volume 27, issue 3
update on 2017 conference
If you submitted a
proposal to present at our 2017 conference - thank you! Our
program committee has been evaluating the submissions and is very close
to creating a program. We will contact you with the results within the
next few weeks.
Our 2017 conference will include the
receptions, where you can meet friends and colleagues
area with 50 display tables, where you can talk to editors and
view the latest scholarship in environmental history
trips on Friday afternoon and Sunday, including opportunities to
explore the Newberry Library and Field Museum
events, including a panel of past presidents discussing the
development of the field of EH and a panel of past journal editors
discussing publishing trends
here for general info. on the conference, including hotel
reservations and a list of fees.
workshop in Chicago
Our 2017 conference will feature a workshop
"Doing Local History: Engaging the Archives, Engaging the
Community" on March 29, sponsored by the Newberry Library
(pictured below). It is free for conference attendees, but sign-up
ahead of time is required. The online registration form will be
available on ASEH's website (www.aseh.net)
in late October.
Our 2017 conference will be located in a vibrant area
of downtown Chicago, along the shores of Lake Michigan. Several field
trips will explore the city, including a boat tour and a walking tour
along the Chicago River (pictured above and below).
field trips will include a tour of Indiana Dunes (pictured above)
on March 31.
2017 conference will offer a behind-the-scenes tour of the
world-famous Field Museum.
attendees can explore the Garfield Park Conservatory (pictured
field trips will explore transportation networks in Chicago.
conference site (Drake Hotel) is located downtown near many
attractions, including Millennium Park (fountain and
"bean" sculpture pictured above and below).
A limited number of travel grants are available for
students and low-income scholars presenting at our 2017 conference.
Please note that membership in ASEH is required for applying. Click
here for more information.
from the archives
In anticipation of ASEH's 40th anniversary, we are
seeking documents, images, photographs, and objects related to the
organization's history. If you would have an item to share, please
e-mail a digital version to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with
a description of the item. You could also mail an item to the following
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington
Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, 1900 Commerce, Tacoma, WA 98402
We can scan it and return it to you. Note: we already
have copies of the first issue of the journal and the first conference
program, pictured above.
March 14-18, 2018
Interested in hosting a
future ASEH conference? Contact email@example.com
aseh and sustainability
Click here to
view purchase of carbon credits for our past conferences. Below is a
diagram from MeetGreen suggesting steps individuals can take to lower
their carbon footprint. Click
here to view the larger graphic.
The October issue of Environmental
History includes articles on the music of the environment,
New Zealand forests, botanical drug trade in Southern Appalachia, Lewis
Mumford's urbanism, and more. Click here for
See You in 2017!
courtesy Lisa Mighetto, Chicago Convention & Tourism Bureau, and
Published quarterly by the American Society for
Environmental History. If you have an article, announcement, or an item
for the "member news" section of our next newsletter, send to
by December 9, 2016.
column: aseh's mentoring program needs you!
Those of us working within the academy deal with these
myriad challenges on a daily basis, but presumably for most ASEH
members, the humanities remain an essential component of an
excellent college education. Undergraduate history degrees do
not doom our students to the ranks of unemployment; moreover, the
American Historical Association has laid out fundamental reasons
for studying history. "[H]istory offers a storehouse of information
about how people and societies behave. . . Major aspects of a
society's operation, like mass elections, missionary activities, or
military alliances, cannot be set up as precise experiments.
Consequently, history must serve, however imperfectly, as our laboratory,
and data from the past must serve as our most vital evidence in the
unavoidable quest to figure out why our complex species behaves as
it does in societal settings. . . The second reason history is
inescapable . . . [is] the past causes the present, and so the
future. . . Only through studying history can we grasp how things
change; only through history can we begin to comprehend the factors
that cause change; and only through history can we understand what
elements of an institution or a society persist despite
change." See https://www.historians.org/about-aha-and-membership/aha-history-and-archives/archives/why-study-history-(1998).
At the same time, we must acknowledge the difficult
job market facing graduate students in the humanities, including
the field of environmental history. Recognizing those realities,
ASEH established a mentoring program some five years ago. The
objective is to assist students and early-career scholars in
environmental history with professional development and engagement.
In this program, mid-career or senior scholars, including
professionals from outside the academy, counsel graduate students
or post-graduates who received their degree (PhD, MA, and JD)
within the past five years.
In 2016, we had 18 mentor-mentee relations. The mentor
does not try to replicate the role of the dissertation adviser. The
mentor does not address the fine points of the mentee's
scholarship. Rather the partnership provides the mentee with a
sounding board in environmental history, an important source for
career advice and information on professional advancement. In some
cases, the mentor may be able to facilitate contacts for the
In the past, the program focused on the annual
conference where the mentor and mentee could meet in person. While
we still believe that this face-to-face interaction is important,
in 2017, the program will incorporate the entire year. We trust the
mentors and mentees to outline the appropriate parameters of these
relations so that no one is unduly burdened by his or her
ASEH strongly encourages its members to join the
mentoring program. If you are an experienced scholar, please
consider this service as a way to share the wisdom of your years.
