editor, Pennsylvania History: A Journal of Mid-Atlantic Studies. March 1997-June 1997 Managing Editor, temporary. The Gettysburg Review. August 1992-June 1994 Assistant Editor. American Studies. August 1991-June 1992 Assistant Editor. Journal of Economic History. October 1988-July 1991 Associate Editor. Scholastic News. August 1988-October 1988 Assistant to the Publisher. MHQ: Military History Quarterly May 1988-August 1988 Editorial Assistant. Audubon. August 1987-January 1988 Editorial Assistant. The Gettysburg Review.