Bill Kovarik is an historian and journalist who earned his Ph.D. in media history and the history of technology at the University of Maryland in 1993. A former daily newspaper and wire service reporter, Kovarik is a Professor of Communication at Radford University in the Blue Ridge mountains of southwestern Virginia.
As a young journalist, Kovarik covered energy policy debates in Washington on a daily basis, working first for Jack Anderson and later as for Energy Resources & Technology, Solar Energy Intelligence Report, Coal Daily and other trade publications. Kovarik was the historian on a book project about ethanol and biofuels (The Forbidden Fuel, 1982, reissued by Bison in 2010) and was inspired by other authors working on histories of renewable energy.
After working at the National Center for Appropriate Technology in Butte, MT, Kovarik earned an MA in communication at the University of South Carolina and worked with the Associated Press and major national publications such as the Charleston Courier, Time Magazine, the Baltimore Sun, and others.
Later, working on a PhD in communication and history of technology, Kovarik used media history along with archival methods to uncover some of the unknown historical context for the struggle over renewable energy technologies, some of which was published in his dissertation on the controversy over leaded gasoline, The Ethyl Controversy. Kovarik also co-authored Mass Media and Environmental Conflict (Sage, 1997) and was the author of Web Design for Mass Media (Allyn Bacon, 2001) and Revolutions in Communication, Media History from Gutenberg to the Digital Age (Continuum Press, 2011).
He has written numerous conference and journal papers about environmental history and the social construction of communication and energy technologies.
Kovarik was awarded the Canwest Global Media research fellowship for the fall of 2009 to help prepare for this book, and has been working in a number of archives, including the solar energy collection at Arizona State University, the Chemurgy papers at Michigan State University, the National Archives, the Library of Congress and many others.
Bill Kovarik, PhD
Professor of Communication, Radford University
Agent: Amanda Mecke