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Environmental History  

History of human ecology and changes to the landscape and environment.
Last Updated: Oct 17, 2013 URL: Print Guide RSS UpdatesEmail Alerts

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What is Environmental History?

"Environmental history is a rather new discipline that came into being during the 1960's and 1970's. It was a direct consequence of the growing awareness of worldwide environmental problems such as pollution of water and air by pesticides, depletion of the ozone layer and the enhanced greenhouse effect caused by human activity. In this development historians started to look for the origins of the contemporary problems, drawing upon the knowledge of a whole field of scientific disciplines and specialisms which had been developed during the preceding century. We can distinguish two important 19th century origins of environmental history: ecology and geography. In modern environmental history, ecological concepts are used to analyse past environments and geography used to study the ever-changing face of the earth. The surface of the earth is constantly changing and reshaping under geological, climatic, biological and human forces. At the beginning of the twentieth century geographers stressed the influence of the physical environment on the development of human society. The idea of the impact of the physical environment on civilisations was first adapted by historians of the Annales school to describe the long term developments that shape human history." -- by K.J.W. Oosthoek, from Environmental History Resources

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Top Picks

  • Environmental Issues: Essential Primary Sources
    approximately 175 full or excerpted documents---speeches, legislation, magazine and newspaper articles, essays, memoirs, letters, interviews, novels, songs, and works of art---as well as overview information that places each document in context. Part of the Gale Virtual Reference Library
  • Environmental History titles from University Libraries
    See the list of books, DVDs, journals and more from our catalog covering Environmental History
  • Environmental History
    Environmental History is a quarterly, interdisciplinary journal that carries international articles that portray human interactions with the natural world over time.
    Coverage begins with the first issue of a journal, some as early as the 1600s, and continues up until 1-to-5 years ago. An online archive of core scholarly journals in most fields of study. Comprised of high-resolution, scanned images of journal issues and pages as they were originally designed, printed, and illustrated. Not a source for recent articles.
  • Environment Complete
    Date coverage varies back to the 1940s. Some full-text. Deep coverage in areas of agriculture, ecosystem ecology, energy, renewable energy sources, natural resources, marine & freshwater science, geography, pollution & waste management, environmental technology, environmental law, public policy, social impacts, urban planning, and more.

Associate Librarian

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Darren Chase, MLIS
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on campus: 2-9830

Frank Melville, Jr Memorial Library, W-1515
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3300
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William Glenn, MLIS
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Stony Brook University
Melville Library, C2634
(631) 632-7334
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