From:                                                                            Lisa Mighetto <>

Sent:                                                                             Friday, September 22, 2017 11:23 AM


Subject:                                                                        ASEH News Fall 2017



aseh news

fall 2017                      volume 28, issue 3


update on 2018 conference


If you submitted a proposal to present at our 2018 conference - thank you! Our program committee has sent acceptance and rejection notices - and we will email the schedule in a few weeks. If you did not hear from the program committee about the status of your proposal, contact


Our 2018 conference will include the following events:

  • 100 sessions
  • plenary discussion on EH, the border, and environmental humanities
  • workshop on water archives, organized by the Claremont Colleges
  • workshop on oral history, organized by the Forest History Society
  • new feature: lightning talks
  • 5 receptions, where you can meet friends and colleagues
  • exhibit area with 50 display tables, where you can talk to editors and view the latest scholarship in environmental history
  • field trips on Friday afternoon and Sunday, including opportunities to explore the Huntington Library in Pasadena



Mark Your Calendars


getting to riverside

Riverside is served by Ontario International Airport (the closest at 18 miles from Riverside) and Los Angeles International Airport. Shuttle services are available at both locations. Amtrak and Metrolink (Southern California) include train stations/stops in downtown Riverside. Please note that traffic on Southern California freeways can be very heavy.


For information on the conference schedule, hotel reservations, and more, click here.


Our 2018 conference will include a field trip exploring coastal development in Southern California (pictured above) on March 16.


Our field trips will include a walking tour of downtown Riverside (pictured above and below) on March 16.


Our 2018 conference will explore the citrus industry and will include a citrus tasting on March 16.


We will visit California Citrus Sate Historic Park (pictured above) on March 16.


The conference will visit the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena on March 16 (pictured above).


Spring is a perfect time for birding in Southern California - and we will visit the UCR botanical gardens (pictured above) and other locations on March 16.



The conference will include a trip to Joshua Tree National Park on Sunday, March 18 (pictured above).


travel grants

A limited number of travel grants are available for students and low-income scholars presenting at our 2018 conference. Please note that membership in ASEH is required for applying. Click here for more information.             


presenting a poster at the 2018 conference

If you are interested in presenting a poster at the conference in Riverside, send your name, affiliation, and poster title to by October 31. Click here for more information on the posters.

Above: poster session at ASEH's 2017 conference in Chicago.


future conferences

Riverside, California

March 14-18, 2018


Columbus, Ohio

April 10-13, 2019


Florianopolis, Brasil

EH World Congress

July 23-26, 2019


Interested in hosting a future ASEH conference? Contact




The October issue of Environmental History includes articles on forestry in China, Poland, and Lithuania, the Energy Crisis in 1970s America, and more. Click here for additional information.


aseh equity fellowships

ASEH has launched new fellowships to encourage and support underrepresented students. Please help us circulate the information on the equity graduate student fellowship and the local equity undergraduate fellowship. Deadlines: November 17, 2017.


from the archives

Click here to view the 40th-anniversary slideshow of ASEH conferences that was shown in Chicago (on Flickr).


See You in 2018!


aseh news

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 8, 2017.


Photos courtesy Riverside Convention and Visitors Bureau, UCR, and Lisa Mighetto


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president's column: building out the base


This summer I participated in a symposium "on recent pasts and possible futures for environmental activism" in Canada. One of the speakers outlined efforts by the David Suzuki Foundation's Blue Dot movement to enshrine the right to a healthy environment in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. This is not a new idea. Environmental lawyer David R. Boyd has been pushing the case for years (see his two books with UBC Press, The Right To A Healthy Environment: Revitalizing Canada's Constitution, and The Environmental Rights Revolution: A Global Study of Constitutions, Human Rights, and the Environment). But the Blue Dot campaign, which began in 2014, takes the idea that all Canadians should have the right to drink clean water, breathe fresh air, and eat healthy food - a right recognized in well over 100 countries but not my own - to the streets in an effort to scale the Everest of constitutional change.


In essence, the Blue Dot campaign encourages individuals to join with others to press their communities to pass municipal declarations in support of claims for healthy environments. With growing numbers of communities calling for action, the reasoning goes, provincial and federal politicians will be moved to pass environmental bills of rights that will prepare the ground for a charter amendment. By mid-2017, 25000 campaign volunteers had enlisted over 100,000 supporters and almost 160 municipalities had declared their support. The campaign is building a web from the bottom up: concerned individuals enlist neighbors who come together to change a city, and cities will come together to change a nation.  


