From:                                                                            Lisa Mighetto <>

Sent:                                                                             Tuesday, May 2, 2017 2:32 PM


Subject:                                                                        ASEH News Spring 2017



aseh news

spring 2017                         volume 28, issue 1


our next conference

Riverside, California

March 14 - 18, 2018

Environment, Power & Justice

Location: Riverside Convention Center and Mission Inn

Hosts: University of California-Riverside and Claremont Colleges


Click here for Call for Proposals

Deadline for submitting proposals: July 14, 2017. In addition to traditional formats (panels and roundtables), we are introducing "lightning" talks (5 minutes with up to 10 slides each).


Our 2018 conference could include the following special events:

  • water archives workshop
  • oral history workshop
  • Women's Environmental History Network workshop
  • tour of Huntington Library
  • coastal development tour, Laguna Beach
  • trip to Joshua Tree National Park
  • citrus tasting and tour of citrus lab, UC Riverside
  • large book exhibit with opportunities to interact with publishers
  • career seminars and networking opportunities for students





The April issue of

Environmental History highlights the work of female scholars and includes a new annual feature: the film forum. Click here for more info.



Click here to view the new virtual issue commemorating ASEH's 40th anniversary.



Hal Rothman Fun(d) Run in Chicago


The 8th annual Hal Rothman Fun(d) Run was held, as always, on Saturday morning at the annual conference. After several days of rain, the cool, dry weather proved ideal for the 5K outing. While only 10 intrepid participants ran or walked along Chicago's scenic waterfront, a total of about 30 people paid the suggested $20 contribution, and so the event raised nearly $600. (The appeal to non-runners to "Pay Not to Run" proved irresistible once again!) Many thanks to all who gave and participated. The 9th annual run in Riverside promises to be warmer, so hope to see you there! 



Above: Hal Rothman Fun(d) Runners in Chicago.


Above: Runners watched the sunrise over Lake Michigan.










ASEH is grateful to Jamie Lewis for organizing this annual event, which raises funds for the Hal Rothman Dissertation Fellowship.


Couldn't make the run this year? You can still donate to the Hal Rothman Dissertation Fellowship by clicking here and selecting the initiative to fund grad students.



photos from Chicago conference

Above: A toast in the book exhibit area.

Above: Behind the scenes at the Field Museum.

Above: The exhibit area included several book signings.

Above: Examining records at the Newberry Library.

Above: Birders braved the cold and were rewarded with more than 50 species.

Above and below: Poster Session. Click here to view the award winning best poster.

Above: River boat tour.

Above: Indiana Dunes field trip.

Above: Tour of Pullman National Monument.

Above: Steve Pyne at the ASEH Presidents Slam.

Above: Carolyn Merchant outlined ASEH history at the Presidents Slam.

Above: The Thursday evening plenary focused on environmental justice in Chicago and beyond.

Above: The Saturday evening plenary included a conversaton with Bill Cronon on Nature's Metropolis. Click here to view video of the session.

The conference concluded with ASEH Treasurer Mark Madison cutting the 40th-anniversary cake.

Click here

to read more about the 40th-anniversary celebration in Chicago.




The Chicago conference included 647 attendees. We thank everyone who registered and we are especially grateful to the local arrangements committee, program committee, and all the student volunteers who made this conference possible. We are indebted to Loyola University students, who conducted interviews during the conference to commemorate ASEH's 40th anniversary. These interviews will be posted online during the next year.


Conference photos in this newsletter courtesy Kathleen Brosnan, Gerard Fitzgerald, Alison McQueen, Jamie Lewis, Lisa Mighetto, UA Press, Laura Watt, and Melissa Wiedenfeld.



future conferences

Riverside, California

March 14 - 18, 2018


Columbus, Ohio

April 10 - 14, 2019


Florianópolis, Brasil

[World Congress]

July 23 - 26, 2019


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 July 10, 2017. 

See you in Riverside! 

president's column: first thoughts

I am deeply honored to serve as the 20th president of ASEH. For me, as for many, many of its members, the Society has been a scholarly home place, an organization in which I have found intellectual nourishment, comfort and support, companionship and delight. These are no small things (perhaps especially for a putative "outsider," a Canadian and a geographer). But for all our lively conferences and substantial membership, and the ever-growing number of terrific books and articles in the field, we still confront the challenge of nurturing and promoting environmental historical scholarship identified by our founders forty years ago.


In many ways our task is more daunting than theirs. They rode a rising public tide of environmental concern; they toiled in more optimistic and economically expansionist times than the present; and in "environmental history" they carried aloft a bright new torch. Today, when our commitments are as important as they have ever been, but less fresh, populist aversion to government expenditures, shrinking institutional budgets, a widespread animus toward science, and intense opposition to regulatory restrictions on business and industry threaten both the environment and ASEH. Atop these systemic challenges, ASEH must also address a number of issues specific to the society.


