From: Lisa Mighetto <>
Subject: ASEH News Spring 2011
in this issue:
president's column: why attend conferences?
the profession: making a mark in Madison
member news
announcements: ASEH's Toronto conference call for proposals, call for nominations for ASEH's next election, award submission instructions, and more
for students
our 2012 conference is just one week away...
quick links:



don't miss:


Plenary session and roundtable discussion honoring the  50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, March 29


Tales from Planet Earth Environmental Film Festival, including special films on Silent Spring and toxics in film, following plenary session and reception, March 29



2 films and commentary: "Through Tribal Eyes" (film on climate change and sustainable development, College of Menominee Nation) and "The Last Menominee" (historical film on termination) - organized by ASEH's Diversity Committee, March 30


For a full schedule of the film festival, click the link below:  

Sponsored by Bradshaw-Knight Foundation


tickets still available for these conference events:


Field trip and restoration workshop to Leopold Shack and Leopold Center on March 28

Forest History Society lunch on March 29

Outreach breakfast on March 30

Field trips to Arboretum (environmental literature), Horicon Marsh (birding), and Forest Products Lab (no fee!) on March 30

Hal Rothman Fun(d) Run  and Walk to benefit dissertation fellowship on March 31

Buffet dinner party and bluegrass music on Saturday evening, March 31

Click here for online registration form.

Spring has arrived in Madison, and it's 75 degrees this week.


after the conference:

We will post conference highlights, including excerpts from the plenary session and a summary of conference events, on our website in early April. See:
future conferences:


April 3-6, 2013
Click here for Call for Proposals [submissions due June 15, 2012]


San Francisco
March 12-16, 2014


If you are interested in hosting an ASEH conference, please contact Sarah Elkind, chair, Site Selection Committee, at 



A year after the triple disaster in Japan the current issue of our journal (April) brings together five scholars to examine the causes and lessons for future nuclear development. Click here for more info. on the journal. Click here if to renew your membership/subscription with ASEH.

aseh news:
Published quarterly by the American Society for Environmental History. If you have an article, announcement, or an item for the "member news" section of our next newsletter, send to
by June 8, 2012.



aseh news

spring 2012            volume 23, issue 1

president's column: why attend conferences?

In a matter of days, more than 500 members of ASEH will gather in Madison, Wisconsin. One has to wonder why.

I allude not to the possibility of icy blasts from Manitoba buffeting us when we step outside. Nowadays, we are as likely to be bathed in balmy breezes in Madison in late March. No, I refer to the idea of gathering.

Archeologists and anthropologists tell us that mobile peoples - the ASEH clan surely qualifies - have organized periodic gatherings for at least 50,000 years. At such affairs, people connect with kin and friends, share food, drink, gossip and other useful information, and celebrate rituals. So there is some weight of tradition behind our habit. But in the 21st century, when it is easy to phone, text, e-mail, skype, and tele-conference, should this venerable tradition not be consigned to the (overflowing) dustbin of history?  After all, most of us will spend money we can ill afford, and add egregiously to our carbon footprint to get to Madison. 

According to the IPCC, aviation contributes about 3.5% of all "radiative forcing," that is, the changes to atmospheric chemistry that enhance the greenhouse effect and warm the planet.  British Airways estimates that large jetliners emit about 0.1kg of CO2 per passenger per kilometer flown. If, say, 400 of us fly an average of 1,000 kilometers to get to Madison (an unscientific guess), we will add 40 tons of CO2 to the atmosphere. Airliners emit other greenhouse gases besides CO2. And some of us will drive cars to get to Madison. All in all, one has to wonder why we do it.


I know why I do it. Like my ancestors of 50,000 years ago, I derive great benefit and satisfaction from connecting periodically with a large clan. I listen to presentations that might never be published, but still interest and instruct me. I fall into casual conversation with folks and learn who is doing what amazing new research. I see new books a little earlier than I would otherwise, which sometimes turns out to be just in time. I meet new members of the ASEH clan whom I otherwise might never encounter.


And I meet up with stalwarts of the tribe, and enjoy sharing food and - once in a blue moon - a drink with them. Some of this I could do without making the trip to the annual meeting. But most of it can only be done by being there. So, for the same reasons, more or less, that moved our forebears to trek across desert sands and wade icy torrents, I will brave the airways. You will, I hope, have your own reasons to join in the gathering of the clan, perhaps including a visit to Aldo Leopold's shack, John Muir's childhood home, or Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin. I hope to see you in Madison!

-John McNeill
President, ASEH

[Note: ASEH's online conference registration form includes an option to purchase carbon credits.]

the profession: making a mark in Madison - suggestions for a successful conference presentation

by Lawrence Culver, Utah State University (Madison conference program committee chair)

So you are headed to Madison to present as part of a session at ASEH - congratulations! Perhaps you are a conference veteran, or maybe this will be your first presentation ever. In either case, here are some things to keep in mind.
Watch your time!
It is ASEH policy that every one-and-a-half hour session includes at least 30 minutes for discussion. Paper presenters should aim for 15 minutes, and roundtable presenters significantly less. Don't be a time hog - it's inconsiderate to both your co-presenters and the audience. If the chair signals for you to wrap it up, do so. On a related note, if your session has a commentator, be sure to send your paper to them well ahead of the conference.

Practice makes perfect:
If you are reading a paper, read it out loud and time yourself. A typed, double-spaced page takes approximately two minutes for most speakers. No one enjoys a speed-reading, or a presenter who seems surprised that their overlong paper is exactly that. If you are instead speaking extemporaneously from a series of bullet points, practice for time as well.

Allow time for audiovisual elements:
Are you using a PowerPoint presentation, playing a sound or video clip, or have a handout? Those can greatly enrich a presentation, but be sure to build them into your estimated presentation time.

