Plymouth State University has made major commitments to researching, interpreting, and telling the story of our region, including the White Mountains. Through our work at the Museum of the White Mountains, the White Mountains Institute, the Department of History & Philosophy, the Institute for New Hampshire Studies, the Center for the Environment, and the Center for Rural Partnerships, PSU faculty, staff, students are examining the history of the White Mountains from a variety of different angles.
Dr. Catherine S. Amidon is the director of the Museum of the White Mountains at Plymouth State University. She has lectured extensively, published numerous articles and curated more than 30 exhibitions including three that toured nationally. She collaborated on the virtual “Beyond Brown Paper” exhibit of over 11,000 photographs of Berlin, NH that has over 7,000 visitors and bloggers a day and served on the Weeks Act Centennial Committee.
Ben Amsden is currently the interim Director of the Center for Rural Partnerships. He’s interested in the human dimensions of nature-based tourism, outdoor recreation management, and community development. His research and engagement include a study of place attachment and volunteering in a tourism-dependent community in rural Alaska; an assessment of the economic impacts of visitor spending at federally-managed lakes and reservoirs; an exploration of the connections between agritourism, local food, and serious leisure; the development of a motel “retrotour” using collaborative marketing and place rebranding; and an appraisal of alternative transportation planning within the White Mountain National Forest.
Barry and Gretchen Draper
Barry and Gretchen Draper are teachers, travelers and long-time residents of New Hampshire. They share a deep respect for the natural world and its surprises. Barry turns his photography to teaching and sharing his knowledge throughout the world. Gretchen is a writer and teacher-consultant with the National Writing Project in New Hampshire at Plymouth State University.
Doug Earick is a Research Professor with the Center for the Environment. Having a background in biological and environmental education, his interests and activities are in K-12 outreach focused primarily on environmental and ecological issues. He is also actively involved in secondary science teacher preparation at PSU.
Grace Fraser holds a BA in Anthropologyfrom the University of Utah and an MA and Ph.d. of Anthropology from UMass/Amherst. Her areas of interest include Native Americans, island societies (particularly Caribbean and Pacific) development and culture change, and food issues. Growing up on the Great Plains helped to cultivate an abiding interest in our indigenous peoples and their cultures. Grace currently serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum, and has served as past president of the Northeastern Anthropology Association.
Water is a vitally important topic relevant to the White Mountains, and Dr. Green is a regional expert on the hydrology of the White Mountains. His groundbreaking work on history of hydrological systems and relevant human impacts has been celebrated by the National Science Foundation.
Thaddeus Guldbrandsen is Director of the Center for Rural Partnerships and Research Associate Professor of Social Science and Environmental Science & Policy. He is also serving as the Interim Coordinator for the White Mountains Institute. Trained as an anthropologist, his scholarly work is interdisciplinary and spans the boundaries between of the social sciences, humanities, and community development. He has been involved in dozens of White Mountains initiatives, including projects on the history, heritage, and culture of the region; alternative transportation in the White Mountains, conservation, economic development, telecommunications, and public access to private lands. Read more.
Mr. Lennon works as a naturalist, hiking guide, and college instructor in the mountains of NH. In campsites, on the trail, and in the pond he has taught old and young about the creatures, plants, weather, and rocks of the northeast. In the classroom he shows students how to use technology to convert human and environmental data into maps for understanding, analysis, and planning.
Bryon Middlekauff is Professor of Geography, Environmental Planning, and Environmental Science and Policy and has researched the physical geography of the Appalachians for over 35 years. He has led many field trips in the White Mountain Region, to France, Tanzania, Central and Southern Appalachians, Newfoundland and the Canadian Maritimes, and the Southwestern United States. He taught previously at Western Carolina University and Youngstown State, and as a visiting professor at the University of Wolverhampton, UK.
Dr. More is a Visiting Scholar, Department of History, Brown University and Adjunct Professor of History, Division of Liberal Arts: HPSS, Rhode Island School of Design. She retired in 2010 as director of the Sheridan Center for Teaching & Learning at Brown University. She is a member of the PSU President’s Council and a part-time resident of Lancaster, NH. Her research and publications include the history of the White Mountains region and the life and times of John Wingate Weeks, sponsor of the 1911 Weeks Act.
Dr. Okrant is a longtime specialist on all aspects of tourism in New Hampshire, including the White Mountains. His work on the history of transportation and tourism during at the turn of the 20th century is an important part of the story of the White Mountains.
Professor Noel studies nineteenth-century New England culture, particularly health, education, childhood, gender, and ideas. Her talk “White Mountains Tourism in the 1850s: Beauty, Status, and Health” profiles a White Mountains journey made by a health-seeking Boston boy in 1857, just as painters and other tourists were also flocking to the region.
Len Reitsma is an avian ecologist actively conducting research in both America and the tropics on migratory bird ecology. Since his arrival at Plymouth State University in 1992, Reitsma has maintained a research program leading to publications in journals such as The Auk, Ecology, and Wilson Journal of Ornithology. His current research includes the impacts of wind farm construction on the Bicknell’s Thrush, a long-term population study of Canada warblers, and bird community responses to different timber harvest practices. He is a member of organizations such as the American Ornithological Union, National Geographic Society, and the National Audobon Society. He is the co-founder and president of the New England Institute for Landscape Ecology.
Marcia Schmidt Blaine
Prof. Marcia Schmidt Blaine has explored the role of tourism, industry, art, local activism and networking in creating the eastern national forests. Currently New Hampshire and New England historian as well as a fellow at the interdisciplinary Museum of the White Mountains, her recent research has focused on the art community in the nineteenth-century White Mountains and New Hampshire’s role in the rise of the conservation movement and successful passage of the Weeks Act.
Dr. Starbuck is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social Science at Plymouth State University, and he specializes in the historic, industrial, and prehistoric archaeology of New Hampshire. He has conducted archaeological projects in New Hampshire since 1975 and has summarized many of New Hampshire’s archaeological sites in his book, ”The Archeology of New Hampshire” (2006, published by The University of New Hampshire Press).
Dr. Linda Upham-Bornstein is a Research Assistant Professor, and the History, Heritage, and Culture Coordinator for the Center for Rural Partnerships. She is the regional expert on the history of the working forest and the pulp and paper industry in the North Country. Partnering with the local community she worked with others to establish the Northern Forest Heritage Park in Berlin. She has also worked on many other public history projects in the region. She is also a legal historian with the History and Philosophy Department at PSU.