Our Faculty and Staff

Eric Zimmer

A.B. Hammond Visiting Assistant Professor of Western United States History


LA 258
Office Hours

Fall 2022: MWF 12:00-1:00 pm and by appointment

Zoom link for remote classes and office hours appointments

Personal Summary

Dr. Eric Zimmer is the A.B. Hammond Visiting Assistant Professor of Western United States History at the University of Montana. Prior to joining the faculty here in Missoula, he spent six years as a senior historian at the consulting firm Vantage Point Historical Services, Inc. There, he worked on a variety of narrative, digital, oral, and exhibit-based projects for clients across the United States. Since 2015, Zimmer has been a volunteer historian for the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands Project, an Indigenous-led community research project in his home town of Rapid City, South Dakota. 

Zimmer's scholarship and the collaborative projects with which he is affiliated have received high honors from the Western History Association, the Midwestern History Association, the National Council on Public History, the American Society for Environmental History, and more. He has served as the primary grant author or co-PI on several projects, securing funding support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Windrose Fund, Monument Lab, the American Philosophical Society, the American Historical Association, the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research at the University of Iowa. 

Dr. Zimmer is excited to be at UMontana and to serve as a resource and collaborator for students, faculty, and community members at all levels. Undergraduate or graduate students should reach out for support on their course of study. Zimmer will work with you and your advisor to be as helpful as possible. Faculty from any department or members of the broader Missoula and Montana communities should feel free to reach out any time for advice on public history initiatives. If he can be a resource, he will! 


  • 2016 - PhD, University of Iowa
  • 2016 - Graduate Certificate in American Indian and Native Studies, University of Iowa
  • 2012 - MA, University of Iowa
  • 2010 - BS (Honors) Black Hills State University

Field of Study

  • American West
  • Indigenous History
  • Environmental History
  • Public History

Selected Publications

Red Earth Nation: Reclamation and Recovery on Meskwaki Land (under contract, “Environment and Modern North America” series, University of Oklahoma Press).

“At the Vertex of Water and Stone: Preserving Landscape and Memory in Rapid City,” South Dakota History 51, no. 4 (Winter 2021): 319–49.

"Fewer Rabbis Than U.S. Senators: Jewish Political Activism in Twentieth Century South Dakota,” co-authored with Art Marmorstein and Matthew Remmich, in The Plains Political Tradition: Essays on South Dakota Political Culture, Vol. III, ed. Jon K. Lauck, John E. Miller, and Donald C. Simmons, Jr. (Pierre: South Dakota State Historical Society Press, 2018): 112–39.

“A President in Indian Country: Calvin Coolidge and Lakota Diplomacy in the Summer of 1927,” Great Plains Quarterly 37, no. 3 (Summer 2017): 215–234.

“Building the Red Earth Nation: The Civilian Conservation Corps-Indian Division on the Meskwaki Settlement,” Native American and Indigenous Studies 2, no. 2 (Fall 2015): 106–133.

“Settlement Sovereignty: The Meskwaki Fight for Self-Governance, 1856 to 1937,” Annals of Iowa 73, no. 4 (Fall 2014): 311–347.

Honors / Awards

  • 2021 Autry Public History Prize, Western History Association (with the Project Team for the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands Project)
  • 2021 Alice Smith Prize in Public History, Midwestern History Association (with the Project Team for the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands Project)
  • 2021 Honorable Mention, Outstanding Public History Project Award, National Council on Public History (with Heather Dawn Thompson, on behalf of the Rapid City Indian Boarding School Lands Project)
  • 2017 Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation, American Society for Environmental History
  • 2015 Graduate Student Research Excellence Award in Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, University of Iowa Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development
  • 2015 Mildred Throne–Charles Aldrich Award, State Historical Society of Iowa Board of Trustees
  • 2015 Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, University of Iowa Council on Teaching
  • 2013 Outstanding Master’s Thesis Award, Iowa History Center at Simpson College