aseh news
winter 2015                       volume 26, issue 4
in this issue
mentoring program
thank you for your donations

Click here to make an end-of-the-year donation to support students or awards and fellowship programs.

2016 conference quick links
2016 conference update
Our conference will include a walking tour of the waterfront.
Our field trip to the Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Plant (pictured above) will offer a rare glimpse of the underground cavity 270 feet below the surface.
Seattle is best seen from the water - and two of our tours will explore the city's waterways by boat, including the Duwamish River and Lake Union (Gas Works Park and Montlake Cut), pictured above.
Sunday field trips will include a tour of the Elwha River Dam removal site in Olympic National Park (pictured above).
The Sunday field trip to Ebeys Landing National Historical Reserve (pictured above) will examine its unique management system and distinctive agricultural history.

For more info. on the field trips (not all of which are listed here)

photos courtesy Visit Seattle, National Park Service, Puget Sound Energy, and Lisa Mighetto
Click here to register for the conference.

journal update
it's time to renew your membership

reminder: sign up for aseh member directory
aseh news
president's column: thank you to our members and supporters

It is fitting that I write this column the day after Thanksgiving in the US, for it affords me the opportunity to thank the many ASEH members who contribute to our society's success.
We remain grateful to all of you who make financial contributions to the society. ASEH is now in the second year of our Four for Forty campaign designed to celebrate the society's 40th anniversary in 2017. We saw a substantial increase in donations from members in 2014, and we hope this trend will continue in 2015.
Please consider ASEH as you make your end-of-the-year donations. Your gifts underwrite the prizes that recognize excellence in environmental history scholarship. Contributions fund the more mundane but equally essential aspects of the society such as general operations and website maintenance. These donations also support the Hays research fellowship and the Rothman dissertation fellowship.
We also greatly appreciate our members who share their time and talents by serving on ASEH's committees. Their hard work does not always receive the attention that it should, but ASEH could not function without their efforts. Unfortunately this column does not provide me with the space to thank individually the more than 100 members who serve on different committees, so I do so collectively. And I encourage all of you to visit when you have a chance to learn about their contributions.
If you are interested in participating on one of these committees or boards, please contact Lisa Mighetto ( or me ( and we will find a place for you.
I also want to thank all who participate in our annual meetings. We appreciate the hard work of the program and local arrangements committees in creating meaningful conferences. The favorable outcomes we have enjoyed these many years also are attributable to the hundreds who present papers, offer comments, and chair sessions.
We also appreciate those who submitted proposals but did not find a place in our Seattle program. A sign of our continuing success as a professional organization is the fact that the process is so competitive. Our rejection rate the last few years has ranged from 33-50 %, unfortunately leaving many worthwhile panels out of the mix. We hope that you will still attend the Seattle meeting and resubmit for our 2017 meeting in Chicago.
Finally, I wanted to thank all of you who act as mentors. The Oxford English Dictionary tells us that the word "mentor" gained its current currency as a trusted counsellor from Fénelon's novel Les Aventures de Télémaque, published in France in 1699 and soon translated into English, German, and Italian. In the novel, the goddess Athena appears in the character of Mentor who acts as a guide to Telemachus, the son of Oddysseus.
Whether they channeled the wisdom of Athena or simply relied on their own wits, my mentors were always smarter than I was. From my dissertation adviser Kathleen Conzen to colleagues such as Marty Melosi, they guided my path. I value their sagacity, and remember something they taught me. It is impossible to repay a mentor in kind, and thus, it is incumbent upon us to pay our debts forward. Yet what I have learned over time is that I am equally indebted to my mentees. Our best students infuse our lives with their enthusiasm, push us to do better, and lead our scholarship in new directions through their keen insights.
I am not certain if all our members know that ASEH has developed an outstanding mentorship program to assist students and recent graduates with professional development and engagement. If you would like to participate as a mentor or mentee, please visit
As this year comes to a close, I wish you all the best for 2016.
Kathy Brosnan, ASEH President
the profession: women's network at ASEH

Several long-time members of our society have organized a Women's Network for cis/trans women at ASEH. This group just formed, so there is an opportunity to help shape it and to make suggestions for activities and initiatives. The first event will be a reception at ASEH's annual conference, scheduled for Thursday, March 31, 6:30 - 7:30 pm. Join us for wine, beer, and snacks while we consider the merits of organizing a formal group. Owing to the generosity of the individuals and institutions listed below, the event will be offered at no charge. If you have comments or if you would like to contribute, contact
Sponsors (as of early December 2015):
Sarah Elkind
Nancy J Jacobs
Deborah K Fitzgerald
Harriet Ritvo
Ann Norton Greene
Julie E. Cohn
Sarah L. Mittlefehldt
Sara B. Pritchard
Paul Sutter
Lisa Mighetto
University of Oklahoma Press
University of Oklahoma History Department

member news

Kathleen A. Brosnan served as a consultant on a new season of Notes from the Field environmental history series. The six 2-minute film vignettes were distributed in November to public television stations nationally. The programs are available, free of cost, for educational use. The six episodes address John James Audubon, Caribbean Colonization, Carolina Gold (rice production), Levittown, Urban Forests, and Prescribed Fires. Click here for more information.

