Science topic

Environmental History - Science topic

Environmental history is the study of human interaction with the natural world over time. In contrast to other historical disciplines, it emphasizes the active role nature plays in influencing human affairs. Environmental historians study how humans both shape their environment and are shaped by it. (from the English Wikipedia, retrieved 13 August 2012)
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I am going to be teaching about Environmental History and Environmental Management in the spring semester 2022.
I would like to incorporate the US National Parks and assign each student a single park as a case-study, term paper topic. While I have been thinking about this for some time, I have never quite figured out the best way to approach the problem.
In a perfect world, the student's term paper would begin with the history of a particular park, then a description, a discussion of visitation and demographics served, and lastly a discussion of the ecosystem services provided by the park.
As I see it, the problem here is that most, but not all, of these topics are on the web site for the particular park. Some parks like Yosemite have very well documented histories and for others, you would have to dig through the newspaper archives.
Is anyone out there is Research Gate Land already doing this?
Thank you!
Kevin
PS, After you think about this question...Take a Hike!
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I just assigned the parks to the students.
I began by contacting one of the reference librarians and she helped me find a lot of resources that the students could use. So confident that the exercise could work, the next step was to draw up a list of national parks.
My goal was to find parks that are fairly close to New Jersey on the theory that the students would have been likely to visit them. The second criteria for selection was that the park have a completed Foundation Document. Lastly, the park had to contain at least some areas of open space and thus has a ecosystem. The Great Smokey Mountains National Park has high elevation ecosystems, Cape Cod has a beach ecosystem, but a park like the Statue of Liberty or The African Burial Grounds do not.
I had identified about 25 parks which was enough for the first class. I could randomly assign each student a park. But where's the fun in that?
Like a lot of instructors I ask the student to fill out an index card on the first night of class, name, where you are in the program, relevant experience, etc etc and one of the questions is "what is your favorite park?"
If the favorite park matched one of those on the list, then I assigned that park to the student. Several of the students listed parks like Yosemite, Grand Tetons, Olympic National Park, and Grand Canyon. Although I had not planned to use those parks, they did have Foundation Documents and they certainly had an interesting ecosystem, or two, or three. I must confess I am a little bit nervous about assigning the Grand Canyon because it is a very big topic.
If the student listed a local park, I tried to match the assigned park to something that resembled their favorite. A student who liked the beach was assigned the Fire Island National Seashore and one who liked the local Appalachian Mountains was assigned a park like the Cumberland Mountains.
Any student that could not be matched to a specific park got assigned one at random.
I am posting the final list of parks and people on the class Canvas page next week.
I did have a few specific requests. One was for the Gettysburg National Battlefield Park, one was for Acadia in Maine, and one student listed the Delaware Water Gap as her favorite but specifically requested NOT to be assigned that park. It is where she goes to relax, not think about homework. (I can respect that)
The syllabus has the instructions for the park project. They are:
The written report on the park must include the following:
a. General description of the park. What are the specific
ecosystems found inside the park. What are the unique
cultural resources? What types of activities are available
for visitors? What sort of person do you think this park
would attract?
b. Discussion of visitor statistics, pre-covid and during
covid, and of course, what is the projected visitation post-
covid? What is known about the demographics, racial
composition, and socio-economic characteristics of the
visitors?
c. What recommendations would you, the HLTH 502
student, make to get people into the park? Especially
the traditionally under-served or minority populations.
NOTE: Simply writing “social media” will result in your
grade being severely compromised. Be specific!!!
Do your recommendations align with any park service
plans or proposals?
d. Report about some problem unique to this park, for
example, air pollution in Acadia National Park in Maine.
(You will need to contact the park service officials about
this.)
Does this problem interfere in any way with the park’s
ability to promote public health? Is there a specific danger
posed to visitors for example.
At the end of the semester, students will do a two or three-
person group presentation about their parks. Each
presentation will compare and contrast their parks and
draw conclusions based on these comparisons.
We will see what happens next.....
