All posts in Teaching

File Jul 05, 12 46 22 PM

Five-and-a-Half Things I Learned Teaching My First Course

I’m part of the relative minority of academics who chose the academy because they want to teach. I went to graduate school without a clear picture of what historians do […]

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Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: The Berger Report at 40 and An Experiment, Part II

A few months ago, I wrote about a teaching experiment involving digital humanities, two classes, and the fortieth anniversary of the Berger Report (formally, Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: The Report […]

Covers from the Canadian history textbooks written for the BC Open Textbook Project.

Creating an Environment for Environmental History: The Open Textbook Project

Writing a survey text (or two) on Canadian history presents peculiar challenges. No one can be expert in all areas and subfields and, in our post-Who Killed? discipline, the subfields […]

Berger Inquiry hearing at Wrigley, NWT, 1975 (Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre)

Northern Frontier, Northern Homeland: The Berger Report at 40, and an Experiment

  In March 1974, Justice Thomas Berger of the Supreme Court of British Columbia was commissioned by Pierre Trudeau’s Liberal government to study the environmental, economic, and social effects of […]


Teaching Media Literacy Through Environmental Disaster: The Kalamazoo River Oil Spill

As we entered the Age of Trump, university educators justifiably questioned what they could do in the classroom to address the “post-truth” state of North American public discourse. Opinion pieces made […]

A view of San Pablo, the site of ASU Tempe Campus, c1908. LOC 6a16978u

Teaching Historical GIS and Restoring Lost Communities in the Classroom

Canadians have been hitting above their weight in the area of geospatial analysis since the development of the Canada Land Inventory and the world’s first Geographic Information System (GIS) in […]

Stairs and Maple Leaves, Naggobot, Flickr

Greatest Hits in Canadian Environmental History, Part II

Which pre-1990 readings in Canadian environmental history are NiCHE editors still actively using in their courses? On Monday, we heard from Sean, Claire, and Alan. Today, Dan, Josh, and I offer […]

Maple fallen leaves before the frost, Ctd 2005, Flickr

Greatest Hits in Canadian Environmental History, Part I

When crafting syllabi, writing lectures, or helping students navigate through stacks of scholarly literature for their research papers, many of us will instinctively reach for newly or recently published books […]

"Mongolia climate change and adaptation" Source: Asian Development Bank

Teaching Climate History in a Warming World

This semester, I taught my first course devoted exclusively to the environmental history of climate change. The course was, as one of my senior auditors pointed out, unusually ambitious. Luckily, […]

Daniel Macfarlane's ENVS 1100 class at Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore in Fall 2015

The Grass Is Always Greener?: A Historian Teaching in Environmental Studies

I’m going to start by making an assertion: I prefer teaching in environmental studies over teaching in a history department. There are two main reasons: 1) I get to focus […]

Waiting for Santa, 1954, Glenbow Museum (Calgary)

Christmas Wish List

Besides peace on earth, infrastructure powered by renewables, and a gift card to the local independent organic café, what would you, as teachers of environmental history, want for Christmas? What […]

Ranching country, south of Longview, Alberta

Twelve Days of Christmas and Cowboys (II)

This is the second half of twelve “lessons” from a new class I team-taught this semester with a professor in Film and Media Studies, on environments of the North American […]