Katrine Barber (Ph.D., Washington State University, 1999), Professor of History

Katy Barber has directed oral history projects for the Siuslaw National Forest, the Oregon Military Museum, the Washington County History Museum, and the Chinook Nation. She has also developed digital exhibits and organized public programs for the Center for Columbia River History, which she directed for five years. Her first book, Death of Celilo Falls, was published in 2005 by the University of Washington Press. She is also co-editor (with Andrew Fisher) of a special issue of the Oregon Historical Quarterly on the history of Celilo Falls and co-author (with William Robbins) of Nature's Northwest: The North Pacific Slope in the Twentieth Century (University of Arizona Press, 2011). Currently, her work has focused on the history of the Chinook Indian Nation and decolonizing public history practices. Her forthcoming book, Flora and Martha: Indigenous-Settler Alliances, Gender, and Making Place on the Cold War Columbia River, will be published by the University of Washington Press. She is also working on a public history textbook for Routledge Press.


Catherine McNeur (Ph.D., Yale University, 2012), Associate Professor of History

With a background in historic preservation in New York City and experience consulting on museum exhibits and organizing public programming, Professor McNeur teaches a range of public history courses at Portland State. She has taught a course on historic preservation where her class delved into the history and theory of preservation while also meeting a range of practitioners from Portland and Oregon more broadly. She also teaches a public history lab on Portland’s Heritage Tree program, where students’ archival research reach a large audience through apps, websites, brochures, and walking tours. In addition, she teaches “Podcasts and History” in partnership with KBOO (90.7 FM) where students produce historical podcasts that will be broadcasted weekly, learning the ins-and-outs of recording and editing, as well as program management and historical research. McNeur also teaches a range of other courses on environmental, urban, food, and American history. Her research is specifically on urban environmental history and her book, Taming Manhattan: Environmental Battles in the Antebellum City was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press.


Patricia A. Schechter (PhD, Princeton, 1993), Professor of History

Patricia A. Schechter is Professor of History at Portland State University, where she has taught since 1995.  Her public history work involves oral history, archival collection development, and exhibits. Professor Schechter has worked on projects for the YWCA of Greater Portland, the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon Trail Chapter of the American Red Cross, and the Cambodian American Community of Oregon. Since 2007, she has been engaged in archiving civil rights materials in Oregon, including oral histories, in partnership with PSU’s Black Studies Department and leading families within the Portland African American community. One result of this effort, an oral memoir of Avel Louise Gordly, Remembering the Power of Words: The Life of an Oregon Activist, Legislator, and Community Leader (OSU Press), has been designated an Outstanding University Press Title for Undergraduates, 2011, by Library’s Choice.   


Affiliated Scholars


Greg Shine (MA, San Francisco State University, 2000)

At Fort Vancouver, Greg serves as chief ranger and historian, overseeing the public history program and managing historic site interpretation (history-based special events, tours and talks, living history, costumed interpretation, cultural demonstrations, education programs and other public programs). In 2006, he helped to establish the Public History Field School (HST 511 Public History Lab) as a partnership program between Portland State University and the National Park Service. Greg has published numerous studies, reports, and technical papers for the National Park Service as well as articles for several journals and magazines.


Donna Sinclair (MA, Portland State University, 2004)

Donna Sinclair completed her MA thesis in history entitled “Contested Visions of Place: People, Power, and Perception on the Columbia's North Shore, 1805-1913.” She is currently an independent oral historian whose has worked with a number of local and statewide organizations, most recently Reed College and the US District Court of Oregon Historical Society. She also teaches capstones in partnership with the U.S.D.A. Forest Service and is in the Ph.D. in Urban Studies program at Portland State University.