NiCHE New Scholars Year End

Dry Island Buffalo Jump Provincial Park, AB. Photo by author.

Scroll this

The NiCHE New Scholars Committee has finished the 2015/2016 year as we enter the summer and participants get busy with conferences and research trips.  Over the past year the New Scholars met to discuss environmental history from a number of different perspectives but with the reoccurring theme remained human-environment interactions.

For those who missed the New Scholars discussion here is just a sample of the many topics that appeared throughout the year.

This year’s New Scholars meetings featured ocean environmental history twice but with very different approaches.  Michelle María Early Capistrán chose readings about pirates, sea turtles, and the future of marine research as a way to discuss not just the importance of marine environmental history but how that history relates back to and influences terrestrial histories. In contrast Patrick Chassé  brought in a reading on Chilean salmon farms as a way to examine the wide consequences of aquaculture to environments and economies.

The subject of peace parks and what their creation has meant for people living in and around them was the subject of the discussion led by Desiree A. Valadares. Participants discussed how parks can displace local inhabitants in the pursuit of a larger goal and the ways in which peace parks can become part of broader political negotiations.

While most NiCHE New Scholars discussions begin with an already published reading the New Scholars group can also be a place to workshop articles and receive feedback.  Hank Trim presented the group with a draft article on how Amory Lovins and Friends of the Earth acted as knowledge brokers.  Throughout the course of the discussion some participants unfamiliar with the subject asked questions while others, more familiar with the topic, offered suggestions on how to expand the article and other sources that could be examined for a longer piece of writing.

Over the summer I encourage everyone to think about becoming a New Scholars discussion leader.  As you can see from that sampling of topics there are many ways to begin the discussion.  You can discuss your research, present an article that you’ve been wanting to talk about, or even put forward a draft article or other piece of writing to workshop in the group.

I’ve enjoyed being the New Scholars rep this year but it is time to hand the duties over.  So I’m very pleased to be able to introduce next year’s NiCHE New Scholars Representative – Mica Joregenson a PhD candidate at McMaster University whose work focuses on resource extraction with an emphasis on gold mining. You can follow Mica on twitter @mica_amy or email her at

In the meantime don’t forget to follow @niche_ns to see the latest environmental history updates.  Over the summer we are gathering your feedback on the New Scholars so make sure to take a few minutes to fill out the survey below. Your feedback will make the New Scholars better!

Take the survey now!


The following two tabs change content below.

Laura Larsen

Laura Larsen is a specialist in Western Canadian history with a particular focus on agriculture. She holds a PhD in history from the University of Saskatchewan. Her dissertation explores rail rationalization and agricultural policy under the Pierre Trudeau Liberal government.


NiCHE encourages comments and constructive discussion of our articles. We reserve the right to delete comments that fail to meet our guidelines including comments under aliases, or that contain spam, harassment, or attacks on an individual.