an image of the man-made island in the Maldives, Hulhumalé

Centering Islands in a Rising Ocean: A Conversation with Christina Gerhardt

Samm Newton interviews Dr. Christina Gerhardt about her 2023 book Sea Change, which is a collection of essays, a history of connection, and a window into island nations facing an uncertain future.
a birthday cake shaped like a camp site

Ten Hidden Gems From the Edge Effects Archives

The editorial board recommends environmental readings from the archives—on topics ranging from the Anthropocene to environmental art to blue humanities.
black framed glasses resting on an open book, the pages show a map

Faculty Favorites: What to Read (and Watch) on Race & Place

Edge Effects invited scholars from a range of fields to share with us environmental books and texts on the topic of "Race and Place" that they are most excited to teach in the new academic year.
A Call For Humanities at the Seabed

A Call For Humanities at the Seabed

Inspired by recent debates about deep sea mining, Killian Quigley, Charne Lavery, Laurence Publicover discuss the urgency of what they call a "critical seabed studies."
A bird's eye image of a single gray whale swimming in the open ocean.

The Ocean’s Beating Hearts

Hilary Clark reflects on how whale watching in Monterey helps reveal important marine multispecies connections—some more unexpected than others.
HZL Pollution

Hindustan Zinc and Corporate Social (Ir)Responsibility

In 2021 and 2022, Prerna Rana spoke with people in Udaipur, India whose livelihoods have been impacted negatively by both environmental pollution and the corporate social responsibility programs meant to mitigate that harm.
Bog with green vegetation and blue water

Swamp Feelings

Annie Proulx's 2022 book Fen, Bog, and Swamp is a melancholy love letter to wetland ecosystems. But missing from this lament, Nino McQuown argues, are hopeful histories of resistance.
Petroglyphs are carved into some rocks. In the distance there is a river and mountains.

Grappling with the Drying Riverbeds of the Agua Fria

As the once flowing Agua Fria river runs dry, Rachel Howard discusses how Arizona communities are living with climate change.
Black and white photograph of two men drying wild rice on sheets.

What Minnesota’s Mineral Gaze Overlooks

Minnesota state agencies have a history of seeing the landscape with an eye toward extraction, writes Andrew Hoyt, ignoring water resources and Indigenous sovereignty in favor of risky mining.
Corn farm

Farms, Fertilizer, and the Fight for Clean Water

In Portage County, Wisconsin, 95 percent of the nitrate in groundwater comes from agriculture, and it's having major health consequences for residents. Ground Truths editors Ben Iuliano and Carly Griffith find out how community members have used scientific and legal advocacy to fight for cleaner drinking water.
Landscape with grassland in the foreground and trees, mountains, and clouds in the background

To Conserve Nature, Recognize Its Rights

The Biden administration wants to conserve 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters by 2030. Austin Miles asks: what might that conservation look like if it recognizes the rights of nature?
Old can of Dutch Boy lead paint

Living with Lead in Milwaukee

In 2021, rates of childhood lead exposure in Milwaukee were nearly double the state average. In this episode of Ground Truths, Juniper Lewis and Carly Griffith learn more about this public health crisis.
Faculty Favorites: Books That Go Beyond the Classroom

Faculty Favorites: Books That Go Beyond the Classroom

Six scholars from campuses across the country recommend new environmental books about the blue humanities, environmental justice, the histories of bikes and blockades, and more.
Diving into the Aquatic Depths of East Asian Ecohorror

Diving into the Aquatic Depths of East Asian Ecohorror

In ecohorror movies like Shin Godzilla and The Host, pollution fights back in the form of rampaging sea monsters. Lindsay S. R. Jolivette traces the significance of water in these films—and what it reveals about our worst nightmares.
Golden maple leaves by the beach near blue waters of lake.