If you are a junior scholar, please take advantage of a unique
opportunity to expand your professional horizons. International
participants are welcome. For more information, click
And I am particularly pleased that the newly organized
Women's Environmental History Network (WEHN) has identified
mentoring as one of its priorities and plans to promote ASEH's
mentoring program through its own activities.
WE NEED YOU! Thank you for being a part of ASEH and
for considering this important program.
profession: environmental history interns report on summary
This is the second year that ASEH has offered summer
internships to grad studlents interested in environmental history
projects and careers outside the university. See below for
summaries of the 2016 projects.
Rachel Lanier Taylor, grad student, University of
Part of the mission of the National Parks Conservation Association
(NPCA), a non-profit organization, is to protect and preserve the
nation's "most iconic and inspirational places for present and
future generations." This includes advocating for new national
park units, such as the recently established Stonewall National
Monument, an important site for LGBTQ heritage and Pullman National
Monument, a planned industrial community and site of the 1894
Pullman strike. My summer internship with ASEH involved researching
the establishment of park units and producing a report, which the
NPCA will consult in its discussions with policy makers who
sometimes express concern about establishing parks without having
the ongoing funding in place at the outset.
My internship with ASEH explored the early history of
funding of six national parks - Yellowstone, Yosemite, Gettysburg,
Mount Rainier, The Great Smoky Mountains, and Olympic. Through
understanding early park funding issues, NPCA hopes to make
historically-informed arguments for new national park sites.
Much of my research drew on the Congressional Globe
and the Congressional Record. With the help of librarians at the
University of Washington's Law Library, I discovered whether gaps
existed between the establishment of national parks and federal
appropriations. I also investigated what types of park values
representatives discussed in session and in committee. These ranged
from the value of historical memory and patriotism to discussions
of the economic value of forestry versus the value of tourism to
the exact price of elk teeth in the area that would become Olympic
National Park. I supplemented this legislative research with
digital collections and, in the cases of Mount Rainier and Olympic,
with holdings in Special Collections at the University of
Washington. Through this internship I developed my skills in
compiling legislative histories, which will prove particularly
valuable in my own research on federal land management.
In addition to developing historical and legislative
research skills, my internship with ASEH introduced me to the work
of historical consultation. Working with NPCA allowed me to
establish valuable contacts and to explore a career in history
outside of academia. The experience helped me see how fruitful
collaborations between environmental historians and non-profit
organizations can be, even when parts of my research did not
entirely support the funding argument NPCA hopes to make. I am
grateful for this internship and the opportunities it afforded and
wish to extend my thanks to Lisa Mighetto, Rob Smith, and Graham
Taylor for their help and collaboration on this project.
Mobile App Research
Madison Heslop, grad student, University of Washington
Next Exit History is a mobile
application that enables users to explore the historic landscape
around them in an "immersive digital history experience."
My internship this summer with Next Exit History and affiliated
company Three21 Innovations involved
research on historic sites in Seattle to expand the environmental
history content of the app. In all, I researched, photographed, and
wrote summaries for approximately thirty sites in downtown Seattle
and Bainbridge Island.
In selecting sites, I collaborated with ASEH's executive director,
Lisa Mighetto, and project supervisors at Three21 to identify a set
of themes and an appropriate list of historic buildings and points
of interest. We soon settled on an overall theme of
"Crossroads Seattle," containing multiple
"backpacks" of sites arranged around the themes of
"Shaky Landscapes," "Markets," "Pacific
Connections," and a fourth backpack for the geographically
distinct sites on Bainbridge Island. Shaky Landscapes was the most
explicitly environmental theme, focusing on the influence of
earthquakes, fire, tunnels, and road regrades as well as human
mobility on the city's changeable
Above and below: property card and tax assessment
records, Puget Sound Regional Archives.
landscape. The Market backpack considered sites like
the famous Pike Place Fish Market to describe subjects such as the
importance and ecological impact of fisheries in Seattle and Puget
Sound. The Pacific backpack included sites tied to shipbuilding, trans-Pacific
labor networks, the Klondike gold rush, prohibition-era rum
running, marine life, and the water itself. Given these themes, my
work for Next Exit History owes a great deal to Matthew Klingle's Emerald
City, Coll Thrush's Native
Seattle, and David Williams's Too
High and Too Steep, all of which I drew on both to
select my sites and to narratively tie each of them together.
