I have been doing business as Adamson Historical Consulting since I received my PhD from UC-Santa Barbara in 2000. My experience as a consulting historian dates from 1996, when I participated as a graduate researcher on an interdisciplinary investigation of the socioeconomic impacts of the offshore oil industry on coastal California, sponsored by the Coastal Marine Institute, a collaboration of the University of California and the U.S. Minerals Management Service.
Prior to returning to graduate school I spent eight years as an information systems consultant for Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), Coopers & Lybrand, and Synon, Inc.
This short career in IT followed my graduation, with an MBA, from the W. P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University.
Whether acting alone as a “history detective” or as part of a project team, I have met the expectations of clients with timely research and analysis, and work products of measurable value to clients.
I now have more than 15 years of experience in business history, historic preservation, litigation support, environmental impact assessment, and editorial work. On every engagement, I and the project teams with which I have been involved have delivered projects of superior quality to satisfied clients.
My ongoing scholarly research, focusing on business and urban history and natural resource development in the West, has neatly dovetailed with the array of services I offer, informing the work and improving its quality.
My essays have appeared in American Sociological Review, Business History Review, Diplomatic History, Financial History Review, Journal of American-East Asian Relations, Journal of Urban History, Presidential Studies Quarterly, and several scholarly collections.
I am the author of A Better Way to Build: A History of the Pankow Companies, published in January 2013 by Purdue University Press.
As a fellow at the Henry E. Huntington Library, I researched the business career of Ralph Lloyd, a southern California oil man and commercial real estate developer in Los Angeles and Portland, Oregon. This research, which began during my work with the Coastal Marine Institute, has developed my expertise on energy and the environment. This research has come to fruition in a book, Oil and Urbanization on the Pacific Coast: Ralph Bramel Lloyd and the Shaping of the Urban West, which West Virginia University Press will publish in Fall 2018 as a contribution to its Energy and Society Series.
From 2011 to 2016, I served on the consultants’ committee of the National Council on Public History. In that capacity, I helped to organize workshops and the consultants’ reception for the annual meeting of the NCPH. I was co-editor of the Consultants’ Corner blog on the History@Work Web site, “a public history commons” sponsored by the NCPH, to which I was also an occasional contributor.