Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies
Division of History and Social Sciences
Joshua Howe is Associate Professor of History and Environmental Studies. He teaches courses in American and world environmental history, the history of science, and American foreign policy, as well as in the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies junior seminar. In his research he investigates the intersections of science and environmental politics in both foreign and domestic contexts. His recent books, Behind the Curve: Science and the Politics of Global Warming (University of Washington Press, 2014) and Making Climate Change History: Documents from Global Warming’s Past (University of Washington Press, 2017) explore the political history of climate change since the 1950s, and his work on climate change and the Anthropocene has also appeared in Environmental History, Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, Climatic Change, as well as a number of edited volumes. In 2019, Josh was awarded the Ritter Memorial Fellowship from the Scripps Institute of Oceanography for his work on the history of atmospheric science. In his current work, Josh has begun to investigate relationships between American foreign policy and the distribution of heavy metals toxicity from the early 1950s through the second American war in Iraq. Josh holds a B.A. in history and creative writing from Middlebury College and a Ph.D. in history from Stanford University. From 2010-2012, he served as a postdoctoral fellow with the National Science Foundation’s John Tyndall Correspondence Project at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He moved to Portland to take up his position at Reed in the fall of 2012. Josh currently serves as chair of the History Department. He has also served twice as the chair of the Environmental Studies Program, first in 2015-16 and then from 2017-2019. When he is not in the classroom or the archives, you might see him skiing, surfing, riding bikes, or otherwise playing outside somewhere in the mountains of the greater northwestern U.S.