The Western History Association announces the Owens Book Award given annually for the best book on the history of the Pacific West, including Alaska, Hawaii, Western Canada, and the U.S. Pacific territories. The Award is $500 to the author and a certificate to the publisher. The award is supported by the Sally and Ken Owens Trust and administered by the Western History Association.
Life-long residents of the Pacific Northwest, Sally and Ken Owens met and married while attending Lewis and Clark College. Subsequently they moved to Minneapolis, where in 1959 Ken completed his Ph.D. in western history at the University of Minnesota. They then moved to DeKalb, where he taught at Northern Illinois University. Following the birth of their two daughters, Sally began grad school at NIU in microbiology. In 1968 Ken took a position at California State University, Sacramento. Sally finished her microbiology Ph.D. at University of California, Davis, in 1974, and she too then became a member of the CSUS faculty. They remained at CSUS until retirement, Sally in 1996 and Ken in 2000.
2018 | Joy Schulz for Hawaiian By Birth: Missionary Children, Bicultural Identity, and U.S. Colonialism in the Pacific (University of Nebraska Press, 2017)
2017 | John W. Troutman for Kīkā Kila: How the Hawaiian Steel Guitar Changed the Sound of Modern Music (University of South Carolina Press, 2016).
2016 | Joshua Reid for The Sea is My Country: The Maritime World of the Makahs (Yale University Press, 2015)
2014 | David Igler for The Great Ocean: Pacific Worlds from Captain Cook to the Gold Rush (New York: Oxford University Press, 2013).