It’s Time to Decolonize the Great Lakes

Caitlin Joseph argues that Indigenous water governance practices are necessary to creating a more equitable Great Lakes.
Flood water on concrete near an old building

Living with Floods: A Conversation with Caroline Gottschalk Druschke

The Driftless Area of southwestern Wisconsin experienced historic flood events in late summer 2018. To commemorate the third anniversary of these floods, Caroline Gottschalk Druschke shares how the oral history project Stories from the Flood helped with community healing in the aftermath.
landscape of peat swamps with a path in the middle

To Build a New Capital City, Indonesia Must Design for Resilience

Indonesia plans to move its capital city from Jakarta to Borneo. Jeamme Chia, Gioia Montana Connell, and Dewi Tan argue that the new capital provides an opportunity address existing housing, water management, and land issues.
Green and purple ink swirls in water

Be Like Water, An Abolitionist Relationality

What does abolition mean for the everyday ways we relate to ourselves, to other humans, to the land, and to the more-than-human world? In this poetic essay, Ki'Amber Thompson wonders how water—and the call to "be like water"—might change the way we think and talk about abolition.
Aerial image of Niagara Falls from upriver

Faking Niagara Falls, A Visual History

A visual history by Daniel Macfarlane digs into the archives to document how Niagara Falls was remade for energy, tourists, and profit.
aerial view of Jaluit Atoll Lagoon, Marshall Islands

Poet’s Body as Archive Amidst a Rising Ocean

Western media often portrays Pacific Islanders as helpless victims of “sinking islands." Kuhelika Ghosh shows how Marshallese poet Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner brings performance poetry to climate activism and resistance.
Shark swimming in black ocean

This Shark Can Outlast Nuclear Waste. But Will It?

This mysterious deep-sea shark is built to live centuries. Will it survive to tell the tale of the Anthropocene? Sadie E. Hale considers the Greenland shark, nuclear waste, and ocean plastics, showing how their sclaes of time and space converge.
People climb on a large metal structure

Infrastructure’s Inequalities: A Conversation with Nikhil Anand and Nausheen Anwar

Geographer Siddharth Menon interviews anthropologist Nikhil Anand and urban planner Nausheen Anwar about infrastructures and development in India and Pakistan.
A photograph of manganese nodules on the seafloor

Diving into the History of Seabed Mining

To understand the future of seabed mining, look to the economic and environmental histories of an industry that threatens the stability of the ocean floor.
Row of aquaculture fish tanks

Can Aquaculture Make Seafood Sustainable?

Aquaculture is bringing seafood out of the sea. It might be a good idea.
A river with steep banks and a sunny sky

Managing the Rights of Nature for Te Awa Tupua

The settlement over the Whanganui River, Te Awa Tupua, in Aotearoa New Zealand has been hailed as a victory for the "rights of nature." But context matters.
Why Write Beautifully About Climate Crisis?

Why Write Beautifully About Climate Crisis?

In a moment of climate crisis and as rising seas threaten human life and habitation, writer Elizabeth Rush teaches the importance of learning to let go.
A satellite image of the Mississippi River

Recording the Mississippi Soundscape: A Conversation with Monica Haller

Artist Monica Haller explores the Mississippi River as an Anthropocene site with intimate ties to her own family history. She records the underwater sounds of this historical waterway to trace connections between the river and legacies of slavery, philosophies of ownership, and environmental racism.
Several pipes run underneath a bridge and over a river in the Washington, DC, area.

Decolonizing Infrastructure in India and the US: A Conversation with Malini Ranganathan

Two urban geographers discuss decolonization in theory and practice, the politics of water and infrastructure, and the social sides of environmental science.
Brian Teare and Lynn Keller

Writing Ecopoetry During Doomstead Days: A Conversation with Brian Teare

A new book of poems, Doomstead Days, explores our intimate entanglements with watersheds, environmental loss, and the toxic burdens we carry.
An image from Emily Fairfax's beaver ecology animation showing that beaver dams help mitigate wildfires.

How a Beaver Became a Twitter Star

A geoscientist crafts a viral research video with a little bit of patience and a whole lot of felt.
Portrait of a Eddy Harris in a black beret and a red and black flannel shirt open over a grey t-shirt looking at the camera without smiling with a big lake in the background under a grey sky.

