Photograph of James Pritchard

Dr. James A. Pritchard

  • Adjunct Associate Professor Emeritus
Dr. Pritchard now lives in Bozeman, Montana, where he continues to research and write about our national parks and the history of wildlife.


Contact Info


Area of Expertise

  • Environmental History
  • Natural Resource Policy
  • National Parks
  • Yellowstone National Park
  • Devils Tower National Monument


  • Ph.D., U.S. History, University of Kansas, 1996
  • M.A., History, Montana State University, 1991
  • K-12 Teaching Certification, Montana State University, 1989
  • B.A., Psychology, Miami University (Ohio), 1976

Dr. Pritchard retired from Iowa State University in 2017, where he served as an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, and in the Department of Landscape Architecture.  He holds fond memories of all the wonderful people he met at ISU and in Ames.  Dr. Pritchard is very proud to be named an emeritus faculty member at ISU. 

At Iowa State, he co-taught the formidable Introduction to Renewable Resources with Rick Hall and Mike Rentz.  He also co-instructed Fundamentals of Interpretation with Dr. Rentz, and taught Natural Resource Policy, an Introduction to the North American Model of Conservation, an honors seminar about the national parks, and a course for Landscape Architecture about ecology and landscape design.  Dr. Pritchard particularly enjoyed reviewing student projects at the College of Design, and making arrangements for the annual Paul L. Errington Lecture. 

While at Iowa State, Pritchard served as advisor to the ISU Nordic Ski Club, and for a short time as advisor to the ISU Cycling Club.  In 2012, ISU supported his faculty development leave in Ottawa, the capital city of Canada, where he carried out research at the National Library, sang with the Brahms Choir, and strummed with the Bytown Ukulele Group.  Moving to Bozeman Montana in 2017, he has taught courses at Montana State University in five different programs.

In 2022, Pritchard’s book about the history of Yellowstone National Park came out in paperback!  In 2023, Dr. Pritchard finished edits on the Devils Tower National Monument: Historic Resource Study for the Ivan Doig Center for the Study of the Lands and Peoples of the North American West, at MSU. James now sings with three choirs in Bozeman, and has been instructing Nordic skiing with grade schoolers at Crosscut Mountain Sports Center, reporting it is a heap of fun!  He has also recently walked portions of the Pacific Northwest Trail, cycled the Montana segment of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, and hiked a Camino in Portugal. 


James A. Pritchard, editor.  Devils Tower National Monument: Historic Resource Study. National Park Service, August, 2023. Link to NPS History eLibrary

James Pritchard.  Preserving Yellowstone’s Natural Conditions:  Science and the Perception of Nature. Second Edition. Lincoln, NE: Bison Books, October 2022.   

James Pritchard, Review of The Power of Scenery: Frederick Law Olmsted and the Origin of National Parks, by Dennis Drabelle, for North Dakota History 87, No. 1 (Fall 2022): 38-39.

James A. Pritchard. “The American Society of Mammalogists, The Ecological Society of America, and the Politics of Preservation.” Studies in the History of Biology Vol. 13 No. 2 (2021): 82-101. DOI 10.24412/2076-8176-2021-2-82-101, link at MSU Scholarworks.

James A. Pritchard.  "National Parks and Forests in and around Wyoming." Wild Migrations: Atlas of Wyoming's Ungulates.  Corvallis: Oregon State University Press (2018): p. 46-47.

James Pritchard, Review of Bike Lanes are White Lanes; Bicycle Advocacy and Urban Planning, by Melody L. Hoffmann, for Environmental History, Vol. 23 No. 4 (October 2018): 903-04. 

James Pritchard, Review of Montana’s Pioneer Naturalist: Morton J. Elrod,  by George M. Dennison, for The Western Historical Quarterly Vol. 48 No. 2 (May 2017). 

James Pritchard, Review of All the Wild that Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West, by David Gessner, for The Annals of Iowa, Vol. 76, No. 1 (Spring 2017). 

James Pritchard, Review of Booming from the Mists of Nowhere: The Story of the Greater Prairie-Chicken, by Greg Hoch, for The Annals of Iowa, V. 75, No. 4 (Fall 2016): 428-29.

James Pritchard.  "A Landscape Transformed."  Chapter 1 (pp. 12-43) in J.L. Anderson, ed., The Rural Midwest Since WWII.  Northern Illinois University Press, 2014.

James Pritchard.  "Irresistible Fascination:  Fritiof Fryxell and the Development of Grand Teton National Park."  Annals of Wyoming 85 No. 4, (Autumn 2013): 2-16. 

James Pritchard.  "Mountain Home, Prairie Home," Wapsipinicon Almanac No. 15 (December, 2008). James Pritchard. "Mountain Home, Prairie Home," Wapsipinicon Almanac No. 15 (December, 2008): 150-157.

James A. Pritchard, Diane M. Debinski, Brian Olechnowski, and Ron Vannimwegen. "The Landscape of Paul Errington's Work." Wildlife Society Bulletin Vol. 34, No. 5 (2006): 1411-16. Peer Edited.

James Pritchard. "Prairie Cemeteries: Memories and Biological Heritage." The Iowan 54 No. 4 (March /Apr. 2006): 14-16.

James Pritchard. "Threatened by Industry, Saved by Science: Mussel Propagation at the Fairport Biological Laboratory." Journal of the Iowa Academy of Science V. 112 No. 3-4 (July-December 2005): 36-47. Peer Reviewed.

James Pritchard. "Charles C. Adams and Early Ecological Rationales for Yellowstone National Park, 1916-1941." Reprinted in People and Place: The Human Experience in Greater Yellowstone. Proceedings of the 4th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Yellowstone Center for Resources, 2004.

James Pritchard. Epilogue to Preserving Yellowstone's Natural Conditions: Science and the Perception of Nature. Reprinted in Ecological Restoration 21(No. 4, December 2003): 254-257.

Diane M. Debinski and James Pritchard. Guide to the Butterflies of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Roberts Rinehart, 2002.

James Pritchard. "Wildlife, Ecological, and Wilderness Values in the National Parks." The George Wright Forum (June, 2002).

Randal Beeman and James Pritchard. A Green and Permanent Land: Ecology and Agriculture in the Twentieth Century. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2001.

James Pritchard. Preserving Yellowstone's Natural Conditions: Science and the Perception of Nature. University of Nebraska Press, 1999.

"Charles C. Adams and Early Ecological Rationales for Yellowstone National Park, 1916-1941." The George Wright Forum 15 (No. 4, 1998): 27-35.