The Otter – La Loutre Series

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Explore our collection of series from The Otter showcasing collections of research and compilations of posts that illustrate projects of collective interest.

Everything, Everywhere, All at Once: The Oil Crises of the 1970s and the Transformation of the Postwar World

May – June 2024 – Edited by Andrew Watson

This series is based on papers presented at workshop held in Banff, Alberta by Petra Dolata and David Painter called Everything, Everywhere, All at Once: The Oil Crises of the 1970s and the Transformation of the Postwar World.

Oil derrick and other outdoor exhibits at the Canadian Energy Museum

Canadian Energy Museum

May 2024 – Edited by Andrew Watson

This is a series of blogs about the Canadian Energy Museum, a small museum situated in the town of Devon, Alberta that is facing imminent closure due to the loss of funding.  The goal of these blogs is to share some of the Canadian Energy Museum’s rich collection with the broader community of environmental historians and museum professionals before the museum closes, as well as to tell the story of the unfolding funding crisis amongst smaller regional museums in Canada through the perspective of this museum. 

Relict Landscapes and the Past in the Present

April – June 2024 – Edited by Paul Hackett

This series explores historical elements that have survived into the present, even as the past landscapes in which they originally emerged have been obliterated.

Dynevor Cemetery
NiCHE at 20 CFP

NiCHE at 20

April 2024 – Ongoing – Edited by Jessica DeWitt

NiCHE at 20 events and posts reflect on and celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Network in Canadian History and Environment.

Wetland Wednesday

April – June 2024 – Edited by Gabrielle McLaren

Wetland Wednesday explores these frequently misunderstood ecosystems and the lifeways they can, do, and have sustained.

Sundarbans shoreline with roots of mangroves showing
winter cycling in Oulu Finland

Fourth World Congress of Environmental History

January 2024 – Ongoing – Edited by Claire Campbell and Jessica DeWitt

This is a series about global environmental history and the World Congress of Environmental History published in collaboration with the International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO). The fourth World Congress will be held this August 2024 in Oulu, Finland.

Winter in Canada

January – March 2024 – Edited by M. Blake Butler and Ben Bradley

This series brings winter to the forefront of Canadian environmental historiography.

nuclear natures

Nuclear Natures

January – February 2024 – Edited by Jessica DeWitt, Heather Green, and the Nuclear Natures Team

This series highlighted the work of the Nuclear Natures project, a 6-year research project funded by the Swedish Research Council, based at the Department of Thematic Studies at Linköping University in Sweden and led by Prof. Anna Storm. You can explore all essays in Nuclear Natures: A Concept Explored in Six Briefs on their project page.

Heritage Rivers in Canada

October 2023 – Ongoing – Edited by Ramya Swayamprakash

This series explores the following questions: What does it mean to be a heritage river in 2023? What does a designation mean/bring with it? How do these designations honour First Peoples? How are heritage rivers portrayed in Canadian media and public imageries? What is the future of heritage rivers?

Map of Part of the Valley of Red River North of the 49th Parallel (1858)

Ghost Light II: Monstrosities

October – November 2023 – Edited by Caroline Abbott

The 2023 theme of this series aimed to problematise the notion of “monstrosity” in the environmental humanities in the interest of illuminating the relationships between other-than-human beings, folklore, and environment.

Environmental Histories of Foraging

August – October 2023 – Edited by Nicole Miller

This series highlights how balance between environmental well-being and human well-being is delicate, and shows how foraging proves to be a valuable point of departure from which we can observe how the scale seesaws back and forth between these endpoints.

basket of wild apples

Natural Allies

August 2023 – Edited by Daniel Macfarlane

This series highlights topics from Daniel Macfarlane’s book, Natural Allies: Environment, Energy, and the History of US-Canada Relations, published with McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2023.

Scholars in Residence Series

July – August 2023 – Edited by Asad Jessani

This series highlights the experience of three undergraduate participants in the Scholars-in-Residence Program, undertaken annually at University of Toronto’s Victoria College. Combining the fascinating disciplines of natural sciences, mathematics and social sciences, the various projects aimed to foster creativity and solutions to unique challenges the world is facing today. 

students pose for a photo post a presentation of research during a colloquium
Mountainous landscape

Yukon Environmental History: 125th Anniversary

July – August 2023 – Edited by Heather Green

This series investigates Yukon’s relationship with resources and environmental transformation to mark the 125th anniversary of the formal creation of the territory.

