Nature’s Past – Episode 6: Teaching Environmental History Special

Nature’s Past Episode  06 – click to play | right click, ‘save as’ to download

Teaching environmental history at the undergraduate level poses several challenges for instructors in this burgeoning subfield of history. As more and more universities add environmental history courses to their calendars, it is important to take some time to reflect on how we teach environmental history. This special episode of the podcast on teaching draws from the experiences of four environmental history instructors from the University of British Columbia: Matthew Evenden, Eagle Glassheim, Sean Kheraj, and Tina Loo.

Also, we speak with Alan MacEachern, co-editor of Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History, about textbooks in the field.

Works Cited:

  • Feldman, James and Lynne Heasley.’Recentering North American Environmental History: Pedagogy and Scholarship in the Great Lakes Region’ Environmental History 12 (4) 2007: 951-958.
  • Langston, Nancy. ‘On Teaching World Forest History’ Environmental History 10 (1) 2005: 20-29.
  • Lewis, Michael. ‘This class will write a book’: An Experiment in Environmental History Pedagogy Environmental History 9 (4) 2004: 604-619.
  • Steinberg, Ted. Down to Earth: Nature’s Role in American History 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
  • Blackburn, David. Conquest of Nature: Water, Landscape, and the Making of Modern Germany New York: Norton, 2006.
  • McNeill, John R. Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World New York: Norton, 2000.
  • Gaffield, Chad and Pamela Gaffield Consuming Canada: Readings in Environmental History Mississauga: Copp Clark, 1995.
  • Duke, David Freeland. Canadian Environmental History: Essential Readings Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2006.
  • Wynn, Graeme. Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio, 2007.
  • MacEachern, Alan and William J. Turkel. Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History Toronto: Nelson Education, 2009.

Music Credits:

Other Contributor(s): 
  • Matthew Evenden
  • Eagle Glassheim
  • Tina Loo
  • Alan MacEachern

Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 6: Teaching Environmental History Special.” Nature’s Past. 19 May 2009.

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Sean Kheraj is an associate professor in the Department of History at York University. He researches and teaches in the areas of environmental and Canadian history. In addition to being a co-editor of, he is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at

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