My predecessor, Kathy Brosnan (who has been an admirable steward of the society's interests) sought to address the limited diversity of our membership. Words have been crafted and a new statement on Diversity will soon appear on our website. But we need to go beyond words. Members will soon receive - and be invited to respond to - a report from the Women's Environmental History Network. Please do share your thoughts in ways that will be indicated. We also need to be proactive in making ASEH a place where no one feels less than warmly welcomed. To this end, and others, I aim to encourage the development of regional/ local clusters, of environmental historians and others, to organize activities of their choosing to expand our "base" in ways more welcoming and inclusive than our now-large annual meetings may appear to be. More will be forthcoming on this.


With the impending retirement, in 2018, of Lisa Mighetto, the Society's marvelous, long-serving executive director, we enter difficult, if not uncharted, territory. A Search Committee has been struck to identify Lisa's successor, but we also need to build a contingency fund to tide us through the interregnum, when Lisa's experience and skills in many spheres will be lost to us. I am calling upon members, now, to help in this. Our individual donation rates to the society are low. We will be advising all members about ways of establishing regular automatic payments to ASEH. If everyone authorized a gift of $10.00 per month, this relatively painless generosity would place ASEH on a more secure footing going forward and enable necessary new initiatives in programming and funding.  Thank you for considering - and doing - this.  I look forward to serving you all. 

-Graeme Wynn, ASEH President



the profession: EPA report on 50 years of environmental protection

by Roy Gamse, former EPA Deputy Assistant Administrator for Planning and Evaluation

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Alumni Association has developed a report on the past 50 years of the US environmental program that ASEH members may find of interest. A link to the Overview of the EPA Alumni Association's "Half Century of Progress" report is available at:  



Links to more detailed program-specific essays (air, water quality, etc.) are included in the Overview.


The Report reflects the contributions of EPA alumni who were involved in developing policy. It describes the state of the U.S. environment in the 1960s; the legislative, regulatory, and other actions that were taken to protect and restore; the improvement that has been made; and remaining and evolving issues. The purpose is to provide background for those who were not alive, not aware, or don't remember why environmental protection programs were implemented and what they have accomplished. The Report informs and reminds students, educators, journalists, and other citizens of the national approach to environmental protection over the past half century.


Now that the continuing need for a strong national environmental program is under debate, looking back is even more significant than the authors imagined when they began the Half Century of Progress project.


Additional background on why and how the report was written is available on the EPA Alumni Association website at (which itself has a link to the report). We have incorporated comments on previous drafts from a number of educators as well as other EPA alumni. As indicated on the website, the EPA Alumni Association is developing teacher guide materials to use with the report later this year.


We would welcome any comments from ASEH members; send to


Note: Comments on the evaluation of existing EPA regulations can be entered here:





ASEH Award Recipients


The following individuals received awards on April 1 at our conference in Chicago:


George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book:


Alice Hamilton Prize for Best Article outside Environmental History:

Philipp Nicolas Lehmann, "Infinite Power to Change the World: Hydroelectricity and Engineered Climate Change in the Atlantropa Project," 

American Historical Review (February 2016).


Leopold-Hidy Prize for Best Article in Environmental History:

Jakobina Arch, "Whale Meat in Early Postwar Japan: Natural Resources and Food Culture," which appeared in the July 2016 issue.


Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation:

Eric Steven Zimmer, "Red Earth Nation: Environment and Sovereignty in Modern Meskwaki History." 


Public Outreach Career Award:

Christof Mauch


Distinguished Service Award:

Carolyn Merchant


Click here for the comments from the award evaluation committees.


Above: Award recipients Christof Mauch and Carolyn Merchant.


Above: Ellen Spears (right) presented the best book award to Ling Zhang.


First Call for ASEH Award Submissions 2017

ASEH presents awards for scholarship, service, and achievement. The deadline for this year's award submissions is November 17, 2017. For a list of awards and instructions on how to submit, click here. If you have questions, contact


Call for Proposals for ASEH's Next Annual Conference in Riverside, California

ASEH invites proposals for its 2018 conference in Riverside, California. Click here for more information. Deadline: July 14, 2017. In addition to traditional formats (panels and roundtables), we are introducing "lightning" talks (5 minutes with up to 10 slides each).