Navigating Race on the Mississippi River: A Conversation with Eddy Harris

When you venture into the great unknown, you often have to rely on the generosity of strangers. Eddy Harris reflects on race and outdoor recreation, ecological conservation, and the elusive idea of America as he discusses his film, River to the Heart.
Lake Erie seen from above, with swaths of green ribbons cutting through the blue water, evidence of an ongoing algal bloom

Outswimming Extinction in the Great Lakes

Dan Egan's compelling narrative of recent challenges to Great Lakes ecosystems raises intriguing questions about invasion, evolution, and species survival.
A shoreline with algae, a discarded plastic turtle, foliage, rocks, and water with a visible slick sheen of something on its surface

Our Waters, Our Selves: A Conversation with Astrida Neimanis

"We can't contain water." Feminist philosopher Astrida Neimanis discusses the environmental inequalities and queer rhythms of the elusive fluid.
Activism and Hope in Flint: Five Questions for Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Activism and Hope in Flint: Five Questions for Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha

Pediatrician, scientist, and activist Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha uncovered the effects of the Flint Water Crisis on children. Her new book tells this story and how the Flint community came together to fight environmental racism and science denial with perseverance and hope.
A woman sitting on steps washing dishes in a temple pool.

Water Justice vs. Western Development in Nepal

A development practitioner and anthropologist explores the promises and realities of water development projects in Kathmandu, Nepal, where luxury hotels have pools while poor city residents struggle to find clean water sources.
Kickapoo River covers a roadway in muddy water.

Wading out the Kickapoo River Flood

After historic floods devastate Wisconsin's Driftless Area, a team of scientists reflects on their fieldwork in the Kickappo River Valley to make sense of an entangled, multispecies world.
The Water's Not Fine: A Conversation with Anna Clark

The Water’s Not Fine: A Conversation with Anna Clark

The Flint water crisis is not over. Anna Clark’s new book tells the history of how we got here and how lead is here to stay.
A photo portrait of Dylan Miner, looking at the camera wearing a plaid shirt and blue sportcoat with long braids on both sides of his head.

Indigenous Art as Creative Resistance: A Conversation with Dylan Miner

How can we use the arts to decolonize our relations to the land? An artist, activist, and scholar discusses the many forms of creative resistance we can use to imagine and enact new and better worlds.
Making the Nation in the Gilded Age: A Conversation with Richard White

Making the Nation in the Gilded Age: A Conversation with Richard White

To be outside the "home" was a dangerous place to be in Gilded Age America. Richard White tells the story of how the modern nation reluctantly came into being alongside the environmental crisis of the late nineteenth century.
Jill Pelto illustration with the ocean in the foreground and two layers of glacier in the left rear, with the horizon shaped by a line graph moving down from left to right. Four suns are arranged in an arc in the background.

Apocalypse in Watercolor

To reach a broader audience, one artist and physical scientist takes data on environmental catastrophe and renders it beautiful.
Cottonwoods in Concrete: A Call for Collaborative Survival among Ruins

Cottonwoods in Concrete: A Call for Collaborative Survival among Ruins

A forest sprouting from a levee in eastern Washington offers a model for flood management, if only we notice it.
"Stop Calling Me Resilient": Addressing Environmental Degradation in Louisiana

“Stop Calling Me Resilient”: Addressing Environmental Degradation in Louisiana

Louisiana's coast restoration project, and its underlying framework of climate resiliency, is generating pushback from environmental justice organizations.
Remembering Lost Landscapes in Cambodia

Remembering Lost Landscapes in Cambodia

Nearly forty years after the Pol Pot time, Cambodia’s landscape testifies to a tumultuous past and hints at an uncertain environmental future.
Toxic Bodies and the Wetter, Better Future of "Mad Max: Fury Road"

Toxic Bodies and the Wetter, Better Future of “Mad Max: Fury Road”

Most Hollywood catastrophe films offer neat endings and the promise of a fresh start. Fury Road asks what happens when the broken world cannot be made whole.
A Reading List To Stay Grounded On Earth Day

A Reading List To Stay Grounded On Earth Day

Recommendations of environmental history books that carry us from stardust to coal dust and back, just in time for Earth Day.
Crying Dugongs and Ocean Encounters in Southeast Asia

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.
Crumpled sign that reads "Water is Unfit for Human Consumption"

A Syllabus for Teaching Water Politics

A new syllabus outlines a series of readings for teaching the politics of water.
Faculty Favorites: Books for an Engaged Spring

Faculty Favorites: Books for an Engaged Spring

Environmental scholars in the United States and Europe share the books they're most excited about teaching this spring.
Tilefish and Jello Salad for Family and Nation

Tilefish and Jello Salad for Family and Nation

When the National Canners Association and the US Bureau of Fisheries write the recipes, Americans learn to serve Jello Salad and Tilefish for dinner.
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.
How Activists Are Taking on Factory Farms

How Activists Are Taking on Factory Farms

Activists gather at a summit over factory farm expansion, offering an economic vision based on the value of clean water.

