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field trips

Friday Afternoon Trips, April 12

Field Trip #1 Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center Visit
Leader: Chris Otter, Ohio State University

This trip will visit Ohio State University’s Byrd Polar and Climate Research Center (BPRC). The BPRC has been running for over 60 years, engaging in interdisciplinary, cutting-edge climate research. The Center also focuses on education and outreach, and will give us a tour of their facilities and engage in conversations about climate science research and education. Their fields of focus are “polar and alpine regions, cryospheric processes, reconstruction of past climates, climate variability and change and the impacts of climate on the environment and society.”  The center also houses a unique and extensive collection of ice cores from glaciers all over the world. Participants will be introduced to the work of the BPRC, its projects, and its methods of collecting and analyzing cores. We will also have the opportunity to visit the storage facilities and see original ice core samples. Lunch and transportation included.

For more information, see:


Field Trip #2 Newark Earthworks Center

Leaders: Tim Jordan, Ph.D., Historic Site Group Lead and Acting Site Manager, Newark Earthworks/Site Manager, Flint Ridge Ancient Quarries and Nature Preserve

The Newark Earthworks are the largest set of geometric earthen enclosures in the world. Built by people of the ancient Hopewell Culture between 100 B.C. and 500 A.D., this architectural wonder of ancient America was part cathedral, part cemetery and part astronomical observatory. The entire Newark Earthworks originally encompassed more than four square miles. The tour will include the Great Circle Earthworks and the Octagon Earthworks. The Great Circle is nearly 1,200 feet in diameter and was likely used as a vast ceremonial center by its builders. The 8-foot (2.4 m) high walls surround a five-foot (1.5 m) deep moat, except at the entrance where the dimensions are even greater. The Octagon has eight walls, each measuring about 550 feet (167.6 m) long and from five to six feet in height, that enclose 50 acres (20.2 ha) of land. The Octagon Earthworks are joined by parallel walls to a circular embankment enclosing 20 (8 ha) acres. 

Trip includes boxed lunch and bus transportation to and from Newark, about 45 minutes each way. The tour will require some walking but much of the site can be viewed from an observation 'tower.'


Field Trip #3 Columbus by bike

Guide: Bart Elmore, Ohio State University

Come out and get some exercise as we tour Columbus on bike. We'll travel from the Hyatt hotel up through central city neighborhoods to the Ohio State University campus, where you'll get a chance to see the Oval (the University's central quad), the Horseshoe (Ohio Stadium) and other key sites. We'll then travel down the Olentangy River Trail, which snakes alongside one of the city's major riverine arteries. A lunch stop at the North Street Market will break up the ride, and then it's back to pedaling, as the group heads south towards the Scioto Mile, a stretch of the Scioto River in the heart of the city that has recently been restored following a series of dam removals. The tour then cuts through one of the oldest neighborhoods in Columbus, German Village, before heading back to the hotel. Total distance: approximately 12 miles. Tour size limited to 15 riders. Lunch at own expense at North Market. 

Note:  Participants should be comfortable covering 12 miles on bike, and should also have some familiarity with shifting gears (these will not be fixed-gear bikes).


Field Trip #4 Birding in Ohio

Leaders:  Dustin Reichard, Oho Wesleyan University; Beth Reichard, Kenyon College

This year’s birding trip will be led by two Ohio-based ornithologists. Both of our guides teach at liberal arts colleges and lead birding tours for students. Depending on the weather and on bird patterns in the region, we will choose between several sites: the Delaware Wildlife Area north of Delaware, the Hoover Mudflats Boardwalk in Galena, and the Scioto Audubon MetroPark in Columbus. Depending on site choice, this year’s birding trip may also include the opportunity for participants to net birds, a practice both guides use with their undergraduates. Fees include transport and a boxed lunch. Note: terrain can be uneven, and weather will be changeable in Ohio in the Spring. Participants should bring weather appropriate shoes and clothing, and their own binoculars. Trip includes box lunch and bus transportation.


Field Trip #5 Walking Tour: Urban Destruction and Revival

Leader: Sam White, Ohio State University

Columbus is over two hundred years old, but its downtown neighborhoods have been transformed over the past half-century, first hollowed out by suburbanization and white flight, now revitalized with new residents and businesses.  This tour will take us through Columbus urban history with a focus on what was lost and what private and public initiatives have helped turned the city center around. We’ll end by crossing into the frontier of urban revival in east Franklinton for presentations at the Ohio State University STEAM Factory: an innovative interdisciplinary collaborative located in a once-abandoned factory now used as artist and studio space.

The tour will include around two hours of walking, talking, and sites (depending on weather) and then a stop at the STEAM Factory.  Many public and private travel options are available from east Franklinton back to the hotel. Participants are also encouraged to stick around in the neighborhood for the local Franklinton Fridays event (

Note that this tour will begin at 1:30pm and does not include lunch. 


