"Dynamic Serenity" by Andrew E. Larsen

Five Things You Might Not Have Known About Canadian Environmental History   Recently updated !

Canadian environmental history is a burgeoning sub-field of Canadian history, but it is not very well known outside of academia. This is my own research speciality. On many occasions, I have had to answer the question: what is environmental history? Periodically, this is a question that environmental historians ask themselves. There have been several reflective […]

Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 45 Available   Recently updated !

Episode 45: The St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project, 29 October 2014 [56:00] Download Audio It cuts through the centre of the continent linking all of the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. Long the ambition of governments, industry, and continentalist visionaries, the St. Lawrence Seaway fulfilled the mid-century modernist dream of transforming the Great Lake cities […]


Tablet Reading. Source: Pabak Sarkar, Flickr Commons

Best Practices for Writing History on the Web   Recently updated !

As more of our reading moves from print to screens, learning how to write on the Web will become an increasingly important part of history writing skills. Just as we teach fundamental research and writing skills for print essays, we will likely begin to teach digital writing skills for the Web. Writing for the Web […]

Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 44 Available   Recently updated !

Episode 44: The Second World Congress for Environmental History, 24 September 2014 [48:01] Download Audio For five days this past July, environmental historians from around the world convened in Guimarães, Portugal for the Second World Congress for Environmental History. This is the main event for the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations. It brings together scholars from […]

The streets of Guimarães.


Parks and Ecology: Stanley Park Nature and History Walk Guides, 1990   Recently updated !

For most of its history, ecology has not been a guiding principle for the management of Stanley Park. This is one of the observations that I made in my book Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History. Throughout the twentieth century, Park Board officials and Vancouver residents struggled over how to manage the various uses of the park: […]

A Brief History of the Laptop Ban 3

In recent years, several scholars have expressed a desire to ban laptop computers and smartphones from the classroom. This urge to prohibit the use of computing devices, however, may be a reflection of our own shortcomings as educators. It may also be a future liability for higher education. What are the implications of excluding technologies that have revolutionized […]

"The times they are a changing" by Brett Jordan

"Guimaraes Portugal-4" by Fernando López

Discussing Online Digital Communication at Second World Congress of Environmental History

Next week, I will be participating on a roundtable at the Second World Congress of Environmental History in Guimarães, Portugal. Our roundtable is titled, “Beyond Texts and Archives: Experiments with New Sources and Methods in Environmental History” and it is scheduled for Tuesday, July 8, 2014 from 14:00-15:30 in CO-04 (CFPG). All the details about the roundtable can […]

Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 43 Available

Episode 43: Environmental Scholarship and Environmental Advocacy, 2 July 2014 [47:04]
Download Audio

Environmental history has been both friend and foe to environmentalism. Historians can provide important context for understanding contemporary environmental issues, but they can also offer a critique of environmentalism that could undermine the political and social goals of activists.

This is the subject of a recent review essay I wrote for Acadiensis. In that essay I ask, Are all environmental historians environmentalists? How should environmental scholarship relate to environmental activism? Should advocacy for environmental issues shape historical scholarship on the environment? Can history always inform contemporary environmental issues?

On this episode of the podcast, we explore these questions with a group of scholars from the Toronto Environmental History Network.

acadiensisspring2014Please be sure to take a moment to review this podcast on our iTunes page and to fill out a short listener survey here.

Visit the main page at http://niche-canada.org/naturespast and subscribe to our YouTube page here.



Jessica van Horssen
Alex Hall
David Zybelberg
Andrew Watson
Jonathan McQuarrie

Works Cited:

  • Sean Kheraj, Canadian History & Environment
  • Kheraj, Sean. “Scholarship and Environmentalism: The Influence of Environmental Advocacy on Canadian Environmental History” Acadiensis 43, no. 1 (Winter/Spring 2014): 195-206.
  • Donahue, Brian. Reclaiming the Commons: Community Farms and Forests in a New England Town. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1999.
  • Fiege, Mark. Irrigated Eden: The Making of an Agricultural Landscape in the American West. Seattle: Unviersity of Washington Press, 1999.
  • McNeill, J.R. “Drunks, Lampposts, and Environmental History” Environmental History 10.1 (January 2005): 64-66.
  • Parr, Joy. Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010.
  • Ritvo, Harriet. The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2009.
  • Wrigley, E. A. Energy and the English Industrial Revolution. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2010.

Music Credits:


Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 43: Environmental Scholarship and Environmental Advocacy” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 2 July 2014.


Iqra Read

#EnvHist Worth Reading: May 2014

Better late than never, here are our picks for what was worth reading on the #envhist tag for the month of May 2014. We track this tag every month and try to pick out some of the more interesting articles, videos, and audio that Twitter users shared. 1. Backstory with the American History Guys podcast […]