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.

Darwin's On the Origin of Species 1859
Rabbits in Australia 1859
First Forest Reserves in Colonial Cochinchina 1862
Invention of the Internal Combustion Engine 1862
England passes first Alkali Acts 1863
Foundation of the Club Alpino Italiano 23/10/1863
Marsh’s Man and Nature 1864
Guano war on Peru's Chincha Islands 1865
Jevons’s The Coal Question Published 1865
Sanitary Laws in the Netherlands 1865
First Landscape Reservation in Australia 1866
Ernst Haeckel Coins the Term “Oecologia,” or Ecology 1866
Kimberley diamonds 1866
Last Great Famine in Northern Europe 1866
Imperial Forest Service in India 1867