CHE Alumni are friends and colleagues who were involved with the CHE community during their time at UW-Madison. Most of the blurbs below contain information from the time when the Alumni were still at UW-Madison.
I am a graduate student in the History of Science currently working on a dissertation entitled "Colonial Ecologies: Environment, Health, and Politics in French Indochina, 1890-1940", which focuses on environmental change and human health on the rubber plantations of southern Vietnam. My interest in environmental history began as an undergraduate at the University of California, Berkeley, where I majored in environmental engineering. Taking a course in environmental history turned me on to the idea that one could approach environmental topics from a humanistic perspective and, after a sojourn in Southeast Asia, I decided to come to Madison to further pursue those interests. contact
I am a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology. My dissertation research is on Fair Trade, Organic, and Biodynamic Tea Production in the Darjeeling district of West Bengal, India. I am interested in changing agricultural practices and how the adoption of fair trade organic production has effected workers' perceptions of their health, labor, and environment. My research interests, broadly defined are: nature and capitalism; social and environmental justice in agriculture; and plantations and empire. I have benefited from interdisciplinary work in the departments of Rural Sociology and Geography. I also work closely with the Center for South Asia and the Center for East Asian Studies. website | contact
I'm a Ph.D. candidate in Environment and Resources with Minors in Sociology and Philosophy. My interests include environmental sociology, sociological theory, and social psychology. These are reflected in my dissertation, which is a theoretical and pedagogical critique of environmental sociology and the development of environmental microsociological theory. Other interests include food studies, qualitative methods, ecology, and aesthetics. I grew up in the Kansas City, Missouri, area. contact
I am a doctoral student in Environment and Resources focusing on sustainable agriculture and food systems issues. I do research with Program on Agricultural Technology Studies (PATS) which is an institute run jointly by Agricultural and Applied Economics and Rural Sociology. More specifically, I am studying adoption decisions and associated satisfaction levels with organic dairy and intensive rotational grazing based on social, spiritual, ecological and economic factors. I have been a leader in F.H. King Students of Sustainable Agriculture for a number of years. Most recently, I am serving on the board for Churches Center for Land and People. contact
I am a Ph.D. student in the Department of French and Italian. I grew up on the shores of Brittany, France and from there I have traveled or lived abroad (especially in Ireland and Cambodia) since my undergraduate years. I have long been fascinated by the power of words in literary texts as well as deeply interested in our relationship with the earth. This led me to focus my research on 20th and 21st century French and Francophone literature and specifically on the intersection of poetics and environmentalism. My dissertation explores the writings of Guillevic, Nicolas Pesquès, Philippe Jaccottet and Marguerite Duras, as well as Samuel Beckett, Patrick Chamoiseau, Maryse Condé and Edouard Glissant to test the relation between a poetic way of writing and a stronger awareness of, and therefore care for, our environment. contact
I am a PhD student in the History Department at UW-Madison. I became interested in environmental history while an undergrad at the University of New Hampshire where I studied history and geology. Since that time my research has ranged from North Atlantic cod populations, to interstate highways, to an MA thesis on political conflicts over water fluoridation in the United States. My dissertation uses the life of J.I. Rodale, an early advocate of organic farming, to tell a cultural history of natural food and health movements in the postwar United States. I am particularly interested in ideas about food, agriculture, and health in the twentieth century, and their influence on environmental politics and culture. contact
I am a graduate student in the Women's Studies Program, expecting to finish my M.A. in spring 2009. My research interests mainly lie in ecofeminism. Since I've been doing voluntary work for animal welfare NGOs in Taiwan for the last five years, I have become especially interested in the relationships of animals and women. I'd like to learn more about women, nature, and the environment, all of which are important parts of ecofeminism. I am also excited about learning the history of ideas about women and the environment cross-culturally, and I hope the experience in CHE can help me do better interdisciplinary work for my Master's thesis.