This strategy caught my attention - and got me thinking about ASEH. Our challenge is not to scale the heights of constitutional change but to buttress our foundations, by reaching out to those who cannot reach the high peak of our annual conference. As the costs of attending these meetings increases, reluctance to contribute to GHG emissions by flying long distances grows, and shrinking university budgets and research funds make it more difficult to defray the costs of participation, we might well hear more calls for alternate activities and fora. Perhaps we can anticipate that need, and build out our base of engagement with the field, by fostering local and regional environmental history webs in our communities. 


These might - probably should - take quite different forms: here informal gatherings of interested people (ASEH members and others) coming together occasionally for discussion; there a formal speaker series; elsewhere a weekend retreat or field trip. The possibilities are many. We already have several prototypes to emulate or adapt: the quite diverse NiCHE regional networks, and the  "summer schools" held immediately prior to the annual meeting of the Canadian Historical Association each year (; the Boston Environmental History Seminar under the auspices of the Massachusetts Historical Society ( );  the activities of the Yale Environmental History Working Group, and its recurring regional conference (; and the annual retreat of the Cascadia Environmental History Collaborative (for more on which see Hayley Brazier, "Practicing in Place: The Environmental History Retreat," Environmental History Field Notes 1, 2016. The list goes on. I cannot offer an inventory. But I can see lots of room for exciting new endeavors likely to yield enormous personal, institutional, and disciplinary rewards. 


Yes, there is work involved, and money (in various amounts) too. But be not daunted. Working with colleagues, enriching the experiences of students, raising the profile of environmental history, and fostering excitement about (and a sense of the intellectual, environmental, and social value of) our scholarly exertions are precious rewards in their own right. Collaborations across departments, institutes, and institutions - to which our field lends itself - can help to loosen purse strings. I will work to establish a modest fund, beginning in 2018, to provide seed money for promising efforts along the lines hinted at here; I encourage you to share your ideas, and details of your plans, by submitting a 250-300- word piece to this newsletter and/or by joining a planned discussion of the topic during our meeting in Riverside.


In sum, I encourage all ASEH members to open discussions (with colleagues and others in their cities and localities) about the kinds of regional initiatives that could benefit their communities, defined as broadly as is appropriate. Bringing such proposals to fruition would do much to strengthen our field, and ultimately ASEH, by increasing awareness of what we are about and encouraging those who do not necessarily think of themselves as environmental historians to join us. As David Suzuki, the doyen of Canadian environmental campaigners and leading figure in the Blue Dot movement is fond of saying: "History shows that informed individuals who come together to build a groundswell of opinion and pressure are a powerful force for positive change."


Graeme Wynn, ASEH President



the profession:

advisory board - reorganized and energized


Perhaps more than ever, the need to assist our members in developing their professional skills and finding gainful employment and for applying our expertise to illuminating the public's understanding of environmental issues is vital. It was in this spirit that the Professional Development and Public Engagement Advisory Board was reorganized this past summer under new leadership and with renewed vigor. Cody Ferguson of Fort Lewis College took over as chair of the Board in June and, with direction and assistance from ASEH President Graeme Wynn, worked with the revised board membership to identify priorities and activities for the Board for the next two years.


The Board's plans for this year include:

  • Organizing a roundtable at the 2017 meeting in Riverside titled "Bridging the Divide-How can environmental historians better engage our students and the public?";
  • Collaborating with the Graduate Student Caucus to host a CV/resume writing clinic at the 2017 meeting and adding a professional networking component to the Graduate Student happy hour;
  • Increasing the ASEH's social media presence including starting a blog related to professional development and public engagement issues;
  • Liaising and supporting the work of the ad hoc Advisory Committee on Political Engagement.

In the longer run, we hope to continue to support and create new opportunities for graduate and newly-graduated scholars to participate in the ASEH's successful internship program and to continue building relationships with environmental professionals outside of academia to open new employment prospects for our members. If you would like to be part of these initiatives or have other creative ideas for how we can better serve our membership in terms of professional development and public engagement, please contact Cody Ferguson at We look forward to seeing all of you in Riverside!



member news


Nancy Langston's fourth book, Sustaining Lake Superior: An Extraordinary Lake in a Changing World, has recently been published by Yale University Press. Lake Superior - the largest lake in the world - has had a remarkable history, including resource extraction and industrial exploitation that nearly caused collapse. But in the past 50 years, thanks to grassroots efforts, the lake experienced surprising recovery and rebirth. Nancy offers a rich portrait of the lake's environmental history, asking what lessons we can learn from its conservation history as we face new threats from climate change.


