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Subject of the Month  

A monthly display in the Purdy/Kresge Library featuring resources on specific thematic subjects.
Last Updated: Dec 20, 2014 URL: http://guides.lib.wayne.edu/somd Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

Environmental History Print Page
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December 2014

Environmental History image for December 2014

Selector: Alexandra Sarkozy

For an introduction on Environmental History, please see: http://www.eh-resources.org/environmental_history.html

Featured Databases, December 2014

Forest History Society Logo

  • Forest History Society Database of Environmental Archival Collections
    "Our Guide to Environmental History Archival Collections is a database containing descriptions of over 7,000 groups of environmental history records located in more than 450 repositories across North America and around the world. The collections represent individuals, organizations, and associations involved with land use, conservation, or natural resource issues. The Forest History Society (FHS) published an earlier version of the database as: North American Forest History: A Guide to Archives and Manuscripts in the United States and Canada, compiled by Richard C. Davis (Santa Barbara : ABC-CLIO, 1977)."
 

Ebooks

Cover Art
Contested Waters - April R. Summitt
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 9781607322016
Publication Date: 2013-04-15
"To fully understand this river and its past, one must examine many separate pieces of history scattered throughout two nations--seven states within the United States and two within Mexico--and sort through a large amount of scientific data. One needs to be part hydrologist, geologist, economist, sociologist, anthropologist, and historian to fully understand the entire story. Despite this river's narrow size and meager flow, its tale is very large indeed." -From the conclusion The Colorado River is a vital resource to urban and agricultural communities across the Southwest, providing water to 30 million people. Contested Waters tells the river's story-a story of conquest, control, division, and depletion. Beginning in prehistory and continuing into the present day, Contested Waters focuses on three important and often overlooked aspects of the river's use: the role of western water law in its over-allocation, the complexity of power relationships surrounding the river, and the concept of sustainable use and how it has been either ignored or applied in recent times. It is organized in two parts, the first addresses the chronological history of the river and long-term issues, while the second examines in more detail four specific topics: metropolitan perceptions, American Indian water rights, US-Mexico relations over the river, and water marketing issues. Creating a complete picture of the evolution of this crucial yet over-utilized resource, this comprehensive summary will fascinate anyone interested in the Colorado River or the environmental history of the Southwest.

Cover Art
From Rainforest to Cane Field in Cuba - Reinaldo Funes Monzote; Alex Martin
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 9780807831281
Publication Date: 2008-03-03
In this award-winning environmental history of Cuba since the age of Columbus, Reinaldo Funes Monzote emphasizes the two processes that have had the most dramatic impact on the island's landscape: deforestation and sugar cultivation. During the first 300 years of Spanish settlement, sugar plantations arose primarily in areas where forests had been cleared by the royal navy, which maintained an interest in management and conservation for the shipbuilding industry. The sugar planters won a decisive victory in 1815, however, when they were allowed to clear extensive forests, without restriction, for cane fields and sugar production. This book is the first to consider Cuba's vital sugar industry through the lens of environmental history. Funes Monzote demonstrates how the industry that came to define Cuba--and upon which Cuba urgently depended--also devastated the ecology of the island. The original Spanish-language edition of the book, published in Mexico in 2004, was awarded the UNESCO Book Prize for Caribbean Thought, Environmental Category. For this first English edition, the author has revised the text throughout and provided new material, including a glossary and a conclusion that summarizes important developments up to the present.

Cover Art
Emerald City - Matthew W. Klingle
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 9780300116410
Publication Date: 2007-11-27
At the foot of the snow-capped Cascade Mountains on the forested shores of Puget Sound, Seattle is set in a location of spectacular natural beauty. Boosters of the city have long capitalized on this splendor, recently likening it to the fairytale capital of L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, the Emerald City. But just as Dorothy, Toto, and their traveling companions discover a darker reality upon entering the green gates of the imaginary Emerald City, those who look more closely at Seattle’s landscape will find that it reveals a history marked by environmental degradation and urban inequality. nbsp; This book explores the role of nature in the development of the city of Seattle from the earliest days of its settlement to the present. Combining environmental history, urban history, and human geography, Matthew Klingle shows how attempts to reshape nature in and around Seattle have often ended not only in ecological disaster but also social inequality. The price of Seattle’s centuries of growth and progress has been paid by its wildlife, including the famous Pacific salmon, and its poorest residents. Klingle proposes a bold new way of understanding the interdependence between nature and culture, and he argues for what he calls an #147;ethic of place.” Using Seattle as a compelling case study, he offers important insights for every city seeking to live in harmony with its natural landscape. nbsp;

