Autumn Renewal

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Ordinarily I might begin a post like this talking about the changing of the foliage and the gentle approach of autumn, but this month has been anything but gentle. From the wettest hurricane (from the standpoint of water) to tornadoes in Ottawa, we continue to experience the meteorological upheaval of our warming world.

To me, it is a reminder of the urgency of better understanding the complicated relations of people and the rest of nature. As scholars concerned with studies of the past, NiCHE members know the significance of historical knowledge to understanding environmental change. Our blog, podcast, teaching resources, journal, and annual summer symposium strive to disseminate the work of environmental history and historical geography to a broad public in the hope that we might better understand our place (and our responsibilities) in these turbulent times.

I am pleased to share the news today that NiCHE’s work continues as we welcome three new editors to the team:

Maude Flammand-Hubert

Maude Flammand-Hubert, Laval University
Je suis professeure adjointe en politiques appliquées à la forêt privée à la faculté de foresterie, de géographie et de géomatique, département des sciences du bois et de la forêt de l’Université Laval. J’ai soutenu en 2017 ma thèse de doctorat, intitulée “La forêt québécoise dans la première moitié du XXe siècle : représentations politiques et littéraires” (cotutelle en développement régional à l’Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) et en histoire à Sorbonne Paris-IV). Mes intérêts de recherche portent sur l’exploitation des ressources naturelles et les politiques publiques, l’histoire forestière, régionale et environnementale, le Québec au XIXe et XXe siècle, les représentations de la forêt et des milieux forestiers.
I am an assistant professor in policies concerning private forests, in the Forestry, Geography and Geomatic faculty, Department of Wood and Forest Sciences at Université Laval. I defended my doctoral thesis, entitled  “La forêt québécoise dans la première moitié du XXe siècle : représentations politiques et littéraires” (cotutelle in regional development in Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) and in history in Sorbonne Paris-IV). My research interests focus on natural resources exploitation and public policies, forest history, regional history, and environmental history, nineteenth- and twentieth-century Quebec history, forest and natural representations and natural environments.

James Murton

James Murton, Nipissing University
I’m currently the Chair of the History Department at Nipissing University and an environmental historian of food & agriculture. At the moment my scholarly focus is on the writing of a course book on Canadian environmental history for Oxford, aimed at 2nd & 3rd year students. Once I am no longer an administrator I plan to take up my former identity full time and continue with my studies on how people got their own food and how such self-provisioning activities related to market-based food systems, focusing on how this worked for Canadian apple farmers in the early twentieth century. NICHE has been instrumental in making environment history the force it is in Canadian history and in making environmental historians into such a close-knit, supportive community. I’m excited to join the NICHE executive!

Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson, University of Saskatchewan
Andrew Watson is Assistant Professor in the Department of History and the School of Environment and Sustainability at the University of Saskatchewan. His teaching and research focus on Canadian and North American environmental history. His current book project explores the influence of tourism and rural identity and sustainability in the Muskoka Lakes region of Ontario. He is also engaged in two energy history projects on coal in Canada during the early twentieth century and the use of fossil fuels in irrigation on the High Plains of the United States. Some of Andrew’s research has been published in the Canadian Historical Review ​and Regional Environmental Change.

Our new editors will be hard at work bringing new content to the site over the coming weeks. Keep an eye out for more articles in our ongoing “Rhizomes” series, new episodes of the Nature’s Past podcast, our regular round-up of #EnvHist Worth Reading, reviews of the latest books in the field, and more.

Now is the best time to start publishing with NiCHE. We always invite members to submit their own blog articles to highlight new research, promote new publications, and share exciting new developments in the field. It’s easy to get started and we’ve created a short guide to help you through the process here.

If you have more to say than what might fit in a blog article, you can submit a full paper to our journal, Papers in Canadian History and Environment. We launched this peer-review journal earlier this year and we look forward to publishing more work in environmental history on our web platform.

We hope that you’ll continue to read, listen, and watch at, but we also hope that you’ll contribute too as we head into this season of renewal.

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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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