Arts-Based Research in the Anthropocene

June – July 2023 – Edited by Amrita DasGupta

This series explores the way in which arts-based research methodologies can help us better understand the Anthropocene epoch.

The arts workshop in Baniashanta Brothel. Picture: Amrita DasGupta (Author)
Close-up of a pine tree shot in black and white.

Emotional Ecologies

June – July 2023 – Edited by Jessica DeWitt and Sarah York-Bertram

The series explores the history of emotions and emotional futurity from an ecocritical and intersectional view.

RCMP at 150

May – June 2023 – Edited by Blair Stein

The series interrogates the establishment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police on its 150th anniversary.

Energy and Power: Energy History Series

May 2023 – Edited by Andrew Watson and Ben Bradley

This series showcases undergraduate student research in energy history. 

Digital Natural History

April – June 2023 – Edited by Heather Rogers and Nick Koenig

This series examines how different technologies can help us explore environmental humanities research in interactive and dynamic ways.

Ghost Light: Folkloric NonHumanity of the Environmental Stage

October – November 2022 – Edited by Caroline Abbott

The series investigates the relationships between non-human beings, folklore, and the environmental humanities.

Mega Dams

October 2022 – Edited by Lori Lee Oates

The series investigates mega dams and hydroelectric projects and their troubled history in Canada and in many parts of the world. Focused on how they perpetuate forms of neocolonialism, extractive economics, and the exploitation of Indigenous populations in the contemporary period.

Sign reads "Save the Peace Valley No Hydro Dams Here"

Learning From and With Invasive Species: Pluralities, Refractions, Futures

August 2022 – Ongoing – Edited by Estraven Lupino-Smith

This series is concerned with how humans choose to relate to species perceived to be “out-of-place” as shaped by ontologies, socioeconomic context, place-based histories, and desires of knowing and belonging to the world. 

Visual Cultures of the Circumpolar North

Part I: August – September 2022; Part II – January – February 2023; Part III – September – October 2023 – Edited by Isabelle Gapp and Mark A. Cheetham

This three-part series regards interdisciplinary perspectives on the cultural, social, and environmental dynamics across Indigenous communities and settler populations in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, the Nordic countries, and Russia to examine the complex visual/textual cultures of this region.

Water Pedagogies

July – October 2022 – Edited by Sritama Chatterjee

This series tries to conceptualize the various possibilities of a robust water pedagogy in the classroom and beyond.

Succession II: Queering the Environment

June 2022 – Edited by Addie Hopes, Estraven Lupino-Smith, and Jessica DeWitt

This series explore topics related to unruliness, care, and pleasure. Succession II centers queer people, non-humans, systems, and ideas and explores their impact within the fields of environmental history, environmental humanities, and queer ecology.

images of flowers that form a pride rainbow

Radiation in Canada

May – June 2022 – Edited by Joshua McGuffie

This series aims to understand the sundry environmental histories that make up Canada’s radioactive past and present (intersections between radioactivity, nature, and diverse peoples across Canada.

Fire Stories

August – September 2022 – Edited by Mica Jorgenson

This series revolves around encounters between environmental historians and wildfire, both in the archives and on the land.

A historical trash scatter in the burn area of the Cameron Peak Fire.

Stuff Stories

July 2022 – Edited by Blair Stein

This series discusses how students and educators across Canada can think critically and carefully about the environments they might find themselves in over the summer, (engaging with the idea of “going outside.”)

Sights of Contestation

March 2022 – Edited by Jessica DeWitt

The series explores a variety of resistances, both material and discursive, found in current pipeline debates. The authors of this series focus on different sites of contestation—Keystone XL, Line 3, and the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion project—to understand the role the unconscious, bodies, and images play in the perception of these infrastructures and their linkages.

Scenes from communities across Canada affected by the oil industry.
First shipment of 200 bison at Wood Buffalo National park in 1925

Wood Buffalo National Park Report

November 2021 – March 2022 – Edited by Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, Peter Fortna, Sabina Trimble, and Jessica DeWitt

The series is a community-led history-documentation of Wood Buffalo National Park and its violent relations with Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation (ACFN) and their ancestors.

History En Vélo

September – November 2021 – Edited by Claire Campbell and Jim Clifford

This series opens up a wider conversation with others who bike and who also think historically: not about the environmental/history of cycling, but how the experience of cycling feels to us, as an intellectual as well as a civic exercise, and how we fold it into our professional and personal lives. 

climate warming stripes

Historians Confront the Climate Emergency

September – October 2021 – Edited by Edward Dunsworth and Daniel Macfarlane

This interdisciplinary series looks at scholar perceptions of the climate emergency and ways that historians are teaching climate in the classroom.