Mark Stoll's new book Inherit the Holy Mountain: Religion and the Rise of American Environmentalism was published by Oxford University Press.

Donald Worster, Distinguished Foreign Expert, Center for Ecological History, and Professor of World History, School of History, Renmin University of China, has a new book:  Shrinking the Earth: The Rise and Decline of American Abundancepublished by Oxford University Press (2016).

Carl Zimring's new book Clean and White: A History of Environmental Racism in the United States was published by NYU Press.

American Scholarly Societies Joint Statement on "Campus Carry" Legislation

ASEH recently joined our colleagues in 28 other scholarly societies in opposing legislation designed to facilitate the carrying of guns on college campuses because of its impact on the free expression of ideas. We encourage our members in any state considering such legislation to bring the perspective of historians and educators to the debate. Click here for the statement and the list.

Newberry Library Fellowship in Environmental History Available

ASEH has partnered with the Newberry Library in Chicago to offer a residential fellowship for research in environmental history.

The Newberry is an internationally renowned independent research library, which offers an extensive collection of rare books, maps, music, manuscripts, and other printed mateials spanning six centuries. The maps, published texts, manuscripts, art and photography, and ephemera could be particularly useful to topics in environmental history. Newberry fellowships provide assistance to researchers who wish to use our collection.

This fellowship is for PhD candidates or post-doctoral scholars and supports one month in residency at the Newberry Library in Chicago. Applicants from outside of the Chicago area who have a specific need for research in the Newberry collection are eligible. Applicants must be members of the ASEH in good standing at the time of application and through the period of the fellowship. The monthly stipend for this fellowship is $2,500. Application deadline: December 15, 2015. For more info.,  
click here

Calls for Papers

Under Western Skies is a biennial, interdisciplinary conference series on the environment accepting submissions on the topic of "Water: Events, Trends, Analysis" until January 31, 2016. Conference organizers invite proposals for oral and poster presentations as well as workshops and panels. See:

The International Society for Ecological Economics and University of the District of Columbia will host a conference on Transforming the Economy: Sustaining Food, Water, Energy and Justice, on June 26-29, 2016 in Washington, DC. Deadline for submission: December 15, 2015. Click here for more information on submitting an abstract. 
JSTOR Invites ASEH Members to Help Shape JSTOR Sustainability
JSTOR is developing a common space to discover resources on sustainability across academic disciplines. This new offering will include a collection of academic journals and research reports that deal with environmental stresses and their impact on human society, alongside tools to help researchers navigate content across disciplines. We are currently testing a beta version of JSTOR Sustainability with researchers working in related fields, and would like to invite you to participate. Visit to register for access to the Sustainability beta, which features thousands of journal articles and research reports alongside tools to help navigate content outside of your discipline - including topic pages, guides to influential articles, and background reading recommendations. You'll have access to the Sustainability beta through 2016, and the ability to provide input on how we can develop the site to meet your research and teaching needs.
Positions Open
Positions available at the University of California-Berkeley, Sonoma State University, University of Arizona, California State University-San Marcos, and Trinity College Dublin. Click here for more info.

for graduate students

2016 Student Liaison

Recently ASEH's grad student caucus elected Rachel Gross, a grad student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, as the 2016 liaison to the executive committee. If you have questions or comments, contact her at rsgross@wisc.eduClick here to read her welcome statement to ASEH students.

We are very grateful to Daniel Soucier, University of Maine, for serving as our 2015 grad student liaison.
Thank You, Daniel!

Free Registration at 2016 Conference

Graduate students can get free registration in exchange for volunteering at the conference. Click here for more info.

Mark Your Calendars: Student Reception and Meeting in Seattle

There will be a free reception for students at ASEH's 2016 conference on Thursday, March 31, 8:30 - 10:00 p.m., Seattle Westin Hotel.

Sponsored by The Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment in the South, Mississippi State University

The graduate student caucus will meet in Seattle on Friday, April 1, 6:45 p.m. - 7:30 p.m., Seattle Westin Hotel

Call for Proposals - Transformations of the Earth: International Graduate Student Workshop in Environmental History, Renmin University of China, Beijing

The workshop will take place May 21-23, 2016.Proposal deadline: January 1, 2016Click here for more information.


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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 President/President Elect
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Jay Taylor, Simon Fraser University, Secretary

Executive Committee:
Sarah Elkind, San Diego State University 
Emily Greenwald, Historical Research Associates, Inc.-Missoula
Christof Mauch, Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society
Kathryn Morse, Bowdoin College
Cindy Ott, St. Louis University
Ellen Stroud, Bryn Mawr College 
Paul Sutter, University of Colorado

Rachel Gross, University of Wisconsin-Madison - grad student liaison (2016)
Ex Officio, Past Presidents:
John McNeill, Georgetown University
Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History
Lisa Brady, Boise State University

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