Mark V. Barrow, Jr.

Mark V. Barrow, Jr., Professor of History
Mark V. Barrow, Jr., Professor of History

Department of History
431 Major Williams Hall, 220 Stanger Street, Blacksburg, VA 24061
540-231-4099 | barrow@vt.edu

Mark Barrow, a professor in the Department of History since 2010 and a member of the Virginia Tech faculty since 1992, served as chair of the department from 2010 to 2019. Barrow is the author of two books — Nature’s Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology and A Passion for Birds: American Ornithology after Audubon — and a coauthor of two textbooks, United States History Online and Digital History Reader. His current research focuses on changing attitudes toward human-induced extinction, primarily in the United States, from the 18th century to the Endangered Species Act of 1973. He is also pursuing work on the cultural history of the American alligator. Barrow has received numerous awards for teaching excellence at Virginia Tech, including, most recently, the William E. Wine Award and the Diggs Teaching Scholars Award. He received his doctorate in the history of science from Harvard University and his bachelor’s in history from the University of Florida.

  • History of Natural History and Wildlife Conservation
  • Environmental History
  • Ideas, Scientific Practices, and Policies Related to Extinction
  • History of Ornithology
  • Cultural and Environmental History of the American Alligator
  • Ph.D., History of Science, Harvard University
  • B.A., History, University of Florida
  • Member, American Society for Environmental History
  • Member, History of Science Society
  • Member, International Society for the History, Philosophy, and Social Studies of Biology
  • William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence, 2019
  • Diggs Teaching Scholars Award, 2017
  • Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2015
  • Award for Excellence in Research, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2014
  • Faculty Excellence Award, History Graduate Student Association, Virginia Tech, 2013
  • Watson Davis and Helen Miles Davis Prize for Best Book for a General Audience, History of Science Society, 2012
  • Sturm Research Award, Mu of Virginia Chapter, Phi Beta Kappa, 2012
  • Scholar Award in History, Virginia Social Science Association, 2012
  • Susan Elizabeth Abrams Prize, University of Chicago Press, 2011
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Title, 2010
  • XCaliber Award for Excellence in Technology-Assisted Teaching and Learning, Virginia Tech, 2007
  • Second-place Award, Poster Competition, Dean’s Forum for the Environment, Virginia Tech, 2007
  • Alumni Teaching Award, Virginia Tech, 2006
  • Academy of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech, 2006 to present
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2006
  • XCaliber Certificate of Excellence for Exemplary Work by a Team in Teaching with Technology, Virginia Tech, 2005
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Tech, 2000
  • Forum for the History of Science in America Book Award, 1998
  • Choice Outstanding Academic Book Award, 1998
  • Certificate of Teaching Excellence, College of Arts and Sciences, Virginia Tech, 1997
  • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, Harvard University, 1990

Published Books

Nature’s Ghosts: Confronting Extinction from the Age of Jefferson to the Age of Ecology (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009).

A Passion for Birds: American Ornithology after Audubon (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1998). Paperback 2000.

United States History Online (coauthored with Daniel Thorp, Kathleen Jones, and Marian Mollin) (New York: W. W. Norton, under consideration).

Digital History Reader (coauthored with Daniel Thorp, Amy Nelson, Kathleen Jones, E. Thomas Ewing, Woody Farrar, Marian Mollin, and Robert Stevens), 2006. http://www.dhr.history.vt.edu.

Journal Articles

“Carson in Cartoon: A New Window onto the Noisy Reception to Silent Spring,” Endeavour 36, no. 4 (2012): 156–164.

“Romancing the Capstone: National Trends, Local Practice, and Student Motivation in the History Curriculum,” Journal of American History 98, no. 4 (2012): 1095-1113 (co-authored with Kathleen Jones, Robert Stephens, and Stephen O’Hara).

“The Specter of Extinction: Taking a Long View on Species Loss,” Journal of the History of Biology 16, no. 3 (2011): 428–432.

