Essays

Long form essays and reflections from members of the CHE community.

Crying Dugongs and Ocean Encounters in Southeast Asia

Stories of the dugong, a cousin of the manatee, offer important insight into human-nature encounters in the waters of Southeast Asia.

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The camp at Standing Rock. Photo by Larry Nesper, November 2016.

Loaves and Fishes at Standing Rock

A senior scholar of North American indigenous history visits the Oceti Sakowin camp and finds cause for hope. Up to a point.

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The Surveyor’s Stone: Unearthing Hidden Markers of the American Landscape

Buried in the nineteenth century, stone markers continue to serve as the official, and often elusive, demarcation points of the Public Land Survey System.

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Playing With Fire in Indonesia’s Peatlands

Indonesia’s previously swampy forests have become unpredictable, fuel-rich fire traps.

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Carolyn Finney addresses the Nelson Institute's Community Environmental Scholars Program in Madison, Wisconsin, April 2016. Photo by Ingrid Laas.

Nature and the Rules of Race: A Conversation with Carolyn Finney

The importance of storytelling in elucidating and challenging understandings of race and the environment.

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Mining for Change in Bolivia

Despite changing political contexts, mining continues to define culture and landscapes in Bolivia.

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An aerial view of Ocean City, Maryland, showing typical coastal development.

The First Green Developer

Charles E. Fraser built a South Carolina beach resort privileging environmental protection, leaving a complex legacy for conservation and development today.

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Life after the Olympics: Housing in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Far beyond the global spotlight of the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, uneven housing policies have reconfigured the city’s social landscape.

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Built to Last

How concrete changed perceptions of knowledge and labor in a modernizing society.

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National parks

A Park Service for Both Bison and Bombs

The centennial of the National Park Service offers a chance to reassess how we view natural and cultural landscapes.

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