Byron Pearson, J.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of History
Office: Old Main, Room 405B
Dr. Pearson earned his Ph.D. in American history from the University of Arizona in 1998 and joined the faculty at West Texas A&M University in 2000 as an assistant professor of history, having turned from the "dark side" of the practice of law. In 2006, he earned tenure, was promoted to associate professor, served as History Department Head from January 2008 to July 2013, and has happily returned to teaching full time.
Teaching and Related Service
Dr. Pearson teaches American history courses on the Gilded Age, Progressive Era, American West, U.S. environmental history and Native American history. He has received 24 teaching awards in his career including recognition by the Mortar Board Honor Society as an "outstanding faculty member" nine times, most recently in 2013, won the West Texas A&M University Teaching Excellence Award in 2004, was recognized by the faculty senate as the University’s Magister Optimus in 2009, awarded the title of Provost Professor for 2009-2010, and received Chancellor's Teaching Excellence Awards for spring and fall of 2011.
Research and Creative Activity
Dr. Pearson believes scholarship and teaching excellence go hand-in-hand. His first book, Still the Wild River Runs: Congress the Sierra Club and the Fight to Save Grand Canyon, was published by the University of Arizona Press in 2002. Dr. Pearson has published over twenty refereed journal articles and scholarly book reviews in venues such as the Journal of American History, Western Historical Quarterly, and the Pacific Historical Review. He most recently presented a scholarly paper at the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History in 2013 and published an article in Forest History Today in spring of 2012.
Dr. Pearson's amazing wife Kim, sons, Nate and Josh, and step-daughters Cammy and Cassie, make life worth living. Striving to be a good husband and dad takes precedence over everything else he does. In what spare time he has, Dr. Pearson plays blues and classical piano, acoustic guitar and mandolin, coaches youth soccer and baseball, works out, and whenever possible, he fishes small technical cold-water streams with tiny flies, preferably in inclement weather.