We’ve Moved!

I’ve finally migrated this blog over to its own domain. You can now find everything at:


I’ll leave this site up so that all old links still work, but new content will be posted to seankheraj.com from now on. Please change your bookmarks and update your RSS feeds.


Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 10 Available

NiCHE_Podcast_Logo1smallEpisode 10 Digital Technologies and Environmental History: October 21, 2009.

How have online digital technologies changed environmental history research, communication, and teaching? This episode of the podcast explores this question in the context of the recent NiCHE Digital Infrastructure API Workshop held in Mississauga, Ontario. Online-based Application Programming Interfaces or APIs are just one digital technology that holds the potential to change the way environmental historians access resources, analyze historical data, and communicate research findings. Within the past decade alone, the development of online digital technologies has offered the potential to transform historical scholarship.

This episode includes a round-table conversation with some leading figures in the realm of digital history as well as an interview with Jan Oosthoek, the producer and host of the Exploring Environmental History podcast.

Please be sure to take a moment and review this podcast on our iTunes page.

Visit the main page at http://niche-canada.org/naturespast


Works Cited

Sean Kheraj, Canadian History & Environment


Dan Cohen’s Website


Digital Campus Podcast


Heptanesian Archives


NYPL Map Rectifier


Great Unsolved Mysteries in Canadian History


Environmental History Resources


Environmental History Teaching


MSc. Landscape, Environment & History


Music Credits

“I Bid Ye Farewell” by AndyExpandy

“Crayonz” by AndyExpandy

“Expandimonium!” by AndyExpandy

“Pancakes” by AndyExpandy


Kheraj Speaking at City of Vancouver Archives Fundraiser

siwash rock postcard 1908

Postcard of Siwash Rock, Stanley Park

If you’re looking for something to do this Sunday afternoon from 2-4pm, I hope you might find your way to the Joyce Walley Learning Centre at the Vancouver Museum for the Friends of the Vancouver City Archives Fundraiser.

I will be speaking at this event about my research on the environmental history of Stanley Park. My talk, titled “Inventing Stanley Park: An Environmental History”, will examine the history of Vancouver’s landmark urban park from its distant geological past to the present.

For the full PDF event listing, click here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009
2pm to 4pm at

The Joyce Walley Learning Centre in
The Vancouver Museum at 1100 Chestnut Street

Local Environments, Global Impacts: 2009 Svartárkot Environmental History Workshop

Godafoss Waterfall

Godafoss Waterfall

Very few Canadian graduate students take classes in Iceland. With support from the Network in Canadian History & Environment, five graduate students from Canadian universities traveled to the North Atlantic island country this past June for a special environmental history summer school in Iceland led by faculty from the Reyjkavik Academy. The school included a total of 12 participants, including famed American environmental historian Donald Worster.

The summer school participants have done a very fine job bringing their experience in Iceland to a wider community of environmental historians through the NiCHE website. While the NiCHE website hosts a number of impressive conference and workshop feature pages, including the Hacking as a Way of Knowing Workshop and the Canadian History & Environment Summer School, this new page offers an excellent model for future projects of this kind.

The Svartárkot Workshop website provides a succinct summary of the events, a complete list of the workshop readings, audio recordings of the lectures, a picture gallery, and a finely detailed annotated map, overlaid with photos. If you weren’t one of the fortunate 12 participants, I would encourage readers to visit the Svartárkot Workshop website.

In particular, I think Donald Worster’s two lectures will appeal to those with an interest in environmental history:

Donald Worster, “Knowing Nature: Science and Environmental History”, June 2009.

Donald Worster, “Darwin, Evolution, and Food”, June 2009.

Nature’s Past Canadian Environmental History Podcast Episode 09 Available

NiCHE_Podcast_Logo1smallEpisode 9 Environmental History Graduate Studies in Canada: September 21, 2009.

After our brief summer break, the podcast returns with an episode that looks at environmental history graduate studies in Canada. Last May, we recorded a round-table conversation with four environmental history graduate students following the Canadian History & Environment Summer School in Ottawa, Ontario. These students discussed their own experiences studying and researching and they spoke about the unique qualities of environmental history training.

Also, Will Knight, the New Scholars in Canadian History & Environment representative, joins us to talk about the New Scholars group and future project ideas.

Please be sure to take a moment and review this podcast on our iTunes page.

Visit the main page at http://niche-canada.org/naturespast


Works Cited

Sean Kheraj, Canadian History & Environment: https://seankheraj.wordpress.com

Music Credits

“Global Misery” by Pitx

“Ice and Chilli” by _ghost

“Summer Dance” by Pitx

“Going on Vacation” by Pitx


Finding a Wider Audience for Historical Research

Academic historical research does not usually reach a very wide audience. Some of the best work in Canadian and environmental history, produced by the country’s top scholars, can almost only be found in the pages of scholarly journals and university press monographs. From time to time, a historian will break out and appear on the news as an “expert” or write a short article for a popular publication.

Next month, the Network in Canadian History & Environment will be sponsoring an event at the University of Western Ontario for history graduate students on writing for a popular audience. Graduate students are invited to sign up for this workshop in order enhance their writing skills and develop a proposal for an article to pitch to a newspaper or magazine editor.

It looks like NiCHE is even going to provide some funding to applicants. Check out the poster (PDF) for this event and sign up.

NiCHE Has Moved!


It’s time to update your bookmarks, change your links, and tell your friends. The Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE) has migrated to a new home at http://niche-canada.org.

For those of you unfamiliar with this resource, NiCHE is a SSHRC Strategic Knowledge Cluster for environmental historians and historical geographers working in Canada. The website is the main hub for this organization, hosting an extensive amount of content. Visitors can find news, research and teaching resources, a comprehensive searchable member directory, and links to regional environmental history groups across Canada. You can also download the latest episodes of the NiCHE podcast, Nature’s Past.

Pass on the news: NiCHE can be found now at http://niche-canada.org