I grew up in Warrenton, Virginia, a small town about 50 miles west of Washington D.C. at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Prior to starting graduate school I lived and worked in Virginia and Washington D.C. for the Piedmont Environmental Council, focusing on energy policy. I am currently a master's student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in the Environment & Resources program. My interests include energy conservation and efficiency programs, U.S. environmental history, environmental filmmaking, contemporary art and politics. contact
I am a dissertator in the Geography department currently studying the role of politics and history in relation to individual perception(s) of changes on the local landscape. In my particular case study, changes on the physical landscape have been linked to politicized claims to possess the ability to create a landscape that is "truly" representative of the culture, identity, and history of the local community. Such inflammatory statements and calculated modifications on the land have, in turn, sparked contestation within the community; predominantly pertaining to issues of land use, cultural identity, and struggles relating to representation on the local landscape. contact
I was born and raised in Green Bay, WI and am a registered member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. I have a BS in Forestry with a Certificate in Environmental Studies from UW-Madison and an MS in Forest Resources from Penn State. I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Bolivia and worked in both the Andean mountains and the Amazonian tropics. I was the Assistant Forest Planner for the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests. Currently I am the Forest Service Liaison to College of Menominee Nation in Keshena, WI. I am a PhD candidate with Nancy Langston in the Forest Ecology and Management Department and have earned a CHE Certificate. My research interests focus on sustainable forestry and indigenous people in North, Central, and South America. My dissertation focuses on environmental history and indigenous community forestry in communities in Bolivia and Wisconsin. website | contact
My primary area of interest is U.S. environmental/agricultural history. My dissertation focuses on the early twentieth century and looks at the ways in which actors within grassroots and governmental organizations concerned with the many problems of "country life" come to think of themselves as concerned with "the family farm." I am interested in the ways in which rural reformers, who come from many walks of life, situate the "family farm" at the nexus of social and environmental sustainability and craft an environmental identity for "the family farmer" which can be used by farmers and others to alternatively accommodate and resist industrial agriculture. In my research, I draw on insights from environmental, cultural, and religious history. contact
I am a doctoral candidate in the Department of English currently completing my dissertation, "Writing Gardens and Cultivating Lives in Twentieth-Century America." I'm interested in the power of imaginative writing to help us confront the everyday catastrophe of our relation to peoples and environments. My research in American literature and culture focuses on the last century of accelerated changes, narratives of environmental justice, and creative non-fiction.
I hold a BA in Human Ecology from College of the Atlantic, and am currently a PhD student in Geography, minoring in Ecology. I use paleoecological tools to investigate changes in climate and ecology at a range of spatial and temporal scales, extending back to the Pleistocene. My dissertation focuses on the causes and ecological consequences of the extinction of the North American megafauna on plant communities, working with Dr. Jack Williams. I am also interested in human-environment interactions over long timescales, STEM diversity, increasing disability accessibility at academic conferences, and the use of new media in science communication. contact
Since 1998, I have been conducting ethnographic research with farmers and ranchers on a variety of human/environmental issues including water rights in the San Luis Valley of southern Colorado (BA); adaptation to climate variability in the American Northern Great Plains (MA); and a critical examination of the sociocultural and political dimensions of climate and climate change in Cornwall, England (PhD). By incorporating the insights of anthropology, geography, and environmental history, my research provides an historical analysis of the implicit cultural, social, and scientific assumptions embedded in the concept of climate and the implications these assumptions have for obscuring political economic relationships in society. contact
I am a dissertator in the English department, writing about how narrative can ethically represent the direct impacts of globalization, international development, and historical regimes of disparate power relations still present especially in the postcolonial world. My dissertation, "Recognizing the Poor: Invisibility, Immobility, and Narrative under Globalization," examines recent novels from India, Sri Lanka, Mozambique, Brazil, and other spaces of the global south to consider how to represent disempowerment without disempowering. I take as basic assumption that people and the environment are intimately connected, especially those Ramachandra Guha has called "ecosystem people," so environmental questions quietly suffuse my research even if they aren't necessarily foregrounded. contact
I received my MSc from the University of Wisconsin in 2010, after writing a thesis entitled, "Post-Industrial Imaginaries: Nature, Representation and Ruin In Detroit, Michigan." Immediately after my defense, I moved to Lexington, Kentucky where I am now pursuing a PhD in Geography at the University of Kentucky. I do not yet have a dissertation project or location in mind, but broadly remain interested in cultural and historical geography, urban nature, and questions of race, identity and post-colonialism. contact
Nicolaas Mink graduated in 2010. He currently teaches courses on food systems and environmental history in the environmental studies department at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. His book, Fast Food: An American History, is being revised from his dissertation. He smokes meat in his spare time. contact
I am currently writing my dissertation on the social and environmental history of the Appalachian Trail. My research uses the AT as a conduit to explore some of the challenges associated with trying to balance the power of the central state with the desires of local communities. I am investigating how changes in economic geography, power, and culture influenced local communities' relationship to the project. This is part of a joint degree in Forestry/Environmental Studies. My background is in science education and I am interested in helping students develop deeper understandings of environmental issues by examining the interaction of human and non-human agents over time.
