Environmental History

  • Atlantic period Featured Article Atlantic period Atlantic period

    The Atlantic period is a post-Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) European climate regime. This refers to the period from about 6,000-3,000 BC that spans most of the warmest postglacial... More »

  • Aerial Exploration of the Antarctic Featured Article Aerial Exploration of the Antarctic Aerial Exploration of the Antarctic

    Exploration of the Antarctic - Part 10 In the late 1920s, exploration of the Antarctic was revolutionized by the advent of aircraft.  At the turn of the century, the... More »

  • Medieval Warm Period Featured Article Medieval Warm Period Medieval Warm Period

    The Medieval Warm Period (MWP) refers to a time interval between AD 900 and 1300 in which some Northern Hemisphere regions were warmer than during the period known as the... More »

  • Histria Featured Article Histria Histria

    Situated near the Black Sea in the Dobrogea region, Histria is the oldest town in present day Romania,  With clear Neolithic roots, the first substantial... More »

  • The spirit of the first Earth Day Featured Article The spirit of the first Earth Day The spirit of the first Earth Day

    April 22, 2012, marks the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day. What started as a national effort in the U.S. to raise awareness about the environment has now spread to include Earth... More »

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Roads, highways, and ecosystems Last Updated on 2014-11-30 22:01:04 Lead Author: John Stilgoe (other articles) Content Partners: National Humanities Center (other articles) and TeacherServe (other articles) Article Topics:  Transportation This article has been reviewed and approved by the following Topic Editor: Brian Black (other articles) EDITOR'S NOTE: This entry was originally published as "Roads, Highways and Ecosystems" in the series "Nature Transformed: The Environment in American History," developed by the National Humanities Center and TeacherServe. Citations should be based on the original essay. In the United States, formal education begins on the road, often along the city street. Nowadays for the bulk of students away from downtown urban America, it begins aboard the yellow school bus collecting children bound for the first day of kindergarten. Before most children encounter principals and teachers,... More »
Harvard Forest Dioramas Last Updated on 2014-07-07 19:04:14 In the mid-1920s, a Harvard professor and a philanthropist colleague envisioned a three-dimensional, miniature scaled exhibit depicting the land-use history, ecology, conservation and management of New England forests. Fifteen years later, their vision was realized with the completion of more than 20 magnificently detailed dioramas – miniaturized, incredibly realistic scenes showing how the New England landscape changed over three centuries as Europeans settled in the region and managed the land. Still used in teaching Harvard students, other visiting classes and for many other educational programs, this unique exhibit remains widely acclaimed and is regularly visited by scholars and other interested citizens from around the world. In 1903, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hired Richard T. Fisher to establish a school of forestry at the... More »
Kamen, Martin David Last Updated on 2014-06-30 16:09:31 Martin David Kamen, (1913–2002), a Canadian-born American biochemist who discovered carbon-14, the radioactive isotope of carbon used to trace biochemical pathways and mechanisms and to date archeological and anthropological objects. He also carried out extensive research in photosynthesis. Kamen used the isotope oxygen-18 to trace the chemical's role in the process, confirming that that the oxygen created during photosynthesis comes only from the water molecules. Unfortunately, much of his energy at this time was diverted to non-scientific matters; a successful but protracted libel suit against the Chicago Tribune, which falsely accused him of being a communist, as well as a successful, 7-year battle to recover his passport, which had been rescinded by the U.S. government. Further Reading Martin Kamen, Who Discovered Carbon-14, Wins Fermi Award (U. S. Department of Energy,... More »
Trinity Site, New Mexico Last Updated on 2014-06-28 18:11:15 Trinity Site, Alamogordo Bombing Range, New Mexico ( 33°40'30.00"N, 106°28'30.00"W) was the site of the first atmospheric atomic bomb test which took place on July 16, 1945. The test was part of the federal government’s top-secret program, the Manhattan Project—the United States’ war-time effort to create the first atomic bomb—and was conducted and overseen by the Manhattan Engineer District (MED). The test took place less than three years after the first demonstration of a controlled fission chain reaction by Enrico Fermi at the University of Chicago, Illinois on December 2, 1942. The Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL), under contract to the MED, was in charge of much of the planning and testing that led up to the test at the Trinity Site. The Scientific Director of the Manhattan Project, Julius Robert Oppenheimer, along with... More »
Perspective of Antarctica in 1911 Last Updated on 2014-06-25 18:41:34 Exploration of the Antarctic - Part7 See also Chronology of Antarctic Exploration. In 1911, the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration was in full stride and the world's understanding of the nature of Antarctica was being shaped by many new facts. An interesting snapshot of Antarctica at this time, after the Nimrod Expedition, but before the expeditions to the South Pole was the entry on Polar Regions in the 1911 Edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica which summarized the view of Antarctica at that time: In contrast to the Arctic region, the Antarctic is essentially a land area. It is almost certain that the South Pole lies on a great plateau, part of a land that must be larger and loftier than Greenland, and may probably be as large as Australia. This land area may be composed of two main masses, or of one continent and a great archipelago, but it can no longer be... More »