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ASEH Annual Conference 2017

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ASEH Annual Conference 2017

Chicago, IL

Mar 29 - Apr 02, 2017

Host and Sponsors

General Info




Local Films

About this guide

Winds of Change: Global Connections across Space, Time, and Nature

Dates: March 29 - April 2, 2017

Conference Information

Location and Lodging

The conference will be located at the Drake Hotel in Chicago (in a vibrant area along the Magnificent Mile), near the shores of Lake Michigan.

Address: 140 E. Walton Place, Chicago, IL 60611

Phone: (312) 787-2200

The conference hotel rate is $179/night single or double, with a limited number of student rooms available at a discounted rate of $139/night. Rates are available until March 6, 2017 – or until the room block fills.

The Drake Hotel, built in 1920 in the Beaux-Arts style, has the charm of a historic building – and some of the quirks. Its layout is more complex than that of many modern conference facilities with uniform, identical rooms. When using the guest elevators to the meeting space, take the elevators to the lobby level and walk up a short flight of stairs to the mezzanine level meeting space. If you need assistance getting to the meeting space in the hotel, please contact guest services.


To register for the conference, go to:


Air Travel: Chicago is served by O'Hare International Airport (ORD) and Midway International Airport (MDW). Cab rides from the airports can take anywhere from 30 to 60 minutes depending on traffic. See GoAirportExpress to reserve a shuttle:

Public Transportation: There are also public transit trains that run from both airports (blue line from O'Hare, orange from Midway).

Amtrak: Chicago's Union Station is a major terminal for Amtrak as well as for city and regional train service. It is located at 210 Canal St. in downtown Chicago. It is about a 4-mile trip from Union Station to the conference hotel. The easiest way to get to the hotel from Union Station is via taxi, which will cost about $15. The CTA 151 bus can also be taken from Union Station; the bus runs up Michigan Avenue.

Driving: Chicago can be reached via Interstates 57, 80, 88, 90, or 94, as well as numerous spurs off the interstates. Keep in mind that traffic in downtown Chicago is extremely heavy at times, and that the major highways are typically referred to by locals by names instead of numbers (e.g., Dan Ryan or Kennedy instead of I-94 or I-190, respectively). All signs will include numbers.

Parking: Parking in Chicago can be very expensive – $67/day at the hotel (2016 rates). There are self-park options (slightly less expensive) in the vicinity of the hotel.

Additional information on transportation is available at ASEH's website:

Walking Around in downtown Chicago

The hotel is located in a vibrant section of the Magnificent Mile, near many restaurants and bars. Exercise caution and common sense when walking, as you would in any large city. We recommend walking with others from the conference at night.

Local Weather

Late March/early April can be dry and sunny - and some years see springtime snow. Typically, temperatures range from the 40s to 50s degrees Fahrenheit. The chilly breezes can make it feel colder. Pack a few warm layers - and wear comfortable shoes on field trips. Bring an umbrella, just in case. Current weather click here.


Cancellations must be e-mailed to Requests received by March 1, 2017 will receive a full refund, minus a $35 processing fee, following the conference. Requests made after March 1, 2017 will receive a refund of the registration fee only, minus a $35 processing fee, as the hotel catering and bus companies will charge us the full amounts due by that date. Fees for breakfasts, banquets, and field trips will not be refunded after March 1, 2017. Cancellation of rooms must be made through the hotel and are subject to its requirements for notification.

Child Care

Children are welcome at ASEH's conferences - and information on activities in Chicago that may appeal to families is available on ASEH's website:

The ASEH does not have funds to provide child care or to organize specific activities for children. The following can be consulted for babysitting services:

Contact if you have questions or concerns.


The conference hashtag is #ASEH2017. The conference registration form includes a line for your Twitter handle, which can be listed on your name badge.