Thank you for taking the time to contact me
kevin
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I'm interested to know about good Sci-Fi books that deal with e.g., species extinction and/or recovery, habitat destruction and/or restoration, climate change, ocean acidification, land-use change, and so on. If you read interesting Sci-Fi books on this type of topics, please let me know. I'd be very grateful :)
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I would also recommend the Atwood books and the Dune cycle (F. Herbert - 6 books). The Dune books are known for their exploration of religion and politics, but ecology is very important to the global story, dealing with resource dependance, ecosystem balance, ecological engineering (...) at a planetary scale. In particular, the first book includes a « planetologist » and an appendix explaining the ecology of Dune/Arrakis : '... the highest function of ecology is the understanding of consequences’.
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My thought is that the fact that we have solved large global/international environmental problems before could both give some guidance and most important some hope! I have made research on SO2 emissions and acid rain myself, so I would especially need someone with experitse in other global problems like the ozone hole.
THIS PROJECT HAS STILL NOT PROCEEDED, SO YOU CAN STILL JOIN!
For my general thoughts see the following blog post:
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Kenneth, I have done research on the acid rain myself, and I can say that without active measures the emissions would have eventually reached a level in which the forests would have been seriously damaged. This again would have created serious damage to the Swedish (and Finnish) economy. So the acid rain "scare" saved the economy of the countries.
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Mainly looking at World War II and the impact of bombing on the German population. Any useful reading recommendations would be useful. 
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Im not really a historian, or any kind of expert in these fields but of course, I will try to answer your question.
First of all, you might want to know more the difference between strategic bombing and terror bombing. Those are two different kind of aerial warfare tactics that common people tend to misunderstood.
Strategic bombings are usually aim to weakened  enemy's war effort such as industrial and strategic political targets. In historical case, the bombing of Ruehr and other Germany industrial zone. Simply saying, to reduce Germany capacity to produce war machines such as tanks, cannon and infantry arms.
While terror bombing on the other hand, more like of a political agenda. The fine example are the bombing of Amsterdam and Warsaw by Germany. Its main purpose is too strike fear and weakened the morale of its citizen. When morale is low, you can imagine the determination of one's country to continue and prolonged the war became much more undesirable.
One of the books that I read is Flakhelfer to Grenadier : Memoir of a boy soldier. It unfolds the story of a youth in Germany during world war 2. How he conscripted to the Luftwaffe (air force of Germany) and became a Flak crew (Anti air gun). 
In that book you can  felt the horror of strategic-terror bombing done by the Allies at the ending year of world war 2. Just imagine, endless streams of 4 engine high altitude bombers in tight formation, flew towards Germany in relentless bombing campaign. And some chapter in that book told us that most of this plane formation took nearly half an hour to pass completely. 200 - 400 planes are the common number of bombers participated in a single campaign.
Royal air force bombed Germany during the night, while US air force bombed Germany during the day. Nearly 24/7 your city get struck by bombs.
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I am compiling a series of historical case studies of transformative adaptation to major environmental changes, such as dryland salinity brought about by land clearing and changes in water availability due to high irrigation diversions and so on. I am keen to learn of examples that provide a perspective on social processes and decision making in relation to adaptive responses by people, particularly that relate to changes in societal values relating to the environment, how knowledge was used to scope choices for adaptation and how rules (legislation, policies, behaviours and norms) either enabled or constrained those choices. Any pointers to relevant literature would be gratefully received.
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Matt, I think a good and current example is what is being done in Netherlands to cope with flooding as the one occurred in 1953, when over 8,000 people died and about 10% of cropland was destroyed.  How the Dutch people perceived the threat and how such perception has been modulated more recently by growing evidences of the link between human activities, global warming and sea level rise falls, I believe, is within the scope of your research. The huge chain of flood protection structures that were constructed at the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt Delta, and the decision-making process is well documented. Although the Deltawerks, devised by the Dutch engineer Johan van Veen, were finished in 1986, there are many public works for managing storm and flood waters being constructed. Adaptation for the Dutch people is a way of life. You can find plenty of publications related to the Deltawerken from the  Watersnoodmuseum site at. info@watersnoodmuseum.nl or Phone to +31 (0)111 – 644 382
Another current example, in the same realm, is that of the adaptations to sea level rise and increasing flooding of coastal urban centers as those in South Florida, where local governments began working together to develop join policies and programs to mitigate, adapt and to become more resilient communities to cope with climate change and sea level rise. The result of such undertaking is a list of about 100 recommendations to guide implementation of appropriate measures. See the following website:  http://www.southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/
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I am trying to obtain a better understanding of the modern history of gold mining (and the mining sector more broadly), and how it intersects with trends in the global political economy. In particular, I am interested in understanding the situation in developing countries in the post-WW2 period (e.g. Indonesia, DRC, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Tanzania, Ghana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, ...). 