Michael Smith received a Fulbright Core Scholar research grant to Nicaragua for the fall 2017 semester for his project "Paths to Resilience: A Collaborative Environmental History of Sustainable Development in Totogalpa." See:



positions open

This fall, ASEH has two positions available:

ASEH Seeks Editor for Environmental History

ASEH and the Forest History Society seek applicants to serve as editor of the journal Environmental History for a 5-year term beginning July 2019. The successful applicant will serve as editor-elect for a transition period of 6 to 12 months. For information on qualifications, responsibilities, application materials, and search procedures click here. Interested parties may request further information from chair of the search committee by writing to Review of applications will begin on January 15, 2018; the final deadline for receipt of applications is February 1, 2018

ASEH Seeks Executive Director

This full-time position starts in October 2018. Deadline for application: December 20, 2017. Click here for details.

For additional positions open at Michigan State University, University of Oklahoma, American University, University of Oregon, and more, click here





Final Notice - ASEH awards submissions


ASEH will offer the following awards in 2018. Click on the links for application requirements - all submissions are due on November 17, 2017.


Outstanding Scholarship:


Click here for information on the George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in environmental history


Click here for information on the Alice Hamilton Prize for best article outside journal Environmental History


Click 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 Project Award. Click here for a link to the brief form to submit for nomination (scroll down).


Final Notice - ASEH Samuel P. Hays Fellowship Applications


It is open to practicing historians (either academic, public, or independent). Graduate students are ineligible. A Ph.D. is not required. Funding is for 2018.


To apply, please submit the following items:

  • A 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 by November 17, 2017.



Final Notice - ASEH Hal Rothman Fellowship Applications

Students enrolled in any Ph.D. program worldwide are eligible to apply. Funding is for 2018.


To apply, please submit the following three 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.
  • A letter of recommendation from your graduate advisor

All items for the Hal Rothman Research Fellowship must be submitted electronically to by November 17, 2017


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, 2017.


Equity Fellowships


This year, ASEH has launched new fellowships to encourage and support underrepresented students. Please help us circulate the information on the equity graduate student fellowship and the local equity undergraduate fellowship. Deadlines: November 17, 2017.


Additional Awards


The National Council on Public History offers more than $7,000 in awards annually. Submissions for the book award and Kelley prize are due November 1, while those for outstanding project, consulting excellence, and others are due December 1. Nominate yourself or a colleague:


Call for Manuscripts: Culture, Transport, and Global Warming


Deadline: November 1. If you are interested in submitting for this edited volume, see:



for graduate students: events in riverside

Three-Minute Thesis Slam: Call for Participants


ASEH's conference in Riverside will include a Three-Minute Thesis Slam during the 2018 meeting in Riverside. There will be small monetary prizes for the top three finishers as determined by the judges: Brian Frehner, Doug Sackman, and Lissa Wadewitz.


If you are interested, please contact the moderator, Kathleen Brosnan, at The first fifteen Ph.D. students to contact Dr. Brosnan will be included in the session. Kathy will compile a back-up list in case anyone drops out of the competition.


First developed in Australia, Three Minute Thesis competitions help doctoral candidates hone academic, presentation, and research communication skills. Students have three minutes to present compelling orations on their dissertation topics and their significance to an intelligent but nonspecialist audience. Each participant is permitted a single Powerpoint slide.


Writing Workshops


The Graduate Student Caucus has organized several writing workshops for ASEH's conference in Riverside, including a writing session scheduled for Saturday, March 17, 1:30-3:00 p.m. Deadline for signup: December 1, 2017. Click here for more information.


"Pushing the Boundaries of Historical Study: Cross-Disciplinary Appointments and Environmental History"


Emily Webster has organized one of the caucus panels at the Riverside conference, this one on teaching or writing across disciplines. The panel includes professors who have cross-disciplinary appointments in history and environmental studies and teaching non-history specific classes. Scheduled for Thursday, March 15, 8:30-10:00 a.m.


Graduate Student Reception and Meeting


The student reception and caucus meeting is set for Wednesday, March 14, 8:30-10:00 p.m., after the opening reception.


Mentoring Program


ASEH has a mentoring program to assist students and new professionals with career advice, help with conference participation, and more. If you are interested in participating, click here.




aseh news is a publication of the American Society for Environmental History


Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia, President

Edmund Russell, Boston College, Vice President/President Elect
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University, Secretary


Executive Committee:

Emily Greenwald, Historical Research Associates, Inc.-Missoula

Lynne Heasley, Western Michigan University

Kieko Matteson, Univeristy of Hawaiʻi-Mānoa

Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center-Munich

Kathryn Morse, Middlebury
Cindy Ott, University of Delaware

Conevery Valencius, Boston University

Zachary Nowak, Harvard University, president of grad student caucus

Ex Officio, Past Presidents:

Kathleen Brosnan, University of Oklahoma

Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History
Lisa Brady, Boise State University

Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, aseh news:
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma


ASEH, UW Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402



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