Online Program

The conference program is available on this Guidebook app. Search Guidebook for “ASEH Annual Conference 2017." The program is also available on our website at

Commitment to Sustainability

ASEH will ensure that waste at the hotel is recycled, and we will provide recycling containers on the field trip buses. We will be using name badges made from recycled paper, and are working with the hotel to get locally grown food for our events. The online registration form offers the option to purchase carbon offsets. For a description of carbon credits, see ASEH's website ( – “Sustainability"). Information on ASEH's Sustainability Committee is also available on our website.

ASEH will provide reusable water bottles for use during the conference and field trips, allowing us to avoid purchasing a large number of disposable bottled waters.

Commitment to Inclusivity

ASEH remains committed to inclusivity with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression and identity, sexual orientation, and physical abilities in terms of participation and topics discussed at our conferences.

Celebrating ASEH's 40th Anniversary

Several events will commemorate ASEH's 40 th anniversary, including sessions (ASEH Presidents Slam and a retrospective look at our journal), a historic display in the exhibit area, the closing reception, and oral history interviews.

Share your memories of ASEH! In honor of our anniversary, Loyola University graduate students will interview interested ASEH conference attendees on Thursday, March 30 and Saturday, April 1 in the Tudor Room, mezzanine level. Each interview will take 15 minutes or less. To sign up before the conference, contact, who will send a brief list of questions. A signup sheet of available time slots will also be posted at the registration desk (in the French Foyer) during the conference. Please visit the Tudor Room only if you have signed up for an interview at the specific time (to avoid interruptions). Interviews will be recorded and stored at ASEH's archives in the National Conservation Training Center.

Questions? Contact:

Conference at a Glance

Wednesday, March 29

8:30 am – 12:00 pm Author Workshop: Environmental History of Chicago; attendance by invitation only [Walton, lobby level]

10:00 am – 7:00 pm Registration Open [French Foyer, lobby level]

1:00 – 5:00 pm Workshop: “Doing Local History: Engaging the Archives, Engaging the Community," sponsored by the Newberry Library; sign-up ahead of time required [located at the Newberry Library]

6:00 – 8:00 pm Opening Reception, sponsored by Oxford University Press [Gold Coast/Drake Room, lobby level]

Thursday, March 30

7:00 – 8:15 am War & Environment Breakfast [Erie Room, mezzanine level]

8:00 am – 5:00 pm Exhibits Open [Gold Coast Room, lobby level]

8:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Open [French Foyer, lobby level]

8:30 am – 5:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

12:00 – 1:15 pm Lunch Banquet and ASEH Presidential Address by Kathleen A. Brosnan, “The Lifting Fog: Race, Work, and the Environment" [Grand Ballroom, lobby level]

6:30 – 8:00 pm Plenary Session: “Environmental Justice in Chicago and Beyond" [Grand Ballroom, lobby level]

8:00 – 9:00 pm Women's Environmental History Network Reception [French, lobby level]

9:00 – 10:15 pm Graduate Student Reception, sponsored by The Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment in the South, Mississippi State University [French, lobby level]

Friday, March 31

7:15 – 8:15 am Forest History Society Breakfast [Erie Room, mezzanine level]

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Exhibits Open [Gold Coast Room, lobby level]

8:00 am – 12:00 pm Registration Open [French Foyer, lobby level]

8:30 am – 12:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

Friday Afternoon Field Trips:

1. Boat Tour of Chicago River by Chicago Architecture Foundation (subject to weather)

2. Walking Tour: Exploring Chicago Rivers

3. Newberry Library Tour

4. Field Museum Behind-the-Scenes Tour

5. Garfield Park Conservatory Tour

6. Little Village Environmental Justice Tour

7. Toxic Tour of East Chicago

8. Birding Trip

9. Indiana Dunes Tour

Documentary films on local topics will be shown at the conference hotel on Friday afternoon [Parkside, mezzanine level]. Field trips require sign-up ahead of time on conference registration form, as space is limited. Please check detailed descriptions of the field trips in this program (in the next section) for information on times and where to meet your tour leader.

