New born Frisian red white calf. Source: Wikipedia

Welcome to the NiCHE 2.0 Website

New born Frisian red white calf. Source: Wikipedia

Earlier in 2013 we promised to rebuild the original NiCHE website on a WordPress platform; the goal was to make a great website better, simpler, and more sustainable. Like a dad in a delivery room, I get to announce something exciting and pretend I contributed something meaningful to its birth! The “NiCHE 2.0” website committee is pleased to announce that that we have launched the new site and we invite you to explore it here at the same url (http://niche-canada.org). The committee consisted of Jim Clifford, Sean Kheraj and myself, and we couldn’t have done it without the help of Alan MacEachern, William Turkel, Adam Crymble and our developer Mission Specialist.

Please take a look around and share the announcement on social media, update your RSS feeds, and let us know what you think in a message on the contact form or to the committee’s gmail address (nichecanadawebsite@gmail.com).

What’s New?

The WordPress theme we selected looks great on mobile devices, and the WordPress editor makes it even easier to post articles, images, events, media, and comments. The theme features large dynamic images on most blog posts and events, and it displays a carousel of recent posts across the header of the landing page.

All members of the NiCHE community are invited to set up an account and contribute environmental history news and content to the site. If you had an account on the old website you will receive an email inviting you to log in and update your password, profile, and contact information. This will let you sign in and leave comments, post articles, and upload media so that others can see what you’ve been thinking and follow your social media links to other websites.

Two of our most popular features, The Otter and the Qu’est-ce qui se passe group blogs, are now combined as one blog: “The Otter ~ La Loutre.” If you would like to contribute material to these blogs at any time, in French or English, please contact one of the blog editors (for French posts please contact Maude Flamand Hubert and for English contact Josh MacFadyen). We generally look for original research, methods, or opinion pieces related to environmental history. The target length is 1,000 words, and we strongly encourage the inclusion of high quality photographs or creative-commons images (note the image size limit is 10MB).

Our multimedia content such as the Nature’s Past podcasts and EHTV videos have a new look, and are featured on the Media page. Sean Kheraj continues to lead the podcast, and we can easily feature great video content embedded in posts and uploaded via EHTV – enviro-cinematographers take note!

The website contains a new feature called Digital Tools, which will highlight some of the best of the digital infrastructure project as well as new HGIS material being created by the project leads, Dan Macfarlane, Josh MacFadyen, and Jim Clifford.

This site will also be easier to administer in the future, using WordPress plugins and updates, and running on a light-weight server. As Alan MacEachern noted earlier this year, “rather than hosting bulky archived audio, video, and photo files ourselves, we’ll be archiving them in Internet Archive, YouTube, and/or Flickr as appropriate and linking to them there. For those of who have contributed such files or are the subject of such files, don’t worry, we’re storing a copy of everything off-site – just in case YouTube goes belly-up anytime soon – and we’d be happy to give you a copy, too. Going forward, we’re still happy to take your environmental history related audio, video, or photo files, but they’ll be going directly onto one of these sites (don’t worry, we’ll do that) and linked from our page, rather than be hosted by us.”

The best of the past

We continue to migrate the older material from the old NiCHE website, including NiCHE event pages, scholars profiles, and old posts and projects. Unfortunately, many of the links to your favourite content will now be broken. We will redirect some of the more commonly accessed links, but we strongly encourage you to revise your CV’s and websites so that readers will get sent to the right place.

Please take a look around and take note of what you like, and what you think is missing. This is a work in progress, and we appreciate your patience as the final stages of migration are completed. If you have questions about the new website please email them to nichecanadawebsite@gmail.com .

Your old user account has been added to the site and it will work just like any WordPress account. Thanks to those who replied to emails back in September, many of your accounts will be the same as your existing WordPress account. The first NiCHE member directory is being rebuilt and replaced by a brand new directory. We will develop this soon, so if you are interested in being added to the directory please subscribe to the news feed and stay tuned for the directory announcement.

Accessing the new site for the first time

Starting a new account

  • Anyone can join the NiCHE website as a new user using this link. If you think you already had a NiCHE account please see “Reactivating your old NiCHE account,” below.
  • Enter a new username and email address, enter the captcha code to prove you’re a human, and click on ‘Register’.
  • Follow the link you will receive in your email and log into the site with your new username and the password supplied in the email. Change your password and update your short bio, social media, and institutional affiliation.
  • Even if you are already familiar with setting up an account on WordPress, please take a look at this shared document for additional instructions on how to personalize your account. The NiCHE website will display your short bio, social media, and institutional affiliation in a small “author box” associated with anything you post to the site. You can also disable this option here.
  • Alternatively, we can create user accounts for you, but it will take longer. To request an account please send us a note using our contact form (provide your current email address in the form) and we will send you an invitation.

Reactivating your old NiCHE account

  • Navigate to niche-canada.org, scroll to the right sidebar, find the login option at the bottom, and click on ‘lost password’. (If you are using a mobile device and there is no sidebar, navigate to niche-canada.org/wp-admin instead and click on ‘lost password’.)
  • Enter your existing NiCHE username or the email address associated with your old account, and click on ‘get new password’.
  • Check the inbox of the email address you had associated with your oldNiCHE user account. You will receive an email with the title ‘[NiCHE] Password Reset’. Open it and click on the link under ‘To reset your password, visit the following address:’. (If you cannot find this email, you may need to look in your spam folder.)
  • When you click on the link, you will be taken to a screen where you can input a password of your choosing. Once you have selected one, your password will be reset and you can now log in with your new password.

Posting on NiCHE 2.0

Over the next few weeks we will be posting best practice guides for uploading material to the site, but in the meanwhile there are many excellent WordPress guides to help you get started. For example, here is the WordPress codex entry on ‘writing posts.’ For now we hope you will log in and update your profile, take a look around, comment on a post, subscribe to the RSS feed, and watch for updates.

If you haven’t received an invitation to log in, it may have gone to your old, defunct email. See “Accessing the new site” above.

Help us Build Canadian Environmental History

Want to follow the new site’s content? Subscribe to the RSS feed.

Want to keep others updated on your research and social media? Update your profile (or request a new account after 4 November) and stay active on the website.

Want to contribute a post? Contact the editors of “The Otter ~ La Loutre

Want to comment on someone’s post or page? Log in and leave a note.

Want to contribute an event? Watch this page for the best practices.

Have a comment about the NiCHE website? Use our contact form

Have a digital tool for environmental history? Share it with our digital tools team.

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I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Humanities in the School of Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies and the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University. As co-investigator on the Sustainable Farm Systems Project (based at the University of Saskatchewan) I am building on the work of the Great Plains Population and Environment Project, conducting new research in agriculture on the Plains and my own case study of Prince Edward Island. From 2010-2014 I was a SSHRC postdoctoral fellow and then NiCHE project coordinator.

8 Comments

  1. Sean Kheraj says:

    Hooray! The new site looks terrific. Congratulations all around to everyone on the team.

  2. Thanks, Sean. I’m looking forward to seeing the new features on Nature’s Past podcasts – hopefully the new site will do it justice.

  3. I can comment with my Twitter account.

  4. Sean Kheraj says:

    Yes! Users can now comment using a variety of online accounts, including WordPress, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

  5. Ben Bradley says:

    looks sharp!
    one idea: whilst rebuilding / relocating / updating the NiCHE directory, you might want to reach out and see if it can be expanded too.

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