Summer Institute for Community College Educators

June 2 - 3, 2017


“The story of world history, if it is to be balanced and accurate, will inevitably consider the natural environment and the myriad ways in which it has both affected and been affected by human activities…Economics, trade, and world politics are regulated, whether humans wish it or not, and whether they are conscious of it, by the availability, location, and finite nature of what, in the language of development, are called “natural resources.”” 1


Environmental historians address the environment as the influential context within which (and in response to which) human actions take place. Human actions simultaneously respond to and alter the environmental context in a complex, iterative process. Environmental history poses questions that highlight this interplay between human actions and environmental circumstance:

  • How did climate-changing volcanic eruptions affect political developments in different regions?
  • How have forestry practices affected the long-term viability of different polities?
  • Why do outbreaks of bubonic plague differ so widely in intensity and effect?

Environmental history feels particularly relevant today, given widespread concerns about global climate change and sustainability. The 2017 Summer Institute for Community College instructors will explore topics in environmental history, providing teachers with engaging discussion and resources to enrich their courses.

This program is open to community college instructors and AP-level high school teachers. There is no cost to attend. Space is limited to 30.

Register for this institute

Hughes, J. Donald. “Ecology and Development as Narrative Themes of World History.” Environmental History Review, vol. 19, no. 1, 1995, pp. 1–16. www.jstor.org/stable/3984771.

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