The Ethics of Ceremony at Standing Rock

Activists at Standing Rock bring a sense of ceremony to environmental politics.
Wisconsin's John Muir: An Interview with Michael Edmonds

Wisconsin’s John Muir: An Interview with Michael Edmonds

A traveling exhibit celebrates the life of John Muir and the centennial of the National Parks Service.
Rhythms of Time Along the Water

Rhythms of Time Along the Water

The Center for Culture, History, and Environment’s Place-Based Workshop on the Mississippi River this summer inspires reflections on Mali’s critically important Niger Delta floodplain.
Same Place, Different Photograph

Same Place, Different Photograph

Repeat photography is used by a range of scientists and artists as a form of data collection, but also raises deeper questions about the nature of truth.
Sounding Calls

Sounding Calls

The forgotten soundscapes of the Old Mississippi River.
Fly fishing

Humans, Streams, and the Desire to Manage

Reflections on improvement versus natural restoration in watershed management.
Mississippi River

Snapshots of the Mississippi

Members of the Edge Effects editorial board share a selection of photos from CHE's recent Place-Based Workshop on the Mississippi River.
5 Ways to Ford the Dam(n)ed Mississippi River

5 Ways to Ford the Dam(n)ed Mississippi River

CHE's upcoming place-based workshop elicits questions—and several suggestions—about how to navigate a river and its watershed.
An Ode to Madison’s Lake Monster

An Ode to Madison’s Lake Monster

A story about sea serpents, water spirits, and how Madison's lake monster lore invites an ethic of coexistence.
Damming God? Making Sense of the Plan to Fix Niagara Falls

Damming God? Making Sense of the Plan to Fix Niagara Falls

Recent news of restoration work at Niagara Falls provides an opportunity to reflect on how symbolic American landscapes become meaningful despite constant change.
Brooklyn’s Empire Stores and the Future of the Waterfront

Brooklyn’s Empire Stores and the Future of the Waterfront

Trash uncovered beneath an 1860s Brooklyn warehouse encourages us to reconsider our contemporary relationship to urban waterfronts.
The Flint Water Crisis: A Special Edition Environment and Health Roundtable

The Flint Water Crisis: A Special Edition Environment and Health Roundtable

The Flint water crisis sounds a call not just to address the immediate emergency, but to consider the larger legacies to which it points. We’ve assembled a roundtable of noted scholars to contemplate this history, whose understanding, they suggest, is crucial to any broader solution.
One Community and its River: An Artist Roundtable

One Community and its River: An Artist Roundtable

Artists reflect on their collaborative installation and performance on the banks of the Chester River.
Everyday Paths of Water in the City

Everyday Paths of Water in the City

How do people encounter water every day in São Paulo, and how can those encounters suggest opportunities for dealing with water's scarcity?
Building Beaches: Beach Nourishment in the United States

Building Beaches: Beach Nourishment in the United States

A hard look at the soft engineering that goes into our beaches.
A dry Folsom Lake, California, 2014. Photo by flickr user Robert Cause-Baker (CC-BY-2.0).

Tapping the Past for California’s Water Future

California's current drought offers an occasion for rethinking how our relationship to the past can help us confront crisis.
Highly exploratory “what-if” visualizations help policymakers and citizens understand potential climate futures.

Land, Water, and Climate Change in Five Interactive Maps

Five new visualization tools help us explore how climate change might affect the places where land and water meet.
Checkerboard mesa strata

Seven Ways to Sense the Anthropocene

Seven projects that help us to better sense—visualize, hear, count—ecological and social transformations in the "Age of Humans."
Davis Island: A Confederate Shrine, Submerged

Davis Island: A Confederate Shrine, Submerged

A visit to Jefferson Davis’s former property in Mississippi shows that, in the battles over how we remember the Civil War, the combatants are not always human.