Thanks!
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My research focuses on the recent history of the (small-scale) gold mining sector in Tanzania. There is a little section on this in "Just picking up stones: Gender and technology in a small-scale gold mining site."
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Looking at ideas of control in nineteenth century British factories. 
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You might look at Rabinbach's The Human Motor;
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Including how the wild horse has become a symbol of freedom, and its role in frontier history. Open to all possible suggestions.
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Ferenc, that could be very useful indeed to use as a comparison against the American wild horse. Many thanks!
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My basic understanding is that the majority of the field emerged from pioneering research from Americans such as Fredrick Turners Frontier Thesis. My main objective is to gain a better understanding of the chronology of environmental history. Furthermore my definition of environmental history includes both humans relations with animals and landscapes. Any help would be greatly appreciated. 
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I recommend the following book:  J. Donald Hughes, What is Environmental History? Polity Press 2006, ISBN-10. 0-7456-3188-6.
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I know there are many definitions, but I'm interested in different opinions.
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The most simple definition of environmental history is: "environmental history is studying the interaction between humans and the environment in the past". This interaction is a two way affair and not just humans impacting on the environment.
In 2009 the Exploring Environmental History Podcast explored the question of what environmental history is interviewing three scholars working in the field: Donald Worster, Paul Warde and Marc Hall. In my own contribution I explore environmental history as an applied science. You can find the episodes (22-25) at http://www.eh-resources.org/podcast/podcast2009.html. I hope this is useful for in your quest for defining what EH is.
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I read an interview with Verena Winiwarter, Austrian Academic of the Year, which shows that environmental historians are important in society. The complete interview is available - http://seeingthewoods.org/2014/02/13/an-interview-with-verena-winiwarter-austrian-academic-of-the-year/
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Environmental History is an essential part of World History. Human beings interact in eco-system. They produce and reproduce themselves under physical conditions which we study in the discipline of history. Anthropocene has become a reality. We can understand its consequences in Environmental History. However, it must be situated in a social context. Otherwise, it may remain pedantic.
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I know the books and articles by J. Radkau, K. Appuhn, K. Matteson, P. Warde, H. Küster, C. Totman, S. Dursun, M. Agnoletti etc.
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Oh, thanks! The Social Lives of Forests book is strongest for the tropics. Greg Zaro, at the University of Maine (Dept. Anthropology) is now working on the historical ecology of Croatia, so it might be worth contacting him for some leads to the literature. Good luck with your project!
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Does anyone have examples of university level student assessments that could double as deliverable for students to use in marketing their skills? For example, an environmental impact assessment course could have a mock EIS, a GIS course could have a map set, etc.
While those examples have clear "products" that double as assessments, I'm looking to try to integrate something like this for an Environmental History and Ethics Course (upper level undergraduate).
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They would keep their own deliverable, but I would repeat the assessment/mock training for future classes. I'd like to have students practice the skills/content learned by completing assessments (for course grading purposes), which they can also use as examples for job applications, internships, etc. So, instead of a paper or exam to demonstrate their understanding, they produce something that they can use later in a portfolio or professional capacity.
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Is anyone willing to review a book which was published as a paperback last week?
Thinking through the Environment. Green Approaches to Global History, Ed. by Timo Myllyntaus, Cambridge: White Horse Press 2011, xv + 296 Pp.
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I also would like to review this book.