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2014 Governor's History Conference An Uncommon History - Bios

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Neil Howe

Neil HoweNeil Howe is the Project Coordinator for the North Dakota Studies Program at the State Historical Society of North Dakota. Mr. Howe has more than 35 years of experience in secondary school curriculum and administration, including more than 20 years of teaching high school social studies, and more than 15 years as principal and director of the North Dakota Center for Distance Education.

Kim Porter

Kim PorterKimberly K. Porter received her Ph.D. from the University of Iowa in 1995, studying under the direction of Dr. Ellis Hawley. She has been at the University of North Dakota since 1996 and focuses her attention on United States history, particularly the 1877-1945 era. Accordingly, she teaches courses in the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, as well as the New Era and the New Deal. Dr. Porter also teaches the History of North Dakota course. She focuses her research work on matters related to rural/agricultural history and oral history. She currently edits The Oral History Review, the journal of record for the English-speaking oral history community. Dr. Porter is currently engaged in researching/writing a biography of Henry Field, an Iowa-based entrepreneur who sold everything from wallpaper to wedding rings, seed corn to spotted hogs, and garden seed to gasoline. Along the way, he started one of the first privately held radio stations west of the Mississippi River, unsuccessfully ran for Congress, and urged Americans to thoughtfully consider what was being lost with the urbanization of their nation. In spare moments, she enjoys gardening and photography.

Becky Barnes

Becky BarnesBecky Barnes is a Paleontologist with the North Dakota Geological Survey. She manages the fossil preparation lab, assists in summer public digs, and collects and restores fossil specimens. She also uses her background in art for technical illustrations, coloring book drawings, molding, casting, taxidermy, and sculpting.

Amy Phillips and Steven Bolduc

Amy Phillips, Steven Bolduc, & Wayne GudmundsonAmy Phillips is an “adopted daughter” of North Dakota, having settled here after forays into Indiana, Tennessee, New York, and Pennsylvania. She is a social worker by trade and currently teaches for Minot State University in their social work program at NDSU in Fargo. Her favorite part of North Dakota is any place that provides an expansive view of the land and sky—which is pretty much anywhere—which is why she loves living here.

Stephen Bolduc is in the New Englander by birth but was introduced to the Great Plains when he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska for graduate school. Since moving to North Dakota, Steve is been captivated by the people and the landscapes of the northern plains. An economist by training, Steve is on the faculty of Minnesota State University Moorhead where he has taught courses in economics, public administration, public policy analysis, and women’s and gender studies.

Clarence Herz

Clarence A. Herz, a resident of Fargo since 2004 and PhD candidate at NDSU, graduated from Linton Public High School in Linton, North Dakota in 1985. Upon graduation Clarence enlisted in the United States Marine Corps where he served with distinction until receiving an honorable discharge in 1989. Clarence, a disabled veteran, first attended NDSU from 1993 to 1995 where he received a B.S. degree in Economics. He returned to NDSU in 1997 to pursue a master’s degree in Applied Economics, but left before finishing. In 2000 Clarence began work for the Bureau of Labor Statistics in Washington, DC as a staff economist. Clarence left Washington in 2004 to return to North Dakota where he worked in the oil and gas business until 2014.

Clarence’s Master’s Thesis is on North Dakota’s petroleum history prior to discovery and his doctoral dissertation will focus on post-production history which will include a biography of Thomas W. Leach, the father of North Dakota’s petroleum industry.

Steve Martens

Steve MartensSteve Martens teaches Architecture at North Dakota State University in Fargo. In addition to his architecture credentials, he holds a post-professional graduate degree (M.Arch II) in architecture and architectural history from the University of Minnesota. As a registered architect for 35-years, Steve has been involved in design and construction projects, including fifteen successfully-rehabilitated historic buildings in North Dakota and Minnesota, where he collaborates as a consultant to several regional architecture firms. Steve has authored twenty-two successful National Register nominations, several tax-act certifications, historic context studies, and comprehensive preservation masterplanning. He served four terms on the National Register State Review Board and has contributed pro bono preservation assistance to smaller communities.

Professor Martens is the principal co-author (with Ron Ramsay) for the pending book Buildings of North Dakota, scheduled for publication by the University of Virginia Press in April 2014. He completed a statewide survey and analysis of North Dakota work relief construction from the Depression-era, authored a 2004 book chapter on “Great Plains Architecture” and has contributed articles to the Encyclopedia of the Great Plains and Encyclopedia of Rural America. An active member of the Society of Architectural Historians and Vernacular Architecture Forum, Steve has presented his research at eighteen national conferences and led eight, architecturally-themed international study tours. He is honored by his close mentoring relationship with more than 800 architecture graduates working in all parts of the world, including several successful former students doing important architectural work in North Dakota and Minnesota. He particularly values the friendships and generousness of people who have been willing to share with him their knowledge of local history. His sustained research has given him the privilege of examining and interpreting the built environment in one of North America’s most fascinating cultural settings.

Dakota Goodhouse

Dakota GoodhouseDakota Goodhouse is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. More recently he developed and presented programs to visitors to the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum in the new Innovation Gallery: Early Peoples. Dakota Goodhouse teaches Native American Studies at United Tribes Technical College. His research on winter counts, a pictographic memory device of the Plains Indians, has appeared in the Smithsonian’s publication “The Year The Stars Fell.” He is an active blogger of Native American Culture and Western American History at

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