William D. Rowley

Ph.D., University of Nebraska, 1966


(775) 784-6852


Professor Rowley holds the university's Grace A. Griffen Chair in Nevada and the West. He is a longtime student of western agricultural and resource history. His books include, M.L. Wilson and the Campaign for the Domestic Allotment Plan (University of Nebraska Press, 1970); Reno: Hub of the Washoe Country (1984); U.S. Forest Service Grazing and Rangelands: A History (Texas A & M Press,1985); Reclaiming the Arid West: The Career of Francis G. Newlands (Indiana University Press, 1996); The Bureau of Reclamation: Origins and Growth to 1945(U.S. Department of the Interior). From 1974 to 1990 he served as Executive Secretary of the Western History Association. He has served on the governing board of the Forest History Society and the Executive Committee for the American Society for Environmental History and the Agricultural History Society. He was editor-in-chief of the Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 1991-2004. He has been department coordinator for multiple Teaching American History grants with the Washoe County School District from the U.S. Department of Education. Professor Rowley teaches graduate seminars and undergraduate courses in American environmental history, history of Nevada, and the history of the westward movement. He has been active in directing graduate theses and dissertations and accepts a select number of new students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in western and environmental history.


  • HIST 312: The Expansion of the United States
  • HIST 315: Trans-Mississippi West
  • HIST 417b/617b: California History
  • HIST 417c/617c: Nevada and the West
  • HIST 441/641: American Environmental History
  • HIST 725: Seminar in Nevada and Western History