Great Plains EH Workshop


Brian Frehner and Kathleen Brosnan are co-PIs for a NSF-sponsored interdisciplinary workshop, "The Great Plains: An Environmental History," May 22-24, in Oklahoma, with participants from North America and Europe.  There will be a live feed of the workshop or interested parties can tweet with  #NSFGreatPlains or #envhist. For the schedule and information on participants, please visit


Land Ethic Conference


The Aldo Leopold Foundation will be hosting its second biennial Building a Land Ethic Conference this summer in Baraboo, WI. See:

Deadline for registration: June 8.



member news


Lisa Brady, editor of Environmental History, has been selected as a Boise State Foundation Scholar.


Faisal Husain, Georgetown University, was selected as a Mellon/ACLS Dissertation Completion Fellow by the American Council of Learned Societies.


Jared Farmer, Stony Book University, Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Lauret Savoy, Holyoke College, have been selected as 2017Andrew Carnegie Fellows.


The Forest History Society's film America's First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment, produced for public television, claimed a 2016 Midsouth Regional Emmy Award. The film won in the Music Composer/Arranger category, and was also nominated for Best Documentary/History. Jamie Lewis and Steven Anderson of FHS served as executive producers and historical consultants; Jamie also co-wrote the film. Joint FHS-ASEH members Char Miller and Matthew Booker also served as historical consultants.


Jay Taylor received a John Topham and Susan Redd Butler Off-Campus Faculty Award to continue gathering data for the Follow the Money website, which is part of the Spatial History Project at Stanford University's Center for Spatial and Textual Analysis.


Marsha Weisiger, University of Oregon, and additional contributors recently completed Buildings of Wisconsin, an illustrated guide to the state's major architectural styles.



election results


The following people were elected in 2017:


Executive Committee

Ed Russell, Vice-President/President Elect

Sarah Elkind, Secretary

Mark Madison, Treasurer

Lynne Heasley, EC Member

Kieko Matteson, EC Member

Conevery Valencius, EC Member


Nominating Committee

Liza Piper and Kendra Smith-Howard


The following people are rotating off these committees:

Executive Committee - Sarah Elkind [now secretary]; John McNeill; Harriet Ritvo; Ellen Stroud; Paul Sutter; and Jay Taylor. Nominating Committee: Brian Black and Robert Wilson.

Thank you for your service!


Amendments to Bylaws

Several amendments to ASEH's bylaws were approved in a special ballot. Click here to view the bylaws.



women's environmental history network update
by Julie Cohn, University of Houston

The Women's Environmental History Network (WEHN) hosted its second reception at the ASEH Annual Meeting in Chicago. The hundred or so environmental historians in attendance enjoyed a lively evening!  This year, WEHN made an effort to support the ASEH mentoring program and highlight mentorship at the reception. Themed table toppers allowed scholars with common interests to find each other and to expand their networks. WEHN will continue this process with a gathering at the ESEH meeting in Zagreb on June 30th. If you would like to join the WEHN listserv, please contact me at



for graduate students


Greetings, ASEH grad students. 2017 saw some changes in our caucus: after a number of years of slowly growing, the caucus' work had expanded to the point of not being able to be done by just one person. I applaud both the Herculean task that Rachel Gross had to coordinate all the caucus' various activities, as well as the aseh Executive Committee in recommending that the number of caucus' leadership positions rise from one to three. Temporary presidential appointees Jessica DeWitt and Camden Burd have been instrumental in creating new programs and outreach and in continuing those that previous caucus liaisons and members had already set up.


Theirs is much to be done this summer to prepare for next year's conference. I will be contacting Los Angeles-area graduate programs-not only History departments, but also American Studies, Chicano Studies, History of Science, and Geography departments-to encourage graduate students to submit proposals that will expand the content of the next conference. This month I'll also be soliciting candidacies for the new positions of President-Elect and Media Officer. The two people elected will help coordinate not only the graduate panel at Riverside, but also the Writing Workshop, the Graduate Reception, the Caucus Meeting, and even more prosaic tasks like organizing ride-sharing from LAX, a Happy Hour, and group rooming options. Even if you're not an officer, there are many ways you can be involved-drop me an email if you're interested (


The caucus also has several digital initiatives that members can participate in. The first is a monthly blog series between the Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) and Edge Effects. This series, Seeds: New Research in Environmental History, is designed to specifically highlight the research of members of the ASEH grad caucus. Former liaison Rachel Gross and Media Coordinator Jessica DeWitt are now designing a second "Seeds" series. If you have any suggestions for how the grad caucus should use the Twitter account (@ASEHGradCaucus) or if you are interested in helping to run it, please contact Jessica (jessicamariedewitt AT gmail DOT com). Lastly, join the Facebook group for other updates about the caucus.


I look forward to meeting more of you at next year's conference!


Zachary Nowak, Harvard University




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, Bowdoin College
Cindy Ott, University of Delaware

Conevery Valencius, Boston University

Zachary Nowak, Harvard University, grad student liaison

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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