Parks and Profit

April – June 2021 – Edited by Jessica DeWitt

This series explores the complex relationship between profit and parks historically and in present-day. 

Rideau Canal in Ottawa
A sunset view over a snowcapped mountainscape

Borders and Boundaries of the Canadian North

March – May 2021 – Edited by Heather Green and Jonathan Luedee

The series explores the diverse concepts of “borders” and “boundaries” in the Northern region of Canada (including, but not limited to, the Arctic and Subarctic regions) from any time period. 

Whose Nature? Race and Canadian Environmental History

July 2020 – February 2021 – Edited by Sean Kheraj

This series explores a range of ways in which ideas of race have influenced the interactions between people and the rest of nature in Canada’s past. 

A woman climbs out of the newly renovated pool at Cave and Basin in c. 1936. Parks Canada.

Environmental Histories of the Future

March – June 2021 – Edited by Andrew Watson

This series features thoughts of scholars from the environmental humanities who explore how people in the past imagined and crafted their own environmental futures, and how our thinking about the environment in 2021 might shape the future.

Empire, Trees, Climate

March 2021 – Edited by Kirsten Greer and Andrew Watson

The series showcases the research coming out of three projects hosted at Nipissing University’s Centre for Understanding Semi-Peripheries (CUSP) and supported by Kirsten Greer, Canada Research Chair in Global Environmental Histories and Geographies of the Semi-Peripheries.

View from Mount Maxwell, Saltspring Island, BC by Michal Klajban.


April 2020 – January 2021 – Edited by Jamie Murton and Andrew Watson

This series asks scholars to discuss their first encounters with environmental history and how it influenced their work.

HBC at 350

November – December 2020 – Edited by Blair Stein

This series explores the past three-and-a-half centuries of the Hudson’s Bay Company through an environmental lens.

Coastal Environmental History

August – September 2020 – Edited by Sara Spike

This series edited considers intersections of nature and culture along the saline shores of the land and tidewaters currently known as Canada, the country with the world’s longest coastline.

The Greater Gulf Preview Series

March 2020 – Edited by Claire Campbell

The series details excerpts from The Greater Gulf: Essays on the Environmental History of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in February 2020.

A guard in traditional dress and a young blond boy walk together in Halifax Citadel

Outside Looking In

November – December 2020 – Edited by Claire Campbell and Daniel Macfarlane

This series discusses the experiences of teaching and researching Canadian environmental history by scholars from other countries.

The Group of Seven and the History of the Canadian Landscape

October 2020 – Edited by Daniel Macfarlane and Jessica DeWitt

This series reads the Group of Seven through an environmental history lens on the 100th anniversary of the art collective’s founding.

An older man holds paint brush, posing with landscape painting he is working on.
A home office

Environmental Humanities Research During COVID-19

July – September 2020 – Edited by Andrew Watson

This series examines approach to, or thoughts about, research and writing during the pandemic. 

Succession: Queering the Environment

June 2020 – Edited by Jessica DeWitt

This series explores the changes that occur within environmental history and related environmental studies when queer people, non-humans, systems, and ideas are centred.

Rainbow disco ball hanging in a forest


April – July 2020 – Edited by Tina Edcock

Tina Adcock chats with fellow NiCHE editors on a topic (or topics) of their choosing that’s been on their mind lately.

Perennial Problems

January – March 2020 – Edited by Heather Green

This series exploring the intersections of environmental history and histories of health.

Anti-gentrification demonstration in Saint-Henri, 2011. Photo by Fred Burrill.
White hands holding soil and a plant


February 2019 – Ongoing – Edited by Heather Green, Justin Fisher, Blake Butler, Heather Rogers

This series edited by NiCHE New Scholars representatives features emerging environmental historians and environmental humanities scholars discussing what brought them to the field, why they value environmental research, and how it connects with life outside of academia.

Not Your Day Job

November 2019 – February 2020 – Edited by Claire Campbell

This series shares academics’ experiences using their training in the realm of public projects concerning the environment and nature.

Andrew Stuhl, historian, at climate strike in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania
From Coulees to Muskeg A Saskatchewan Environmental History Series

From Coulees to Muskeg: A Saskatchewan Environmental History Series

October 2019 – Ongoing – Edited by Jessica DeWitt

This series is published in association with Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society and Folklore magazine and highlights aspects of Saskatchewan’s environmental history.