I am first-year student in the Geography Department. After completing a B.A. in History at Carleton College, I taught English in rural Japan and later worked on renewable energy technologies for the U.S. Department of Energy. These experiences have helped inform my broad interests around the reciprocal relationship between people and resources and in environmental history. I am specifically interested in the natural and cultural history of food and food systems and in the flow of ideas and practices surrounding them between cultures. I also hope to explore the consumption of food as a marker of identity and as an aesthetic exercise. contact
I am a 2011 graduate of the UW-Madison Anthropology Ph.D. program. I am a medical and environmental anthropologist with a regional focus on Latin America. My research has explored the multi-species aspects of infectious diseases, the relationship between place and health in the age of global biomedical interventions, and the relevance of landscape to people's conceptions of disease and well-being. Most of my fieldwork has taken place in a low-income suburb of Managua, Nicaragua, but I have also done research in Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the United States. contact
I am a PhD student in the Geography Department with a minor in African History writing a dissertation about two distinct government development projects, one in health and one in community planning, in a rural Zulu-speaking area of South Africa called Pholela. My research combines oral, ethnographic, survey, and archival methods in an effort to understand the reasons for small-scale livelihood and health changes from the 1930s to the 1980s. By focusing on gardening, herding, eating, and healing as everyday practices, I am exploring how changing ideas about and experiences with human health have become inscribed in the landscape of rural KZN. website | contact
I'm a first-year student in the Geography Department. I received a B.A. in biology from Swarthmore College. Since then I have worked with teachers in Boston to integrate urban ecology into their classrooms and as an ecology intern for the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank. I am fascinated by changing land use over time, conservation, crop biodiversity, and looking at how agricultural landscapes are shaped by both ecological and social processes. contact
I am an MS student in the Nelson Institute's Environment and Resources program, with a focus in environmental communication. I'm interested in the complex relationship between environmental values and behavior, and how communication can be used to influence
environmental stewardship and sustainability. My research crosses disciplines such as communication studies, sociology, geography, and policy. While a bit of a nomad, I received my BA in German from the University of Virginia and call Portland, OR "home." contact
Jesse Oak Taylor
My interest in global environmental issues is to some degree inherited and the result of a childhood blessed with an abundance of nature, divided between rural West Virginia and the Himalayas. I initially thought that I would pursue a career in nature/ travel writing and wildlife photography before becoming interested in studying representation and aesthetics in an academic setting. Having written on topics ranging from the clouded leopard to environmentalism and hunting in the British Empire, Fair Trade coffee, and Sherlock Holmes, my current research focuses on aesthetic response to air pollution in late-Victorian Britain. contact
I completed my PhD in Geography in 2012 with a dissertation entitled, "Trouble in Paradise: Conflicts over Introduced Wildlife on Alaska's Kodiak Archipelago." I am interested broadly in environmental perceptions and conflicts regarding subjective concepts like "nativeness" and "wilderness", particularly in relation to the management of protected areas and wildlife in North America. I now teach geography at Penn State University and organize place-based environmental education trips through Tennessen Treks. contact
I completed my PhD in the Nelson Institute's Environment & Resources program in 2010 with a dissertation entitled, "Do No Harm: The Ecological and Public Health Implications of End-of-Life Medicine." My research interests revolve around connections between ecology and health, with particular emphasis on the tension between patient-level medical care and community health, the "healing power of nature," and the health of place. contact
Although I am first and last a writer (of fiction and nonfiction), I am here aiming to become an ethnographic historian of the long eighteenth century. My work has been shaped by the intellectual disciplines of sociocultural anthropology (esp. critical ethnography, B.A. Claremont Colleges; M.A. Univ. of Illinois) and environmental and social history (M.A./ABD UW-Madison), as well as by long practice of deep immersion in other cultures, diverse ecosystems, and close interactions with our planet's non-human inhabitants. My research is transoceanic in scope, maritime in focus, and turns upon questions of cultural memory, performances of violence and cooperation, power and pain, critical narratives, and contingency. I really enjoy engaging issues of theory, methods, and practice of the past present. My dissertation is titled "At Sea in the World (or, The Unnatural Histories of a Ship): The Cruise of U.S. Frigate Essex, 1798-1837. contact
I completed my Ph.D. in the History of Science, Medicine, and Technology in 2012. My dissertation, Cultivating Modern America: 4-H Clubs and Rural Development in the Twentieth Century, used the USDA's rural youth organization as a lens for exploring the intertwined histories of development, agriculture, and modernization in the U.S. and abroad from the turn of the twentieth century through the 1970s. I am presently turning the dissertation into a book manuscript, and preparing articles for publication. I am also thinking about two future projects, one relating to the broader history of the social and natural scientific study of agriculture and rural life, particularly as practiced in the land-grant colleges of the United States, and another dealing with the technological and social history of the modern office, particularly the history of stenography and clerical work. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution. website | contact