Be flexible:
If you have a tech glitch - a projector won't work, or a video won't play - don't waste lots of time struggling with technology. Be prepared to do without if you have to.

Remember your audience:
Attendees to your session are interested in your topic, but probably not experts in it. If you use highly specific terms, or are discussing little-known historical events, explain them. Put things in a broader perspective to make your talk accessible.

So what's the point?
What makes your research original and exciting?  Don't try to compress an entire book or dissertation into 15 minutes. Instead, pick a case study or a few highlights to focus on, and keep the big picture in mind. How does your presentation provide the audience with a clear sense of your research, and its significance?

Be comfortable and confident!
You are the expert on your topic, and you are presenting cutting-edge research to an interested audience. They want to hear you and your ideas! Speak clearly, project so that everyone can hear you, and make eye contact. Above all, be relaxed and confident - we are all excited to hear what you have to say!
member news
The 2011 Elinor Melville Prize for the best book in Latin American  environmental history, which is given by the Conference on Latin  American History (CLAH), was awarded to Mark Carey for his book In the  Shadow of Melting Glaciers: Climate Change and Andean Society (Oxford  University Press, 2010). 
Steven H. Corey, Worcester State University, was awarded the 2011 William Gilbert Award for Best Article on Teaching History from the American Historical Association at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the AHA in Chicago by incoming AHA President William Cronon. Corey won the Gilbert Award for "Pedagogy and Place: Merging Urban History and Environment History with Active Learning," Journal of Urban History 36, no. 1 (January 2010): 1-14, which describes his experiences having students conduct hands-on research with urban environmental projects in Worcester, Massachusetts and other New England communities.


Call for Proposals for ASEH's next conference in Toronto

The deadline for
Toronto conference submissions is June 15, 2012. Click here for more info.
Call for Nominations for ASEH's next election

ASEH's next election will take place in the winter of 2013, and our nominating committee is now considering a slate of candidates. If you have suggestions for candidates for the executive committee or nominating committee, please contact
by August 31, 2012. Click here to view current members of the executive committee.

We also encourage nominations for ASEH's distinguished scholar and distinguished service awards. Click here for more info.

ASEH awards submissions - 1st notice

This year's prize committees will evaluate submissions (published books and articles and completed dissertations) that appear between November 1, 2011 and October 31, 2012.

Send three copies of each submission (these must be hard copies, or paper copies, except for dissertations) by November 9, 2012 to:

Lisa Mighetto, ASEH, UW Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences Program, University of Washington, 1900 Commerce Street, Tacoma, WA 98402

Articles that appeared in our journal, Environmental History, are automatically considered by our journal's editorial board, and there is no need to submit copies for the Leopold-Hidy Prize.

Electronic submission of dissertations:
We will also accept electronic submissions of your dissertation, if your dissertation was approved between Nov. 1, 2011 and Oct. 31, 2012. Submit in pdf format as a single file less than 5 megabytes in size to by November 9, 2012.
Post doctoral fellowship available, Histories of the North, Florida State University. Click here for more info. 
Spaces of (Dis)location: Call for Papers 
The College of Arts, University of Glasgow, is excited to announce Spaces of (Dis)location, a two-day multidisciplinary graduate conference taking place on 24th - 25th May 2012.  Please submit abstracts or proposals of no more than 250 words as e-mail attachments to:  Include a 50-word biography and specify which presentation format you would like to use.
Deadline for submissions is Friday 9th March 2012.
More information regarding the conference (including information on accommodation and transportation) can be found on the conference's Wordpress page:

HSS 2012 Annual Meeting: Call for Papers
San Diego, CA, USA, 15-18 November 2012
(Joint meeting with PSA)
The History of Science Society will hold its 2012 Annual Meeting in the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina. We will be meeting with our colleagues from the Philosophy of Science
Association All proposals (sessions, contributed papers, and posters) must be submitted by 2 April 2012 to the History of Science Society's Executive Office (short abstract, up to 250 words). Poster proposals must describe the visual
material that will make up the poster. 
Submissions on all topics are encouraged. All proposals must be submitted on the HSS Web site
The 24th International Congress of History of Science, Technology and Medicine
University of Manchester, 22-28 July 2013. The theme of the meeting is 'Knowledge at Work' and preliminary details of the Congress, including key dates for the submission of proposals for panels and papers, can be found at
The call for submissions is now open and the deadline is Monday 30 April 2012. Further details can be found at


for students

ASEH's 2012 graduate student liaison is

Kara Schlichting, a Ph.D. candidate at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Her research focuses on urban-suburban, regional planning, and environmental history. Kara currently lives in New York City.


If you have questions or suggestions for graduate student activities and programs, contact

ASEH's Madison conference will include a graduate student reception at the Wisconsin Historical Museum on Friday evening, March 30 and a career workshop on Saturday morning, March 31. See conference program for more details.


aseh news is a publication of the American Society for Environmental History
John McNeill, Georgetown University, President
Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Vice President/President Elect 
Mark Madison, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Treasurer
Ellen Stroud, Bryn Mawr College, Secretary

Executive Committee:
Sterling Evans, University of Oklahoma
Sara Gregg, University of Kansas
Marcus Hall, University of Zurich
Tina Loo, University of British Columbia
Linda Nash, University of Washington
Louis Warren, University of California-Davis
Graeme Wynn, Univeristy of British Columbia
Ex Officio, Past Presidents:
Nancy Langston, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Stephen Pyne, Arizona State University
Harriet Ritvo, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Ex Officio, Editor, Environmental History:
Nancy Langston, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ex Officio, Executive Director and Editor, ASEH News:
Lisa Mighetto, University of Washington-Tacoma
Graduate Student Liaison:
Kara Schlichting, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

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