All posts in The Otter

Image Credit: Richard Huffstutter, "Hot Dogs on City Beach, Laguna, CA," 2009, available at

Hot Dog Stands and “Overcivilized Beaches”

  “From the heat and horror of the roads, from the fumes of a thousand exhausts—‘pure, ethereal gale,’ forsooth!—from all hot-dog stands, wayside ‘shoppes’ and traffic jams, good Lord, deliver us!”[1] […]

Dutch whalers at Spitsbergen in the seventeenth century. Abraham Storck, “Walvisvangst bij de kust van Spitsbergen,” 1690

How Should We Measure Climate Change? What the Past Can Tell Us

Last month, world leaders met at UN Headquarters in New York City for Climate Summit 2014. As protests raged across the globe, diplomats established the framework for a major climate […]

"Pleasant relaxation at Sunny Trails," Sunbathing for Health 11, no.9, April 1958

The Naked Truth about Conferences

This is the 8th in a series of posts written by recipients of NiCHE New Scholar Travel Grants to attend the World Congress of Environmental History in Guimarães, Portugal.   […]

Trudeau on Nahanni River, 1970

Portrait of a Country: Images for Teaching Canada

In the first installment of this three-part series, I shared eleven of my favourite images for teaching about Canada’s attempts to acquire the continental interior, particularly the prairie west, in […]

Parcs Canada. Lieu historique national de la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg, Nouvelle-Écosse. Thierry Boyer, 2013.

Des capsules temporelles sous l’eau

Je tiens à remercier Charles Dagneau, archéologue subaquatique à Parcs Canada, pour la généreuse entrevue qui a permis la rédaction de cette chronique.   Il y a plusieurs semaines déjà, […]

"Read II" by Daniel Go

#EnvHist Worth Reading: September 2014

Every month we 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. This month […]

6.6 Welland lock myphoto

Finding the Welland Canals

Version 1.0 of the Welland Canal, Canada’s competitor to the Erie Canal, was built privately in the 1820s to circumnavigate the route between lakes Erie and Ontario.  A little something called Niagara […]


Review: Historical GIS Research in Canada

  Jennifer Bonnell and Marcel Fortin, eds. Historical GIS Research in Canada. Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 2014. 322 pp. $39.95 (paperback) ISBN: 978-1-55238-708-5; Free (PDF) ISBN: 978-1-55238-744-3. Reviewed By: Jessica […]

Plan of River Lots in the Parishes of St John, St. James and St Boniface (1874)

Portrait of a Country: Images for Teaching Canada

A few weeks ago Alan MacEachern asked the twitterverse for a “great, all-purpose Canadian #envhist image.” (He’s good for easy questions like that.) At the same time, I started teaching […]

“Isn’t it nice to get away from it all?”  Edmonton Journal, 20 August 1970. Courtesy of Edd Uluschak and Simon Fraser University Editorial Cartoon collection.

Rowdy Parks: Towards a More Popular Culture of Nature in Postwar Canada

This is the 7th in a series of posts written by recipients of NiCHE New Scholar Travel Grants to attend the World Congress of Environmental History in Guimarães, Portugal.   […]

"Cavaliers Québec 2014-03-22" by Asclepias - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Thinking About Teaching

This is the first in a regular series of posts on teaching environmental history and the humanities, edited by Claire Campbell. If you would like to contribute a post to the […]

cover Ontario Conservation book, 1950

NiCHE ~ Succession

September 21, 2004 could reasonably be called the day that both my daughter Sadie and NiCHE were born. Picture the scene: A newly-assembled crib in one corner of the room. […]