During my internship, I developed my skills as a researcher,
reaching out to state and local archives and learning to navigate
Washington's online system of architectural and archaeological
records. Further, my internship provided an opportunity to write
history for a public audience, placing productive limitations my word count
and language. Last, my work for Next Exit History introduced me to
ways of combining historical research with digital technologies, an
increasingly prominent area of historical work that many
researchers such as myself hope to do but fear to attempt. I am
tremendously grateful for this opportunity and intend to make the
most of these lessons. Many thanks to Lisa Mighetto, Tim Roberts,
Alan Newell, and Bob Butterworth.
Edmund Russell has moved from the University of
Kansas to Boston University, where he is a professor in the
Department of History. Ed is now Vice-President, with
responsibility for the Research Division, of the American
Coll Thrush, University of British Columbia,
has published a new book, Indigenous
London: Native Travelers at the Heart of Empire
(Yale University Press, 2017). This history reframes the city's
past through the experiences of Indigenous children, women, and
men, and in doing so offers new insights into the urban origins and
human costs of empire
Conevery Bolton Valencius takes up a new
position September 2016 as Professor of History at Boston College,
but is spending 2016-17 as a Research Fellow at the Radcliffe
Institute for Advanced Study. She is working on a new projects on
earthquakes and energy in the United States.
Samuel Dolbee - Mellon/ACLS Dissertation
Completion Fellowship, Doctoral Candidate, New York University,
"The Locust and the Starling: People, Insects, and Disease in
the Ottoman Jazira and After, 1860-1930"
George Charles Halvorson - Mellon/ACLS
Dissertation Completion Fellowship., Doctoral Candidate, Columbia
University, "Valuing the Air: The Politics of Environmental
Regulation from the Clean Air Act to Carbon Trading"
Brian G. Lander - Luce/ACLS Collaborative
Reading-Workshop Grant in China Studies, Postdoctoral Fellow,
Harvard University, "Administrative Documents from the Three
Kingdoms State of Wu Excavated at Zoumalou, Changsha"
For more on ACLS fellowships (and deadlines), see:
Final Notice - ASEH awards submissions
ASEH will offer the following awards in 2017. Click on
the links for application requirements - all submissions are due on
November 18, 2016.
here for information on the George Perkins Marsh Prize for best
book in environmental history
here for information on the Alice Hamilton Prize for best
article outside journal Environmental
here for information on the Rachel Carson Prize for best
dissertation in environmental history
Please note that authors published in our journal Environmental History
will automatically be considered for the Leopold-Hidy Prize for
best article; no need to submit anything.
Service and Achievement Awards:
ASEH is accepting nominations for the Distinguished
Scholar Award, Distinguished Service Award, and Public Outreach
Career Award. Click here
for a link to the brief form to submit for nomination.
Final Notice - ASEH Samuel P. Hays Fellowship
It is open to practicing historians (either academic,
public, or independent). Graduate students are ineligible. A Ph.D.
is not required. Funding is for 2016.
To apply, please submit the following items:
two-page statement (500 words) explaining your project and how
you intend to use the research funds.
- A c.v.
no more than two pages in length.
All items for the Samuel P. Hays Research Fellowship
must be submitted electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org by November 18, 2016.
Final Notice - ASEH Hal Rothman Fellowship
Students enrolled in any Ph.D. program worldwide are eligible to
apply. Funding is for 2016.
To apply, please submit the following three items:
statement (500 words) explaining your project and how you
intend to use the research funds.
- A c.v.
no more than two pages in length.
letter of recommendation from your graduate advisor
All items for the Hal Rothman Research Fellowship must
be submitted electronically to email@example.com by November 18, 2016.
Newberry Library Fellowships
ASEH has partnered with the Newberry Library in Chicago
to offer an annual research fellowship. Membership in ASEH
required. Click here
for more info. Deadline
for application: December 15, 2016.
for information on additional fellowships available outside ASEH.
are several faculty positions open at the University of Minnesota,
University of Maryland, Swathmore College, and Colorado School of
Mines. Click here to
Call for Papers: "The Great Plains: An
Kathleen A. Brosnan and Brian Frehner, Principal
Investigators and Editors
We solicit papers for a NSF-funded, interdisciplinary
workshop (May 2017) and edited volume that explore the
environmental history of the North American Great Plains and
redefine the region and its environmental history by exploring how
technological adaptations have shaped the history of this
environment and the people who inhabited it. Submissions
should emphasize one or more of the interrelated themes of water,
grasses, animals, and energy. Technological adaptations can
be defined in the broadest sense. We encourage proposals that
emphasize the role of native people in shaping regional
environments. Please submit a 300-500-word paper proposal and a
short c.v. by
September 30 to firstname.lastname@example.org
additional information, see http://history.publishpath.com/greatplains-cfp.