Friday Evening Events:

6:30 – 8:00 pm ICEHO Meeting [Superior, mezzanine level]

6:30 – 8:00 pm Journal Editorial Board Reception; by invitation only [Venetian, mezzanine level]

6:45- 7:30 pm Graduate Student Caucus meeting [Parkside, mezzanine level]

7:00 pm Energy group no-host dinner [contact Robert Lifset at] Diversity/Inclusion group no-host dinner [contact Mike Dockry at]

Saturday, April 1

6:15 – 7:15 am Hal Rothman Fun(d) Run [meet in hotel lobby]

7:00 – 8:00 am Yoga [Tudor, mezzanine level]

7:15 – 8:15 am Envirotech Breakfast [Erie Room, mezzanine level]

8:00 am – 2:00 pm Exhibits Open [Gold Coast Room, lobby level]

8:00 am – 5:00 pm Registration Open [French Foyer, lobby level]

8:30 am – 5:00 pm Concurrent Sessions

10:00 – 10:30 am Poster Presentations [Drake, lobby level]

12:00 – 4:00 pm Executive Committee Meeting; by invitation only [Erie Room, mezzanine level]

4:30 – 5:00 pm ASEH Members Meeting [French, lobby level]

5:00 – 5:45 pm Forum: Threats to the Free Flow of Ideas and People [French, lobby level]

6:00 – 7:00 pm Plenary Session: “ Nature's Metropolis 25 Years Later: A Conversation with Bill Cronon" [Grand Ballroom, lobby level]

7:00 – 8:00 pm Awards Ceremony [Grand Ballroom, lobby level]

8:00 – 9:30 pm Closing Reception: ASEH Celebrates 40 Years [Walton, lobby level]

Sunday, April 2

9:15 am – 3:00 pm Field Trip: Exploring Pullman National Monument with Leon Fink, Distinguished Professor of History, University of Illinois-Chicago

Registration Desk Hours:

Located in French Foyer, lobby level

Wednesday, March 29 10:00 am – 7:00 pm

Thursday, March 30 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday, March 31 8:00 am – 12:00 pm

Saturday, April 1 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Exhibit Hall Hours:

Located in Gold Coast, lobby level

Wednesday, March 29 6:00 – 8:00 pm (Opening Reception)

Thursday, March 30 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Friday, March 31 8:00 am – 12:00 noon (afternoon break for field trips)

Saturday, April 1 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

Special Events

Please note that participants need to sign up ahead of time for special events – see the online registration form at “Chicago conference." The following special events are for the most part listed by categories, not in chronological order. See “Conference at a Glance" section for chronological listing.

Workshop: Doing Local History: Engaging the Archives, Engaging the Community

Sponsored by the Newberry Library

Wednesday, March 29, 1:00 – 5:00 pm

Meet in the hotel lobby at 12:40 pm to walk down the street to the Newberry Library, located at 60 W. Walton St, Chicago, IL 60610.

Free for conference attendees, but sign up ahead of time is required. This workshop will focus on the ways in which environmental historians and other scholars can engage more deeply with their communities, from archival research to supporting activists and other local actors. The workshop will be divided into three sections to highlight different aspects of local history. We will begin with an introduction to the Newberry Library's world-renowned collections in local history by curator Matthew Rutherford. The local history collection includes county, city, town, church, and other local histories from all regions of the United States, as well as from Canada and the British Isles. While we normally contemplate how scholars can inform activists, the second workshop section reverses this process, asking how community activists can aid historians in the generation of scholarship. Kimberly Wasserman-Nieto, executive director of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and Gerald Adelmann, President of Openlands, will comment on essays from a book on Chicago's environmental history currently in the process of publication. Finally, three ASEH members who have worked extensively with their communities will discuss the reasons for and methods of engagement while contemplating the complexities involved. These panelists are Sylvia Hood Washington, editor of Environmental Justice Journal; Martin Melosi, director of the University of Houston Center for Public History; and Catherine Christen, the Graduate and Professional Training Manager for the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute. Ann Durkin Keating and William C. Barnett of North Central College will moderate workshop sections. For workshop participants who might want to utilize the Newberry's collections before the workshop or during the conference, we encourage you to register online for a reader's card at and to peruse the catalog at in advance of the conference. Lunch is not included.


