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.

Rinderpest Pandemic in Africa 1887
Johnstown Flood 31/5/1889
Rubber boom destroys forests 1890
Foundation of the Sierra Club 1892
The Introduction of Reindeer to Alaska 1892
Copper mining and smelting at Mount Lyell, Tasmania 1893
Indian Land Acquisition Act 1894
Foundation of the Touring Club Italiano 8/11/1894
Arrhenius anticipates the greenhouse effect 4/1896
Publication of John Muir's Our National Parks 1901
Sydney Tar Ponds 1901
Completion of the Aswan Dam 1902
Eruption of Volcano Mount Pelée on Martinique 8/5/1902
Pollution on the New River between the United States and Mexico 1905
Photoelectric effect 1905