Canadian studies


Nature’s Past Episode 52: Hydro-Power and War

    Episode 52: Hydro-Power and War [51:26] Download Audio What fuels war? The total war of the Second World War placed enormous demands on the resources and environment of Canada. Manufacturing equipment for the war and harvesting natural resources for production were some of the most substantial contributions Canadians made […]


The Biggest Oil Pipeline Spills in Canadian History

In March 1950, four Alberta “pipeline walkers” spoke with a reporter from Canadian Press about their tireless work. Each worker walked twelve to fifteen miles per day, checking on pipeline facilities in the Edmonton district and looking for leaks, a consistent problem for Alberta’s booming oil industry in the mid-twentieth […]


Burrard Inlet, Beaches, and Oil Spills: A Historical Perspective

Last week, British Columbians once again witnessed the effects of oil on Burrard Inlet. Local authorities cautioned residents to avoid the water along the shores in Vancouver and West Vancouver after a large slick of bunker fuel oil appeared on the surface of Burrard Inlet. Around 5pm Wednesday, April 8, 2015, a boater notified Port […]


Book Review: Ingram’s Wildlife, Conservation, and Conflict in Quebec, 1840-1914

I just published a review of Darcy Ingram’s book, Wildlife, Conservation, and Conflict in Quebec, 1840-1914. The review appears in H-Net Reviews here. You can download a PDF version of the review here.   Conservation in a Distinct Society Wildlife conservation in Quebec was distinct from the rest of Canada not […]


Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 45 Available

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 […]


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. […]


Inventing Stanley Park wins 2014 CHA Clio Prize for BC History 2

I am very happy to share the news that Inventing Stanley Park won the 2014 Canadian Historical Association Clio Prize for outstanding contribution to British Columbia history. Obviously, this is a tremendous honour and I am grateful to the prize committee and the rest of my colleagues in the CHA. This was […]


Oil Pipeline Spill History at the National Energy Board of Canada Library

This week, I am taking advantage of some of the historical research materials available at the National Energy Board library in Calgary, Alberta. As we discussed on a recent episode of Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast, federal department libraries are incredible resources for environmental history. With the closure and consolidation […]


Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 42 Available

Episode 42: The Right to a Healthy Environment, 17 March 2014 [34:41] Download Audio Canadians value their natural environment. Nine out of ten worry about the impacts of environmental degradation on their health. Nine out of ten are concerned about climate change. Eight out of ten believe that Canada needs stricter […]