Opening Reception

Sponsored by Oxford University Press

Wednesday, March 29, 6:00 – 8:00 pm

Gold Coast Room/Drake Room, lobby level

Welcome remarks by Chris Boyer, local arrangements chair

Join your colleagues for light appetizers, drinks, and sparkling conversation. Includes cash bar. This is also an opportunity to view the exhibits on display in the reception area.

Women's Networking Reception

Sponsored by the Center for Public History, University of Houston; Department of History, University of Oklahoma; and founding members of WEHN, including Kathleen Brosnan, Julie Cohn, Sarah Elkind, Elizabeth Fenn, Sara Gregg, Ann Greene, Nancy Jacobs, Lisa Mighetto, Sarah Mittlefehldt, Sarah T. Phillips, Sara Pritchard, Harriet Ritvo, Paul Sutter, Conevery Valencius, and Verena Winiwarter.

Thursday, March 30, 8:00 – 9:00 pm

French Room, lobby level

This reception provides an opportunity for women (cis/trans) to meet, make connections, and become involved in ASEH's mentoring program. All conference attendees are welcome. Wine and light snacks provided.

Graduate Student Reception

Sponsored by Center for the History of Agriculture, Science, and the Environment in the South, Mississippi State University

Thursday, March 30, 9:00 – 10:15 pm

French Room, lobby level

Brief welcome from graduate student liaison Zach Nowak, who will provide an update on ASEH graduate student activities. Free book raffle, light appetizers, and cash bar.

Plenary Sessions

Environmental Justice in Chicago and Beyond"

Thursday, March 30, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m.

Grand Ballroom, lobby level

Speakers: Sylvia Hood Washington, Illinois EPA and Environmental Health Research Associates, LLC; Kimberly Wasserman, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization; Shana Bernstein, Northwestern University; and Ellen Spears, University of Alabama. Moderator: Marsha Weisiger, University of Oregon.

Nature's Metropolis 25 Years Later: A Conversation with Bill Cronon," moderated by Patrick Reardon

Saturday, April 1, 6:00 - 7:00 p.m.

Grand Ballroom, lobby level

William Cronon's book on Chicago and the Great West received ASEH's best book award in the early 1990s. Join us for a reflection on this extraordinary work.


War & Environment

Thursday, March 30, 7:00 – 8:15 am

Erie Room, mezzanine level

Note the early time, to allow interested participants to begin discussing early.

Forest History Society

Friday, March 31, 7:15 – 8:15 am

Erie Room, mezzanine level

Anyone working or interested in forest history is welcome to attend. FHS members and joint members encouraged to participate. In addition to meeting people with similar research interests President Steven Anderson will provide an update of strategic initiatives at the FHS.


Sponsored in part by Envirotech

Saturday, April 1, 7:15 – 8:15 am

Erie Room, mezzanine level

Lunch Banquet

Thursday, March 30, 12:00 – 1:15 pm

Grand Ballroom, lobby level

This lunch will feature ASEH President Kathleen A. Brosnan's talk, “The Lifting Fog: Race, Work, and the Environment"

Field trips on Friday Afternoon, 12:30 pm – approximately 6:00 pm

Conference attendees can explore the city on their own or sign up for a field trip, led by local experts and environmental history scholars who have researched these sites. Anyone who registers for the conference can sign up for a field trip. Some are free and some include fees in addition to conference registration; all are listed and described on our website ( Sign up before the conference using the online registration form on ASEH's website.

Please read the descriptions and instructions for each trip carefully, as departure times and place of departures vary. Some trips include lunch and others do not; some involve buses and others involve walking or public transportation.

Wear comfortable shoes and bring a jacket (and maybe an umbrella). Bring your ASEH reusable water bottle – filled – as we will not be providing disposable water bottles.