Cover Art
Fishing the Great Lakes - Margaret Beattie Bogue
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 029916764X
Publication Date: 2000-08-17
    Fishing the Great Lakes is a sweeping history of the destruction of the once-abundant fisheries of the great "inland seas" that lie between the United States and Canada. Though lake trout, whitefish, freshwater herring, and sturgeon were still teeming as late as 1850, Margaret Bogue documents here how overfishing, pollution, political squabbling, poor public policies, and commercial exploitation combined to damage the fish populations even before the voracious sea lamprey invaded the lakes and decimated the lake trout population in the 1940s.     From the earliest records of fishing by native peoples, through the era of European exploration and settlement, to the growth and collapse of the commercial fishing industry, Fishing the Great Lakes traces the changing relationships between the fish resources and the people of the Great Lakes region. Bogue focuses in particular on the period from 1783, when Great Britain and the United States first politically severed the geographic unity of the Great Lakes, through 1933, when the commercial fishing industry had passed from its heyday in the late nineteenth century into very serious decline. She shows how fishermen, entrepreneurial fish dealers, the monopolistic A. Booth and Company (which distributed and marketed much of the Great Lakes catch), and policy makers at all levels of government played their parts in the debacle. So, too, did underfunded scientists and early conservationists unable to spark the interest of an indifferent public. Concern with the quality of lake habitat and the abundance of fish increasingly took a backseat to the interests of agriculture, lumbering, mining, commerce, manufacturing, and urban development in the Great Lakes region. Offering more than a regional history, Bogue also places the problems of Great Lakes fishing in the context of past and current worldwide fishery concerns.

Cover Art
Building the Borderlands - Casey Walsh
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 9781603440134
Publication Date: 2008-02-19
Cotton, crucial to the economy of the American South, has also played a vital role in the making of the Mexican north. The Lower Río Bravo (Rio Grande) Valley irrigation zone on the border with Texas in northern Tamaulipas, Mexico, was the centerpiece of the Cárdenas government’s effort to make cotton the basis of the national economy. This irrigation district, built and settled by Mexican Americans repatriated from Texas, was a central feature of Mexico’s effort to control and use the waters of the international river for irrigated agriculture. Drawing on previously unexplored archival sources, Casey Walsh discusses the relations among various groups comprising the #147;social field” of cotton production in the borderlands. By describing the complex relationships among these groups, Walsh contributes to a clearer understanding of capitalism and the state, of transnational economic forces, of agricultural and water issues in the U.S.-Mexican borderlands, and of the environmental impacts of economic development. Building the Borderlands crosses a number of disciplinary, thematic, and regional frontiers, integrating perspectives and literature from the United States and Mexico, from anthropology and history, and from political, economic, and cultural studies. Walsh’s important transnational study will enjoy a wide audience among scholars of Latin American and Western U.S. history, the borderlands, and environmental and agricultural history, as well as anthropologists and others interested in the environment and water rights.

Cover Art
Empire of Water - David Soll
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 9780801449901
Publication Date: 2013-04-16
Supplying water to millions is not simply an engineering and logistical challenge. As David Soll shows in his finely observed history of the nation's largest municipal water system, the task of providing water to New Yorkers transformed the natural and built environment of the city, its suburbs, and distant rural watersheds. Almost as soon as New York City completed its first municipal water system in 1842, it began to expand the network, eventually reaching far into the Catskill Mountains, more than one hundred miles from the city. Empire of Water explores the history of New York City’s water system from the late nineteenth century to the early twenty-first century, focusing on the geographical, environmental, and political repercussions of the city’s search for more water. Soll vividly recounts the profound environmental implications for both city and countryside. Some of the region’s most prominent landmarks, such as the High Bridge across the Harlem River, Central Park’s Great Lawn, and the Ashokan Reservoir in Ulster County, have their origins in the city’s water system. By tracing the evolution of the city’s water conservation efforts and watershed management regime, Soll reveals the tremendous shifts in environmental practices and consciousness that occurred during the twentieth century. Few episodes better capture the long-standing upstate-downstate divide in New York than the story of how mountain water came to flow from spigots in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Soll concludes by focusing on the landmark watershed protection agreement signed in 1997 between the city, watershed residents, environmental organizations, and the state and federal governments. After decades of rancor between the city and Catskill residents, the two sides set aside their differences to forge a new model of environmental stewardship. His account of this unlikely environmental success story offers a behind the scenes perspective on the nation’s most ambitious and wide-ranging watershed protection program.