Get Outside! Field Trips & Teaching Environmental History

February – May 2019 – Edited by Claire Campbell

This series shares insights about field trips from different courses, to different places, and with different interests, from day excursions to full camping trips.

The Magic School Bus anticipates climate change anxiety, and traumatizes children about field trips (1996)
Castle Bravo Blast

Environmental Historians Debate: Can Nuclear Power Solve Climate Change?

January – April 2019 – Edited by Daniel Macfarlane

This series investigates what environmental and energy historians can bring to discussions about nuclear power.

Material Realities of Energy Histories

January – February 2019 – Edited by Andrew Watson

This is a series of five blog posts highlighting the work published in a special issue of the Canadian Journal of History/Annales canadiennes d’histoire (CJH/ACH) on the “Material Realities of Energy Histories.”

Off George Street, St. John's, NFLD. Source: Sean Kheraj, 2018.

Environmental Humanities in the Public Realm

March – April 2019 – Edited by John Sandlos

This series is focused on environmental humanities and public engagement. These posts emerged from a workshop held at Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Nexus Centre for Humanities and Social Science Research in May 2018 called, “Environmental Humanities in the Public Realm.” 


January – April 2019 – Tina Adcock

This series details leading environmental historians and historical geographers in and of Canada reflecting on the field’s past, present, and future, as well as their journeys into and through it. 

Aaron Arrowsmith, "New Discoveries in the Interior Parts of North America" (1811), detail. David Rumsey Collection.

Environmental History as Early Modern History

June – September 2018 – Edited by Claire Campbell

This series features scholarship from the early modern period – and queries the larger temporal character of the field of environmental history.

Canada’s Anthropocene

January 2018 – Edited by Alan MacEachern

This series examines permanent changes humans have had on nature and the role of Canada in the Anthropocene.

A person wearing a red winter jacket with a fur hood looks off into the distance across a snowy expanse.
Detail from James Barry Diary, 30 June 1869, Public Archives of Nova Scotia, MG1, volume 1218.

Soundings: New Approaches to History and Environment in Atlantic Canada

April 2018 – Edited by Claire Campbell

This is a series of articles jointly published by The Otter ~ la loutre and the Acadiensis Blog that considers new approaches to history and the environment in Atlantic Canada. 


October 2017 – December 2021 – Edited by Tina Adcock

This series highlights the experiences of environmental historians working beyond the professoriate.

Kelly Black at Rally for Free Education, 2012.
Hope – or La Villita Park, South Lawndale, Chicago.

Hope and Environmental History

June 2017 – Edited by Tina Adcock

This series explores hope and environmental history.

Seeds: New Research in Environmental History

August 2016 – July 2018 – Edited by Jessica DeWitt

This series serves to highlight new work being done in the field of environmental history and connect this research to other fields and contemporary issues. 

Downtown Parking Lot August 1973
Killer Whale Capture off Vancouver Island, 1973.

Animal Metropolis Series

February 2017 – Jennifer Bonnell

The series emerges from contributors to Animal Metropolis: Histories of Human-Animal Relations in Urban Canada (University of Calgary Press, 2017). In each entry, the contributors use their own chapters as the basis for wider discussions about contemporary developments that highlight the complex interactions between humans and animals.

Dam Nation: Hydroelectric Developments in Canada

September 2016 – Edited by Daniel Macfarlane

This series attempts to answer some of these questions with the various authors’ perspectives: What explains the different dam trajectories in northern North America? Is Canada damned to be a nation of dams?

Muskrat Falls Generating Station under construction

(Un)Natural Identities: Unearthing Gender in Environmental History

March – May 2016 – Edited by Tina Adcock

This series considers the intersection between environmental history and gender history.

Sustainable Farm Systems

October 2015 – January 2017 – Edited by Andrew Watson

This series showcases the work of the Sustainable Farm Systems project, an interdisciplinary, multi-national project examining the history of Western agriculture using a socioecological metabolism framework.

Asbestos Quebec mine

When Blue Meets Green: Labour and Environmental History

November 2015 – Edited by Tina Adcock

This series considers the intersection between environmental history and labour and working-class histories.

Landscapes of Science

January – August 2015 – Edited by Tina Adcock

This series considers the intersection between environmental history and the histories of science, technology, and medicine.

Landscapes of Science
The shadow of a window on freshly fallen snow.

A Cold Kingdom: A Found Series

March 2016 – Edited by Tina Adcock

The series collects previously published posts that examine Canadians’ social, material, and imaginative engagements with winter, both in its quotidian and extreme forms