Field Trip #1 Boat Tour of Chicago ($50)

Leader: Chicago Architecture Foundation and Marian Weidner, ASEH program assistant

Description: Chicago is known around the world for its architecture – and this tour is consistently listed as one of the top ten attractions for tourists in the city. For approximately 90 minutes participants will cruise the river through downtown Chicago, exploring the history of the city's iconic architecture and the development of various styles. The tour is a unique way to view the city's built environment, including skyscrapers, public works structures, bridges, and more. The boat is covered and operates weather permitting.

Notes: Trip includes boat ride and bus ticket but no lunch. Meet leader Marian Weidner in hotel lobby at 1:00 pm.

Field Trip #2 Walking Tour: Exploring Chicago Rivers (free, with optional stop at Chicago River Museum)

Leaders: Christopher Anderson and Nicholas McCormick, University of Illinois-Chicago graduate students in history

Description: The Chicago River is a system of waterways that connect the Great Lakes and the Mississippi Valley. A large public works project completed in 1900 reversed the flow of the river to save the region from waterborne diseases caused by sewage contamination of Lake Michigan – a major drinking supply. The project increased the river's flow from Lake Michigan, directing it through Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. For more on the reversal of the Chicago River, see:

This walking tour will explore sites along the Chicago River, discussing environmental and social justice issues as well as the history of transportation networks, industrial uses, and recreational activities.

Notes: Lunch not included. Please note that this tour is free but may include an optional stop at the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum, which requires a $5 fee. Meet trip leaders in hotel lobby at 1:00 pm.

Field Trip #3 Newberry Library Tour (free)

Leaders: Jim Akerman, Curator of Maps, Newberry Library and Kathleen Brosnan, ASEH President and Newberry Researcher

Description: ASEH members will enjoy an insightful tour of the Newberry Library, a world-renowned independent research library just three blocks from the conference hotel. Founded in 1887, the Newberry acquires and preserves a broad array of special collections research materials relating primarily to the civilizations of Europe and the Americas, although other regions of the world also are well covered, particularly among the library's extraordinary collection of maps. Jim Akerman and Kathleen Brosnan will provide an overview of the facilities and then offer a dazzling “show and tell" with rare materials from the Newberry's cartographic collections that speak to constantly evolving human relations with nature. Participants will closely examine everything from Ptolemy's Geographia to portolan charts and materials from La Condamine, among others. We will leave time at the end of the tour for participants to visit the reading room. In anticipation of use of the reading room, we encourage tour participants to register online for a reader's card at and to peruse the catalog at in advance of the conference.

Notes: Attendees will walk to the site from the Drake Hotel (3 blocks); lunch not included. Meet trip leaders in hotel lobby at 1:00 pm.

Field Trip #4 Field Museum: Behind-the-Scenes Tour (free)

Leaders: Mark Alvey, Field Museum; Mark Bouman, Field Museum; and Ian Jesse, University of Maine

Description: The Field Museum is the 4th largest natural history museum in the world. It houses some 30 million objects spanning the fields of anthropology, botany, mycology, zoology, paleontology, and meteoritics, less than one percent of which are on exhibit. It is also a leading institution of collections-based research and conservation action, with a research faculty of 20+ Ph.D. scientists, another dozen postdocs, 140-odd collection managers, fossil preparators, conservation ecologists, lab technicians, plus graduate students, volunteers and interns. This is the side of the museum that most people never see—over seven acres of collections and labs—but you can!

Field Museum “insiders" Mark Bouman (Director of Chicago Region environmental conservation programs) and Mark Alvey (Science Communications Manager) will lead a 2-hour tour covering behind-the-scenes areas as well as a foray into the evolving landscape in the museum's front yard. Some of the potential stops include zoology collections (fishes, birds, insects, etc.), fossil preparation labs, the plant and fungi collections, as well as a peek at historic maps from Library Special Collections, and an early look at restoration efforts on the Museum Campus. (Sidebar on historic taxidermy for those who are interested!) This tour complements the panel “Connecting Histories: Exploring the Relationships Between Natural History and Environmental History Across Space and Time," which explores links between natural history and environmental history.