Edge Effects/NiCHE Series in "New Research in
The ASEH Graduate Student Caucus is
proud to announce its first blog series, "Seeds:
New Research in Environmental History." The series is
co-sponsored by Edge Effects and the Network in Canadian History
and Environment-NiCHE. Its goal is to highlight the research of
ASEH grad caucus members. For a few years, graduate students at
caucus meetings have suggested building more opportunities for
publication. Participants in the 2016 caucus meeting agreed that it
would be fruitful to collaborate with existing online publications.
A committee led by Jessica DeWitt helped bring that to vision to
fruition. "Seeds" serves to highlight new work in
environmental history and connect this research to other fields and
contemporary issues. Writers were asked to respond to the following
question: "How does your work push at the boundaries of
current literature and add to existing discussions of
environment/environmental history? What forces drive your
research?" NiCHE and Edge Effects published the first two
posts--"Sliding Down the Timber Chute: the 1901 Royal Tour of
Canada," by Liz Cavaliere and "Finding Longleaf Pine in
American History," by Stacy Roberts - in August and September.
Readers can follow along with the monthly series here.
While "Seeds" is
currently scheduled out through April (thanks to our enthusiastic
contributors), there are opportunities for paired postings. Topics
we are recruiting for include HGIS, agriculture, and indigenous
history. ASEH caucus members interested in contributing to the
series can be in touch with Jessica DeWitt at email@example.com.
Call for Papers
for ASEH 2017 Writing Workshop
The Graduate Caucus is pleased to
announce its call for participants for the 5th annual Graduate
Student Writing Workshop to be held at the ASEH annual meeting in
Chicago in 2017. Selected writers will join in small discussion
groups with other graduate students and a faculty mentor to
workshop pre-circulated pieces of writing. These small working
groups will be organized by type of material - thesis/dissertation
proposals; conference papers; journal articles (including Gallery
submissions); and thesis/dissertation chapters. Please note that a
15-20 maximum page limit will be enforced. Applicants are invited
to present their most current work.
The purpose of the Graduate Student
Writing Workshop is to provide a forum for graduate students in
environmental history to develop their writing and research skills.
Guided by the faculty reader, each participant will read and
comment on the work of fellow participants. The workshop will
emphasize all aspects of the writing process, from cultivating the
first germ of a project, to chapter organization and revision, to
shaping proposals and abstracts. Groups will be encouraged to
discuss writing style, voice, and mechanics, as well as practice
how to get and give good feedback. Confirmed faculty participants
include Eve Buckley, Andrew Case, Finis Dunaway, Catherine Dunlop,
Stephen Pyne, and Kendra Smith-Howard.
To apply, submit a one-page
(double-spaced) summary of the work that you intend to bring to the
writing workshop. Note in your application the subject matter of
your work as well as the format and potential audience. In addition
to the one-page summary, include a one-paragraph bio indicating
your research agenda, educational affiliation, and current contact
information. Applications should be sent via email to Anastasia Day
(firstname.lastname@example.org). The deadline for applications is December 1,
2016. Please note that, if accepted, the final
version of your work must be submitted to your faculty reader and
fellow participants no later than February 27, 2017.
Liaison Position Available
ASEH's Graduate Student Caucus
invites applicants for the position of Graduate Student Liaison to
the Executive Committee for the year 2017. ASEH will provide the
recipient with a $500 USD travel subsidy to attend the ASEH annual
meeting in Chicago in 2017. Attendance at the executive committee
meeting (Saturday, April 1) is required, as is consulting with
graduate students and the graduate student caucus throughout the
year. The term of the position runs from January 1 to December 31,
To apply for this position, please
submit a one-page statement describing your interest in this
position, including information regarding previous participation in
ASEH activities and/or leadership and service experience. Please
also submit a short CV (maximum three pages). Applications should
be sent via email to Rachel Gross, current ASEH Graduate Student
Liaison (email@example.com). The deadline for
applications is November 18, 2016.
Please note that to vote in this
election one must be a current member of the ASEH Graduate Student
Caucus. Membership in the caucus is simple: to join please send a
statement of interest to the current liaison at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also note that graduate students
can apply for both the liaison position and an ASEH travel grant,
but they can receive only one to travel to the 2017 conference.
aseh news is a publication of the
American Society for Environmental History
Kathleen Brosnan, University of Oklahoma, President
Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia, Vice
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Jay Taylor, Simon Fraser University, Secretary
Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University
Emily Greenwald, Historical Research Associates,
Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center
Kathryn Morse, Middlebury College
Cindy Ott, St. Louis University
Ellen Stroud, Bryn Mawr College
Paul Sutter, University of Colorado
Ex Officio, Past Presidents:
Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
John McNeill, Georgetown University
Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental
Lisa Brady, Boise State University
Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, aseh news:
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma
Ex Officio, Graduate Student Liaison:
Rachel Gross, University of Wisconsin-Madison