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.

Opening of the Suez Canal 1869
Ellen Swallow Richards Accepted at MIT 4/12/1870
Policing the Forest: State Resource Control in Java Indonesia 1870
Great Chicago Fire 8/3/1871
The Great Peshtigo Fire 8/10/1871
Yellowstone National Park 1872
Great Famine of 1876 1876
Indian Forest Act 1878
Invention of the Light Bulb 1879
Amazon rubber boom 1879
First Australian National Park 26/4/1879
Vulcan Street Power Plant (First Edison Hydroelectric Station North America) 30/9/1882
Audubon Society 1886
Mount Tarawera Eruption 10/6/1886
Rinderpest Pandemic in Africa 1887