All posts in The Otter


Eco-Cultural Networks and the British Empire: New Views on Environmental History

James Beattie, Edward Melillo, and Emily O’Gorman Introduction Nineteenth-century British imperial expansion dramatically shaped today‘s globalised world. Imperialism encouraged millions of people to migrate and forced millions to move. It […]

fantastic five 5

Fantastic, Five

A big congratulations to not one, not two, not three, not four — ok, not seventeen — but five NiCHE stalwarts who landed potentially-permanent gigs this spring — including four tenure-track positions! Congratulations […]

America Guided by Wisdom, John J. Barralet (1820)

Postcards from America II

It’s the end of the semester here, finally,* so I can stop that frantic new-class routine of doing the reading the morning of night before and think back over the […]

The dikes are still visible today at the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area.  Photo: Anne Dance

Dikes, Ducks, and Dams: An Unpredictable Environmental History of Creston Flats, 1883-2014

Ronald Rudin recently posted on Acadian aboiteaux farming in New Brunswick, a practice that became a central part of Acadian identity. In Creston, a small town in southeastern British Columbia, […]

Go Home Bay, Georgian Bay, Ont. Credit: Frank W. Micklethwaite/Library and Archives Canada/PA-068493.

A Landscape of Science: The Go Home Bay Biological Station

Editor’s note: This is the fourth in a series of posts considering the intersection between environmental history and the histories of science, technology, and medicine. Previous posts are here, here, and here. Stephen Bocking’s […]

Oil spill cleanup in West Vancouver at Ambleside, 1973. Source: John Denniston

Burrard Inlet, Beaches, and Oil Spills: A Historical Perspective

Last week, British Columbians once again witnessed the effects of oil on Burrard Inlet. Local authorities cautioned residents to avoid the water along the shores in Vancouver and West Vancouver after a […]

Figure 2: Smallpox Vaccine Unit (Preparation Room). 1918 Photograph Album, Sanofi Pasteur Canada (Connaught Campus), Toronto, Archives.

Animal Matter: The Making of ‘Pure’ Bovine Vaccine at the Connaught Laboratories and Farm at the Turn of the Century

This post was originally published on as part of a special theme week on #InfectiousHistory. Our thanks to Joanna Dean and to the editors of the theme week, Ian Mosby, […]

Stuck sidewalk plow, Halifax, March 2015. Source: Flickr, urbanmkr

Extraordinary Storm, Ordinary Measures: The March 2015 Halifax Snowstorm

As those in Halifax know, snow is an unavoidable characteristic of the northern city. It falls every year and every so often in such great amounts as to shut down […]

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) Photo: Sara Spike

Phenology and Local Knowledge in Early Twentieth-Century Rural Nova Scotia

In the coastal village of West Petpeswick, Halifax County, Nova Scotia, Ella Gaetz and her students found their first mayflowers of 1901 on March 24. In the Acadian community of […]

Aerial View of Johannesburg Illustrates Divide Between Wealthy Neighborhoods with Trees and Barren Poorer Neighborhoods. Source: Flickr/ Michis

#EnvHist Worth Reading: March 2015

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. Also check […]

An artist imagines what Mars once looked like. Credit: ESO/M. Kornmesser/N. Risinger (

Towards a Climate History of the Solar System

Climate historians explore how climate change influenced human history. Until now, their research has investigated environmental changes on Earth, and with good reason. Many examine how climate change affected human beings […]

Source: W.W. Baird, Report on Dykeland Reclamation, 1913 to 1952 (Ottawa: Department of Agriculture, Experimental Farms Service, 1954), 8

Les Acadiens et leurs aboiteaux

Par Ronald Rudin, Université Concordia L’objet physique lié de plus près à l’histoire acadienne a été conçu pour transformer l’environnement. Contrairement aux Européens qui se sont établis ailleurs en Amérique du […]