Notes: This is a walking-intensive field trip. Lunch not included. Meet trip leaders in the lobby at 1:00 pm.

Field Trip #5 Garfield Park Conservatory Tour ($15)

Leaders: Eliot Fackler, University of Illinois-Chicago graduate student; Garfield Conservatory staff

Description: The Garfield Park Conservatory, known to Chicagoans as “landscape art under glass," is one of the nation's oldest and largest such facilities, with over two acres of plant life distributed in eight rooms. It houses over seven dozen varieties of palms, hundreds of varieties of ferns, and some cycads over a century old. Designed by Chicago's chief landscape architect Jens Jensen in collaboration with Jensen in collaboration with prominent Prairie School architects the conservatory was built in in 1906-07 and opened to the public in1908. It is located alongside the 184-acre Garfield Park originally proposed by the great urban planner Daniel Burnham.

We will leave the Drake Hotel after lunch (on your own) and take the CTA train (i.e., the “L") to the conservatory. There, we will receive a specially organized tour led by museum staff that will include a behind-the-scenes peek at the growing rooms and conservatory operations as well as a detailed discussion of the conservatory's architecture and history. Visitors will have time to take their own stroll through the conservatory. We will then take the L back to the hotel.

Notes: Public transportation ticket and admission to the conservatory included. Lunch not included. Meet trip leader in the lobby at 1:00 pm.

Field Trip #6 Little Village Environmental Justice Tour ($35)

Leaders: Chris Boyer, Professor of History, UIC; Karen Canales, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization

Description: The Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, better known as “La Villita" has been one of the primary seats of Mexican culture in Chicago. Formerly a center of Polish migration, Mexican migrants began to settle in this are beginning in the 1960s. Today, it is known as “Mexico in the Midwest." La Villita has also been at the forefront of an environmental justice movement over the past decade which culminated in 2011 with the agreement to close down the coal-powered Crawford power plant. At the forefront of this movement was the Little Villaje Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), which will lead this tour.

We will depart the Drake by bus and stop off at Pilsen (Chicago's famous Mexican-American community) for an inexpensive lunch at the popular La Esperanza restaurant. Be sure to order one of the quesadillas made from hand-patted tortillas! From there, we will go to the LVEJO offices for a 2 ½ hour walking tour. Sites on the Toxic Tour include Semillas de Justicia Community Garden, a view of the Crawford plant, the Cook County Jail, the Collateral Channel, and more. Please wear appropriate footwear. (If the weather is bad, we may use the bus rather than walking.) After the tour, we will head back to the hotel.

Notes: Trip includes bus transportation from hotel; attendees bring their own money for no-host lunch. Meet the ASEH tour bus outside the hotel at 12:30 pm. Depending on weather, this tour could include a lot of walking.

Field Trip #7 Toxic Tour of East Chicago ($50)

Leader: Leader: Thomas Frank, Southeast Environmental Task Force

Description: For much of the 20th century East Chicago was known as “Steel Town." It was a bustling city on the southern shores of Lake Michigan that boasted of being the most industrial city in the world. Now, after 40-years of globalization with the flight of capital the legacy of East Chicago's industrial economy has left behind massive amounts of contaminated land, water, air, populations and politics. The Toxic Tour is a story of East Chicago's existing conditions.

We will meet at the hotel for a box lunch (included in the cost of the tour) and a short presentation by tour leader Thomas Frank, an artist and activist who has been working for environmental justice in the Calumet region for the past decade. We will then travel by bus to East Chicago, where we will visit current and former industrial sites, including the O'Brien Locks, Hegewisch Marsh, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, among others. Please wear appropriate footwear. (If the weather is bad, we may use the bus rather than walking.) After the tour, we board the bus and return to the hotel.

Notes: Trip includes lunch and bus transportation from hotel. Meet in Parkside Room, mezzanine level, at 12:30 pm.