“The Book Project: Engaging History Majors in Undergraduate Research,” History Teacher 45, no. 1 (November 2011): 65–80 (coauthored with Robert Stephens and Kathleen Jones).

“Dragons in Distress: Naturalists as Bioactivists in the Campaign to Save the American Alligator,” Journal of the History of Biology 42, no. 2 (2009): 267–288.

“Science, Sentiment, and the Specter of Extinction: Reconsidering Birds of Prey during America’s Interwar Years,” Environmental History 7 (2002): 69–98.

“The Specimen Dealer: Entrepreneurial Natural History in America’s Gilded Age,” Journal of the History of Biology 33 (Winter 2000): 1–42.
 

Book Chapters

“The Forestry Projections and the Environment: Global Scale Environmental Impacts” in Sverker Sorlin, Libby Robin, and Paul Warde, eds., The Future of Nature: Documents of Global Change. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013), 388–390.

“On the Trail of the Ivory-Bill: Field Science, Local Knowledge, and the Struggle to Save Endangered Species,” in Jeremy Vetter, ed., Knowing Global Environments: New Historical Perspectives on the Field Sciences. (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2010), 135–161.

“The Alligator’s Allure: Changing Perceptions of a Charismatic Carnivore,” in Dorothee Brantz, ed., Beastly Natures: Animals, Humans, and the Study of History (Charlottesville, VA: University of Virginia Press, 2010), 127–152.

‘‘Der Reiz des Alligators: Wechselnde Ansichten über einen charismatischen Fleischfresser,’’ in Dorothee Brantz and Christof Mauch, eds., Tierische Geschichte: Die Beziebung von Mensch und Tier in der Kultur der Moderne (Paderborn: Schöningh, 2010), 176–200. (A German translation of the above book chapter.)

“Coopération, conflict et côntrol: ornithologues et <birdwatchers> américains avant la Seconde Guerre mondiale,” in Florian Charvolin, André Micoud, and Lynn K. Nyhart, eds., Des Sciences Citoyennes?: La question de l’amateur dans les sciences naturalistes (La Tour d'Aigues: Éditions de l’Aube, 2007), 148–166.

“Naturalists as Conservationists: American Scientists, Social Responsibility, and Political Activism before the Bomb,” in Garland Allen and Roy McLeod, eds., Festschrift for Everett Mendelsohn (Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Press, 2002), 217–233.

“Gentlemanly Specialists in the Age of Professionalization: The First Century of Ornithology at Harvard’s Museum of Comparative Zoology,” in William E. Davis and Jerome Jackson, eds., Contributions to the History of North American Ornithology (Cambridge, MA: Nuttall Ornithological Club, 1995), 55–94.

 

  • “Using Digital Technology to Teach Hidden History” (with three co-principal investigators), 4VA Grant Program, Virginia Tech, $22,000, 2014
  • “Charismatic Carnivore: The Cultural and Environmental History of the American Alligator,” South Atlantic Studies Initiative Award Proposal, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, Virginia Tech, $1,500, 2009
  • Humanities Summer Stipend, Virginia Tech, $4,000, 2008
  • Dean’s Small Grant, College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, $3,000, 2006
  • Faculty Summer Fellowship, Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, “A Collaborative Approach to Historical Methods,” $6,593, 2005-06
  • Participant (with eight other faculty members), “The History Survey Online: Digital Resources for European and U.S. History,” National Endowment for the Humanities Exemplary Education Grant, $180,000, 2003-05
  • Faculty Summer Fellowship, Center for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, “A Timely New Course: The History of Modern Biology,” $6,093, 2003
  • Co-Principal Investigator, “Putting American History Online: The Next Phase,” Center for Innovation in Learning, Course Transformation Grant, $39,400, 2002-03
  • College of Arts and Sciences, Humanities Summer Stipend, $3,500, 2002
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, $24,000, 2002

Featured Books

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