Brian Black named distinguished professor of history and environmental studies

ALTOONA, Pa. — Brian Black has been named distinguished professor of history and environmental studies at Penn State Altoona.

Black’s roster of publications includes five sole-authored books, three co-authored books, one co-edited book, and four journal volumes for which he served as a general editor. Of particular note are "Crude Reality: Petroleum in World History" (Rowman and Littlefield) and "PETROLIA: The Landscape of America’s First Oil Boom" (Johns Hopkins University Press). In addition, he has three three book projects in progress, one of which is under contract with the University of Chicago Press.

Black was awarded the 2012 Outstanding Achievement in Research and Creativity Award by Penn State Altoona and has served as a research fellow at the Gilder Institute of History, the University of Colorado in Boulder, and Penn State’s Institute of Arts and Humanities. He has offered dozens of invited talks and public lectures both nationally and internationally. Most recently, he was invited to Beijing, China, to deliver a featured lecture at Remnin University, where he then taught a global history course on environmental and energy issues as part of the International Summer School.

The title of distinguished professor was established by the Office of the President to recognize a select group of professors with exceptional accomplishments in teaching, research and service.

Black is the second faculty member at the Altoona campus to receive this honor. Sandra Petrulionis was promoted to distinguished professor of English and American studies in 2014.