Field Trip #8 Birding the Palos Region ($50)

Leaders: Joel Greenberg and Melissa Wiedenfeld

Description: The Palos area is a 15,000-acre portion of the Cook County Forest Preserve District that includes a lovely morainal landscape covered with woods and interspersed with lakes, waterways, and marshes. Given the date of our field trip we will be focusing on water birds and a variety of raptors. Sandhill cranes are a possibility. Our trip will begin at McGinnis Slough, large marsh and lake that draws a remarkable number and variety of water birds. This stop will involve some walking along a level path through a scenic area. Depending on time and weather, we may also visit the Saganashkee Slough.

Notes: Trip includes lunch and bus transportation from hotel. Meet the ASEH tour bus outside the hotel at 12:30 pm.

Field Trip #9 Indiana Dunes Tour

Leader: Peter Nekola, The Newberry Library

Description: This tour will follow the shore of Lake Michigan to the unique dune environment at the Lake's southern end. This area of constantly shifting dunes, some of them hundreds of feet high, developed over millennia as Lake Michigan's winds and currents moved sand and water in the wake of the Laurentian ice sheet. Henry Chandler Cowles and other botanists from the University of Chicago first theorized the basic concepts of ecological succession while conducting fieldwork in the dunes in the 1890s. The area's strategic location for heavy industry led to large-scale dune removal in the twentieth century, inspiring a campaign to preserve remaining dune landscapes from industrial development. This campaign has seen the establishment and subsequent expansion of the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, resulting in a patchwork of ancient dune areas, recently restored dunes in former industrial sites, and some remaining industry. This tour will follow the Lakeshore through many of these present and former industrial sites and communities on its way to West Beach in the Ogden Dunes. There we will walk the mile-long Dune Succession Trail, which scales, via stairs and boardwalks, several large dunes with sweeping views, and takes us through eight unique plant communities. We will also stop at a section of Lakefront which for years served as a settling area for industrial waste, where dunes and dune plant communities have recently been restored through public-private partnership.

Notes: Trip includes lunch and bus transportation from hotel. Meet the ASEH tour bus outside the hotel at 12:30 pm.

Additional Friday Events

International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations (ICEHO) Meeting [sub subheading]

Friday, March 31, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Superior Room, mezzanine level

Journal Editorial Board Reception

Friday, March 31, 6:30 – 8:00 pm

Venetian Room, mezzanine level

For journal committees only; invitation was sent prior to conference.

Graduate Student Caucus Meeting

Friday, March 31, 6:45 pm – 7:30 pm

Parkside Room, mezzanine level

All graduate students welcome. This is your chance to weigh in on ASEH's programs and future activities. Many participants will be leaving for dinner in downtown Chicago after the meeting.

Energy Group No-Host Dinner

Friday, March 31, 7:00 p.m.

Meet in hotel lobby

Interested attendees contact Chris Jones at

Diversity Group No-Host Dinner

Friday, March 31, 7:00 p.m.

Meet in hotel lobby

Interested attendees contact Mike Dockry at

Saturday Events

Hal Rothman Fun(d) Run

Saturday, April 1, 6:15 – 7:15 am

Meet in the hotel's lobby to participate in this run in downtown Chicago to benefit ASEH's Hal Rothman Research Fellowship for graduate students. To sign up see conference registration form.

Rise and Shine: Yoga at ASEH

Saturday, April 1, 7:00 – 8:00 am

Tudor Room, mezzanine level

Take time out for yourself at the conference this year and join us for a relaxing and invigorating vinyasa yoga class! No experience necessary. Class is beginner friendly. We will be practicing without mats, but if you have one you're welcome to bring it. FREE for graduate students. Suggested donation of $10 for faculty, post-docs, and others; payable at the event. If you are interested, or have any questions, email yoga teacher and PhD candidate Raechel Lutz,

Poster Presentations

Saturday, April 1, 10:00-10:30 am

View the posters in the Drake Room, lobby level, and meet the authors, who will be available to discuss their research. Marsha Weisiger, program committee chair, will present an award for the most effective poster at 7:00 pm.