Cover Art
Fire - Stephen J. Pyne
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 029598144X
Publication Date: 2001-01-01
"The fate of humanity, like the fate of the earth, is tied to the fires that have made the world as we know it--the fires whose history is told as well in this book as it has ever been told before. If one wants to understand just how completely the story of the human past is also the story of fire on earth, there is no better place to start than this small book."--William Cronon Here, in one concise book, is the essential story of fire. Noted environmental historian Stephen J. Pyne describes the evolution of fire through prehistoric and historic times down to the present, examining contemporary attitudes from a long-range, informed perspective. Fire: A Brief History surveys the principles behind aboriginal and agricultural fire practices, the characteristics of urban fire, and the relationship between controlled combustion and technology. Pyne describes how fire's role in cities, suburbs, exurbs, and wildlands has been shaped by an industrialized, urban way of thinking. Fire: A Brief History will be of value to readers interested in the environment from the standpoint of anthropology, geography, forestry, science and technology, history, or the humanities.

Cover Art
Land Between Waters - Christopher R. Boyer (Editor)
Call Number: ebook
ISBN: 9780816502493
Publication Date: 2012-09-01
Mexico is one of the most ecologically diverse nations on the planet, with landscapes that range from rainforests to deserts and from small villages to the continent's largest metropolis. Yet historians are only beginning to understand how people's use of the land, extraction of its resources, and attempts to conserve it have shaped both the landscape and its inhabitants. A Land Between Waters explores the relationship between the people and the environment in Mexico. It heralds the arrival of environmental history as a major area of study within the field of Mexican history. This volume brings together a dozen original works of environmental history by some of the foremost experts in Mexican environmental history from both the United States and Mexico. The contributions collected in this seminal volume explore a wide array of topics, from the era of independence to the present day. Together they examine how humans have used, abused, and attended to nature in Mexico over more than two hundred years. Written in clear, accessible prose, A Land Between Waters showcases the breadth of Mexican environmental history in a way that defines the key topics in the field and suggests avenues for subsequent work. Most importantly, it assesses the impacts of environmental changes that Mexico has faced in the past with an eye to informing national debates about the challenges that the nation will face in the future.

 

Picture of the Display

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Featured Websites, December 2014

Abies, Thuja, and Betula dunes on a shingle beach, Cat Head Point and North Point, Michigan

  • American Environmental Photographs 1891-1936 (University of Chicago)
    "This collection consists of approximately 4,500 photographs documenting natural environments, ecologies, and plant communities in the United States at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century. Produced between 1891 and 1936 by a group of American botanists generally regarded as one of the most influential in the development of modern ecological studies, these photographs provide an overview of important representative natural landscapes across the nation."
  • Dr. Bill Kovarik's Environmental History Timeline (Unity College)
    "The Environmental History Timeline blends the topics of conservation, public health, technology regulation and concepts of nature together in a single continuum. It is intended for a general audience and is focused mostly on what former ASEH president William Cronon would call “political history” — history of the conservation movement, man-made disasters, and international laws and regulations."
  • Dr. Char Williams' Golden Green Blog
    "We live in places urban, rural, and wild. We hunker down in the desert, press out to the coast, nestle into tight canyons, build atop ridgelines, and sprawl along valley floors. In the process of making these disparate places our home we complicate the natural systems that drew us to these environments in the first place.

    Exploring these tensions has long been the subject of Pomona College professor Char Miller's teaching and writing, as reflected in his recent books "Cities and Nature in the American West" and "Public Lands, Public Debates: A Century of Controversy," as well as "On The Edge: Water, Immigration, and Politics in the Southwest" and "Death Valley National Park: A History."

    In 2014, Golden Green received the inaugural Public Outreach Project Award from the American Society for Environmental History, calling it an “accessible, smart, relevant, and fascinating look at how the public and the environment have interacted in the past and today.”"
  • William Cronon's Learning Historical Research
    William Cronon's wonderful guide about the stages of doing historical research, with explanations and resources.
  • Environment & Society Portal
    "The Environment & Society Portal invites you to discover openly accessible resources on the human-environment relationship. Explore interpretive exhibitions, illustrated Arcadia articles, Places & Events, and the Multimedia Library’s journals, images, and recordings."

    The Portal is a project of the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, a joint initiative of LMU Munich and the Deutsches Museum.


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