Jess Porter is director of the UA Little Rock Center for Arkansas History and Culture. Before that, he served as History Department chair, an associate professor, and coordinator of geography at the university. Dr. Porter came to UA Little Rock in 2009 and holds a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University where he was awarded with the Susan Shaull Medal for Excellence in Teaching Geography. Prior to UA Little Rock, Dr. Porter taught at Oklahoma State University, where he developed and implemented geospatial curriculum for rural schools, worked as an environmental analyst and mapping specialist in the oil and gas industry, and was employed by an adventure tourism company in Colorado.
Dr. Porter’s research interests include human-environment interaction with an emphasis on the American Dust Bowl, geospatial technology education, and urban geography. His research on the Dust Bowl was featured in an episode of The Weather Channel’s When Weather Changed History. He is co-curator of a National Endowment for the Humanities traveling exhibit about the Dust Bowl. He has published four, interactive textbooks in Pearson’s Encounter Geography series.
Select Publications and Media
“Dust, Drought, and Dreams Gone Dry: A Traveling Exhibit and Public Programs for Libraries about the Dust Bowl.” Charles Romney co-author. National Endowment for the Humanities and the American Library Association, 2014-2016.
“The 1930’s Dust Bowl: Geoarchaeological Lessons from a 20th Century Environmental Crisis,” co-authored with Carlos Cordova. The Holocene, 2015.
“The Segregation of Little Rock: How Public Policy and the Private Sector Created Racially Segregated Neighborhoods,” co-authored with John Kirk. Arkansas Times, 2014.
“What Was the Dust Bowl? Assessing Contemporary Popular Knowledge.” Population and Environment, 2014.
Encounter Weather: Interactive Explorations of Earth Using Google Earth. Stephen O’Connell, co-author. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2014.
Encounter Physical Geography: Interactive Explorations of Earth Using Google Earth. Stephen O’Connell, co-author. Upper Saddle River: Pearson, 2013.
“Lessons from the Dust Bowl: Human-Environment Education on the Great Plains.” Journal of Geography, 2012.
“Re-defining the Dust Bowl Region: Applying Geotechnology to Popular Perception.” Allen G. Finchum, co-author. Great Plains Research, 2009
“Detecting Landscape Change: The View from Above.” Journal of College Science Teaching, 2008.
“Preliminary Assessment of Sand Dune Stability along a Bioclimatic Gradient, North-Central and Northwestern Oklahoma,” co-authored with Carlos E. Cordova. Great Plains Research, 2007.