Nature’s Past Episode 26: Environmental History as Public History

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Episode 26: Environmental History as Public History

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Environmental historians have recently been thinking about future directions for their sub-discipline. Last year, the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society co-sponsored a workshop held in Washington, D.C. to explore such future directions and published some of the findings here. Canadian environmental historians gathered in Burlington, Ontario last spring to ponder similar matters at EH Plus. At both meetings, participants discussed the many roles that environmental history plays outside of the academic community. It seems clear that environmental historians want their research to reach broader public audiences.

On this month’s episode of the podcast, we consider the role of environmental history outside of academia, as public history. To explore this topic and some of its challenges for the field, I spoke with a group of environmental historians with experience working in public history settings.


Lyle Dick

Lisa Mighetto

Karen Routledge

Works Cited:

The Public Historian. “Public History and the Environment/Environmental History and the Public” 26 (1) 2004.

Parr, Joy. Sensing Changes: Technologies, Environments, and the Everyday, 1953-2003. Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010.

Megaprojects New Media

RCC Perspectives. 2011, Issue 3: “The Future of Environmental History: Needs and Opportunities,” edited by Kimberly Coulter and Christof Mauch

EH Plus: Writing the Next Chapter of Canadian Environmental History

Music Credits:

“Thing for Itself” by Pitx

“Pop Rock Piano Track” by greg_baumont

“La Madeline Au Truffe” (composed by Jeris) by basematic

Photo Credit:

“Sea Otters” by meckert75


Kheraj, Sean. “Episode 26: Environmental History as Public History” Nature’s Past: Canadian Environmental History Podcast. 29 November 2011

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Sean Kheraj

Associate Professor and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University
Sean Kheraj is a member of the executive committee of the Network in Canadian History and Environment. He's an associate professor in the Department of History and Vice-Provost Academic at Toronto Metropolitan University. His research and teaching focuses on environmental and Canadian history. He is also the host and producer of Nature's Past, NiCHE's audio podcast series and he blogs at

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