NCPH Annual Meeting 2013: Making Environmental History Public through Digital Technologies

Peace Tower, Ottawa

Hot on the heels of last week’s annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History, this week marks the start of the National Council for Public History conference. This year the NCPH meets in Ottawa from April 17-20 and I will be there to present on a roundtable panel on the use of digital technologies in environmental history for public outreach. The session is titled “Making Environmental History Public through Digital Technologies” and it will be held between 3:30pm and 5:00pm in Ballroom A on Thursday, April 18.

This panel will examine the ways in which historians can use digital technologies to adapt a public history approach to disseminate environmental history and place-based historical research to wider audiences. Panelists will speak about specific digital environmental history projects that facilitate the public dissemination of research. Their discussion will cover a broad range of digital tools, including podcasts, mobile application development, geographic information systems, digital content aggregation tools, augmented reality, and online community management. The panel will pick up directly on many of the themes explored in the 2004 special issue of The Public Historian on “Public History and the Environment/Environmental History and the Public.”

I will be joined by Ronald Rudin, Daniel Macfarlane, Jim Clifford, Joshua MacFadyen, William Knight, and James Opp. Each panelist will provide a brief demo of a digital environmental history project before opening the floor to questions and discussion with the audience. We held a similar session at the ASEH in Madison, Wisconsin last year and we are hoping to generate some conversation and spread some ideas about the advantages and challenges of using podcasts, websites, mobile apps, and other digital technologies for connecting environmental history scholarship with wider audiences.

Here is a list of links to the projects we will discuss on this roundtable:

Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast

Environmental History Mobile App Project

Returning the Voices to Kouchibouguac National Park

Active History

Flax History

Network in Canadian History and Environment

Geospatial Historian

Sunken Villages, St. Lawrence River

Rideau Timescapes

If you are currently working on such a project or you are interested in learning more about the intersections between digital history, public history, and environmental history, please join us.

Roundtable: Making Environmental History Public through Digital Technologies
Thursday, April 18
3:30pm to 5:00pm
Ballroom A

Full conference schedule and details available here.

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