Richard White, the Margaret Byrne Professor of American History, is widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading scholars in three related fields: the American West, Native American history and environmental history. Professor White came to Stanford in 1998. He is the author of five books, including The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republic in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815, which was named a finalist for the 1992 Pulitzer Prize. Among other honors, he is the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship.He received an AB in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz and an MA and PhD from the University of Washington.

Professor White's areas of study include the American Northwest, including Canada, with wide interests in social, environmental, and cultural cross-currents. White's first book, Land Use, Environment, and Social Change in a Western County, Island County, Washington, 1790-1940, was one of the first small-scale studies of ecological change produced by environmental historians.

Professor White is also the principal investigator for the Shaping the West project within the Spatial History Project. This project explores the construction of space by transcontinental railroads in North America during the late nineteenth-century, a key theme in his forthcoming book Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern America (Norton, May 2011)