Field Trip #6 Brewery District Food and Drink Walking Tour

Leader: Jim Ellison

Description: The Brewery District Walking tour travels one of the oldest areas of the city while discussing the pre-prohibition history of the area which was home to the majority of Columbus breweries from 1836 to 1919. We also explore the present, visiting five area hotspots: Rockmill Tavern (the taproom for Rockmill Brewery, voted a top 10 restaurant since 2016), The Daily Growler (craft beer destination), Antiques on High (sour beer facility and bar for Seventh Son Brewing), Arepazo (an immigrant success story featuring South American cuisine and cocktails), and the Brick Restaurant (which takes guests back 150 years in time in on old brewery space). Tour includes beer and food samples at each stop. Meet at Rockmill Tavern at 1:30pm, a 1.4 mile walk from the Hyatt, or a short ride door-to-door on the free CBUS Downtown Circulator.


Field Trip #7 Urban Agriculture Tour (Columbus and Mansfield)

Leaders: Mike Hogan, Franklin County Extension, Urban Agriculture; Kip Curtis, Ohio State University

Sponsored by inFACT

As food systems shift to create more security and resilience in production systems, urban farming is emerging as a robust alternative. Ohio State University is partnering with its six campus communities to help jumpstart local food systems as a way of enhancing its Land Grant mission in the 21st century and as an acknowledgement of the community innovation that has been underway for more than a decade.  We will learn about these initiatives while visiting six differently-scaled and =focused urban farming operations in Columbus.  Lunch will be provided.


Sunday Trips, All Day, April 14

Field Trip #1 Cleveland's Reborn Cuyahoga River

Leader: David Stradling, University of Cincinnati 

Visit Cleveland's industrial, postindustrial, and gentrifying landscape along the famed Cuyahoga River. Since catching fire for the last time in 1969, Cleveland's crooked river has witnessed a remarkable rebirth, led by improved water quality, expanded recreational spaces, and new commercial and residential investment. The tour, led by David Stradling, co-author of Where the River Burned: Carl Stokes and the Struggle to Save Cleveland, will visit key sites along the river, including active steel mills, the former location of Standard Oil's Refinery No. 1, the Edgewater Beach on Lake Erie, and a stop at the historic West Side Market. Trip includes bus transportation. 8:15 am – approximately 5:00 pm.


Field Trip #2 Mining Communities of Southeast Ohio

Leaders: Victoria Lee, Ohio University; John Winnenberg, Sunday Creek Associates; Cheryl Blosser, New Straitsville History Group and Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council; Michelle Shively, Rural Action 

This is a post-conference tour of the mining towns of southeast Ohio, which rose up in Appalachia’s coal boom era (1870-1925). Known as the “Little Cities of Black Diamonds,” the newly formed coal towns were settled by thousands of European immigrants as well as African Americans from the South. They took a pioneering role in the nation’s early labor union movement, and were home to one of the nation’s first environmental clean-ups in the New Deal era when CCC and WPA work crews helped create the Wayne National Forest. We leave Columbus at 8:00 am. Guided by representatives from local nonprofit organizations (Sunday Creek Associates and the Little Cities of Black Diamonds Council), we travel to New Straitsville, birthplace of the nation’s once most powerful union, the United Mine Workers of America. We then visit Shawnee, where the restored Tecumseh Theater showcases the distinctive architecture from the era, stopping for lunch. We end our tour with a guided visit to Corning’s new pilot-scale acid mine drainage pigment facility (a joint project between Ohio University faculty and nonprofit organization Rural Action’s Sunday Creek Watershed Group), an environmental remediation plant that takes the polluting iron runoff from old mines into streams and converts it into commercial artist-grade paint pigment, before heading back to Columbus to return by 3:30 pm. Costs include transportation, guides, and lunch.

Note: Participants will need to walk up a flight of outdoor stairs at the New Straitsville site. The New Straitsville site will be partly or mostly outdoors, so participants should dress for the weather.

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news and events
Click here for the Call for Papers for ASEH 2020 in Ottawa. Submission deadline EXTENDED to July 26, 2019.
Click here to read ASEH comment regarding the Department of Interior's Request for Records Disposition Authority to NARA

Click here for information on ASEH's 2019 conference. Join us in Columbus!

Click here to read about how environmental history is "the field with the largest proportional expansion" in the last 40 years.

Click here to view the latest bulletin from the International Consortium of EH Organizations (ICEHO).

Are you an ASEH member interested in hosting our annual conference? Click here for more info.

conference sponsors

NIpissing University is hosting ASEH's 2020 conference in Ottawa, Canada.

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With generous support from the Canada Research Chairs

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and Ingenium - Canada's Museums of Science and Innovation

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