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.

The San Francisco Earthquake and Fire 18/4/1906
Signing of the American Antiquities Act 8/6/1906
Viveros de Coyoacán in Mexico City 1908
Friedrich Wilhelm Ostwald receives Nobel Prize 1909
First national parks in Sweden 5/1909
Theodore Roosevelt's East African safari 1909
Establishment of the International Joint Commission (IJC) 1909
The Great Flood of Paris 21/1/1910
Drought in Sahel region, 1910–1915 1910
The Great Fire of 1910 21/8/1910
First inroads into Antarctica 1911
Alfred Wegener’s Theory of Continental Drift 6/1/1912
Western Australia's Native Flora Protection Act 1912
Italian law on villas, parks and gardens 23/6/1912
Hornaday’s Our Vanishing Wildlife 1913