All posts in The Otter

Ontario Quebec Border

Lake Abitibi Revisited

As a Master’s student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Environmental History appeared to me as something of a revelation.  Here was a discipline that combined the scope and grandeur of […]

A page from William McKay’s “List of Indians trading at Fort Ellice” in Fort Ellice ledger, 1866-1868. HBCA B.63/d/11 fos. 12d-13. Courtesy of Hudson’s Bay Company Archives, Archives of Manitoba.

William McKay’s Character Book: Tracing Environmental Change in Archival Fragments

Through a sheer accident of history, a document useful for better understanding environmental change survived the test of time. Just after World War I, a farm boy digging around the […]


Nature’s Past – Episode 46: Historical GIS Research in Canada

Episode 46: Historical GIS Research in Canada, 26 January 2015 [38:27] Download Audio In recent years, environmental historians and other historians have been working with maps in new ways. Specifically, they […]


Review: Forest Prairie Edge

Reviewed By: Naomi Horst (University of Guelph) Published: The Otter-NiCHE (December, 2014) Merle Massie, Forest Prairie Edge: Place History in Saskatchewan. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2014. 336 pp. $27.95 […]

Frontispiece. C.R.Chisholm’s All-round route guide (Montreal, Que.: Montreal Printing and Publish. Co., 1869). From the collection of Library and Archives of Canada.

Canada by Photograph: Instructed Looking and Tourism of the 19th-century Canadian Landscape

By the end of the nineteenth century Canadians were beginning to discover and define themselves through their experiences with natural landscapes. Advancements in photographic technology combined with photography’s growing popularity […]

Science happens here too. Salmon Coast Field Station, British Columbia. Photo: Stephen Bocking.

Landscapes of Science

Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of posts considering the intersection between environmental history and the histories of science, technology, and medicine. On Canada’s west coast an archipelago of […]

Snowmobiling. Credit: Jonas Bengtsson.

To Sled or Not to Sled: Boundaries and Borders in Canada’s Winter Playgrounds

You haven’t seen Saskatchewan until you’ve seen it from a snowmobile. Explore millions of acres of open land, zip across thousands of kilometres of groomed and signed trails, and be […]

Lemon Creek, Staten Island, New York, "Under Rossville Avenue, a clogged control structure filters the water out of a small pond." Photo Credit: Nathan Kensinger

#EnvHist Worth Reading: December 2014

Every month I carefully track the most popular and significant environmental history articles, videos, audio, and other items making their way through the online environmental history (#envhist) community. Here are […]

Source: Flickr Commons

Lessons Learned from 18 Months of Trial-By-Fire Teaching

In the summer of 2013 I took up a two-year teaching fellowship with the Wilson Institute for Canadian History at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The position required me to […]

"Calendar" by Dafne Cholet

The Otter~La Loutre: Top Five Posts of 2014

2014 was a big year for The Otter~La Loutre. We completed our first full year on WordPress, we adopted a new editorial collective model for publishing (thanks to our great team […]

Sunset glows through blowing chaff, near Hardisty, Alberta. Photo: Andrew Marcille.

Musings on a Postmodern Prairie Harvest

or, What happens when you put an environmental historian behind the wheel of a $300,000 combine for twelve hours a day by Andrew Marcille While farming, I often remember John […]


Histoire véritable et naturelle des moeurs et productions du pays de la Nouvelle-France vulgairement dite le Canada

Pierre Boucher, Histoire véritable et naturelle des mœurs et productions du pays de la Nouvelle-France vulgairement dite le Canada, Texte établi en français moderne par Pierre Benoit, Septentrion, 2014, 191 […]