About this collection

“Places & Events” is a collection of digital “historical markers” of environmentally significant places and events. Designed to be browsed on the Environment & Society Portal’s map or timeline, these brief summaries were written by doctoral candidates at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at LMU Munich. Places & Events represented the Portal’s first content when it launched in 2012.

As a pilot project from 2014-2015, we invited three RCC alumni fellows (at LMU Munich, Bucknell University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison) to use Places & Events as a project in their environmental history courses. These instructors guided students (and reviewed their work) in the research and production of these born-digital micro-histories. In his essay for Ant Spider Bee, Bucknell Professor Andrew Stuhl reflects on the project:

As a piece of writing that does not exceed 200 words, it is no substitute for the nuance and depth of the historical essay or the historiographical review. And because the items are published digitally, they have requirements that at first seemed idiosyncratic to students in a history class—like copyright licenses and metadata, for instance. Like other historians teaching digitally have demonstrated, however, these constraints can be opportunities. The entries forced students to be concise, to write for a public audience, and to curate (and not just collect) examples. Surely other assignments meet these learning outcomes. Perhaps none are as engaging for non-History majors tasked with learning about global environmental history.

- Andrew Stuhl

At the end of the pilot project, Places & Events boasted more than 350 thoughtfully composed digital markers with texts, images, and links. Although the Portal now concentrates on peer-reviewed born-digital publications, Places & Events remains an inviting gateway to environmental history for students, instructors, and armchair travelers.

To browse Places & Events, click on either the map or timeline icons below, or explore the list by theme.

Savery's Steam Engine Patented 1698
Coke in Blast Furnaces 1709
Hans Carl von Carlowitz and “Sustainability” 1713
Invention of the Franklin Stove 1741
Lisbon Earthquake 1/11/1755
Moser on Sustainable Forest Management 1757
Linnaeus’s Systema Naturae 1758
Kew Gardens 1759
Forest Survey in Saxe-Weimar 1760
James Cook’s Voyages 13/8/1768
First European Species in Oceania 1769
Bengal Famine of 1770 1770
Johann Peter Frank’s A Complete System of Medical Policy published 1779
First Smallpox Epidemic in Canada 1780
Eruption of Laki Volcano in Iceland 8/6/1783