Environmental History Slidecasts

NiCHE has archived 3 slidecasts related to environmental history. These slidecasts were created by NiCHE members in the autumn of 2009.

Citation: MacEachern, Alan. “Biography of M.B. Williams” November 2009.
Running Time: 5:00
Bio: Alan MacEachern is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario as well as the Director of the Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE)
Abstract: This is a biography of Mabel — MB — Williams, who as a civil servant and author of guidebooks for Parks Canada, was instrumental in shaping and promoting ideas about national parks early in the century. A special thanks to Williams’ niece, Frances Girling, for sharing with me her aunt’s papers, which are now at Library and Archives Canada.

Citation: Slack, Jeff. “Through a Glacier, Darkly: Landscape and Culture in Chamonix, France.” November 2009.
Running Time: 5:01
Bio: Jeff Slack is a candidate in the MA-History program at the University of Northern British Columbia. The idea for his master’s thesis project – “The Cultural History of Glaciers: Mount Waddington Region” – came to him while on a glacier near Chamonix, a few weeks after most of these photographs were taken.
Abstract: If one accepts that landscape and culture have reciprocal influences, then it follows that especially dynamic and powerful landscapes are likely to contain people with a strong, distinct cultural identity. The people of France’s Chamonix Valley – surrounded by an alpine skyline dominated by massive glaciers and Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps – are intensely proud of a cultural heritage that includes the genesis of mountaineering and extreme skiing, among other innovations. The following slidecast recounts the author’s impressions from a six-month stay in Chamonix, revisited through photographs taken by his brother during a visit that spring.

Citation: Turner, Roger. “In ‘Toon with the Weather” November 2009.
Running Time: 3:15
Bio: Roger Turner studies the historical connections between infrastructure, knowledge and the environment, and is completing a PhD in history of science at the University of Pennsylvania. Priya Ratneshwar, who initiated this media production, is a Staff Writer for the External Affairs office at the School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania.
Abstract: The television weather report evolved out of military training practices used during World War II. Pilots learned meteorology from cartoon-illustrated manuals, which resonated with the pervasive understanding of comic art in American visual culture. After the war, meteorologists used similar kinds of cartoon images to help TV viewers understand the weather. During the early 1950s, cartooning was an obligatory skill for TV weathercasters, and cartoons continue to influence how weather and climate information is presented on TV.

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