Saturday Evening Events

ASEH Business/Members Meeting

Saturday, April 1, 4:30 – 5:00 pm

French Room, lobby level

Everyone welcome. This is your chance to weigh in as President Kathleen Brosnan summarizes ASEH's latest initiatives and discusses the future of our organization. We will also be voting on amendments to ASEH's by-laws. (See event listed below.)

Forum: Threats to the Free Flow of Ideas and People

Saturday, April 1, 5:00 – 5:45 pm

French Room, lobby level

This discussion is open to all attendees, and will provide participants with an opportunity to speak and to help forge the Society's agenda during these difficult times.

Plenary Session

Saturday, April 1, 6:00 – 7:00 pm

Grand Ballroom, lobby level

Nature's Metropolis 25 Years Later: A Conversation with Bill Cronon," moderated by Patrick Reardon. William Cronon's book on Chicago and the Great West received ASEH's best book award in the early 1990s. Join us for a reflection on this extraordinary work

Awards Ceremony

Saturday, April 1, 7:00 – 8:00 pm

Grand Ballroom, lobby level

Help celebrate scholarship in environmental history and support your colleagues! President Kathleen Brosnan will present the following awards:

George Perkins Marsh Prize for Best Book

Alice Hamilton Prize for Best Article Outside Journal Environmental History

Leopold-Hidy Prize for Best Article in Journal Environmental History (with Forest History Society)

Rachel Carson Prize for Best Dissertation

Public Outreach Career Award

Equity Graduate Student Fellowship

Samuel Hays Research Fellowship

Hal Rothman Research Fellowship

Distinguished Service Award

Closing Reception: ASEH Celebrates 40 Years

Saturday, April 1, 8:00 – 9:30 pm

Walton Room, lobby level

Join us for this last event of the evening, which includes a light buffet featuring “A Taste of Chicago," along with anniversary cake and champagne. Brief closing remarks by President Kathleen Brosnan.

Sunday Day Trip, April 2

Exploring Pullman National Monument ($45)

Leader: Leon Fink, Distinguished Professor of History, University of Illinois-Chicago

Description: Take a trip with one of the nation's leading labor historians to a remarkable built environment: the Pullman District in (what is now) the southern reach of Chicago. Pullman was the first planned industrial community in the United States and became the prototype for late 19th-century industrial “company towns" elsewhere in the Midwest. Founded in 1880 by George Pullman as a geographically compartmentalized space where workers would live in proximity to the factories and workshops for his famous luxury rail cars, the township's housing stock inscribed social difference onto the urban landscape. Pullman gained national notoriety as the site of a major strike in1894 strike that recast labor law and called into question the viability of company towns. This trip will be led by Leon Fink, Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Illinois at Chicago and author of more than a dozen books of American and international labor and social history. We will depart the hotel at 9:30 a.m. Professor Fink will narrate the trip by bus to the Pullman National Monument, located 18 miles from the Drake Hotel. NPS Personnel will provide a tour of the Monument and surrounding area. We will enjoy lunch at the Pullman Café, where we will learn a bit about urban farming. En route home, we will make a slight detour to see the Calumet Harbor, once a hub of Chicago's industrial shipping trade. We will return to the Drake by approximately 2:30-3:00 pm

Notes: Bus transportation included, but not lunch (please bring money for lunch). Meet ASEH tour bus outside the hotel at 9:15 am.

For more information, see:

For a map showing Chicago sites important to industry, labor, and recreation, see:


The exhibits will be located in the Gold Coast Room, lobby level, where coffee, tea, and water will be provided during the morning breaks.


Wednesday, March 29 6:00 – 8:00 pm Opening Reception
Thursday, March 30 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Friday, March 31 8:00 am – 12:00 noon (afternoon break for field trips)
Saturday, April 1 8:00 am – 2:00 pm

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