Irish Environmental History Network
Welcome to the home of the Irish Environmental History Network, hosted by the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. The Network is a collection of individuals from institutions in Ireland and beyond, interested or engaged in research relating to the concerns of Irish environmental history. This research employs a broad array of methods and sources and focuses on how humanity has perceived and interacted with the global and Irish environment in any past era. The primary goal of the Network is to act as a contact point for researchers in diverse disciplines focusing on the different aspects of Irish environmental history. More information about the Network and its remit can be found here. On this website you will find simple research profiles of members of the Network, a growing collection of links to relevant websites and resources, reviews and short articles highlighting the work of members, and news of events of interest.
News and Events
15 March, 2012, Irish Pollen Database Online
The Irish Pollen Database (IPOL) is a collection of metadata of Irish Quaternary pollen sites. The database currently contains information on 472 sediment-based records. It is organised into a table with particulars on the location, chronology and a publication reference for each site. Site locations can also be viewed in Google Earth. The database is also available for downloading in spreadsheet and Access formats as well as site markers for display in Google Earth. While IPOL does not hold pollen data (these may be available from the European Pollen Database or Neotoma) it represents a significant depositor of vital metadata previosuly widely dispered and often difficult to access. The database thus informs the proper usage of the rich body of pollen analyses available for Ireland. The IPOL grew out of IPAL, the Irish Palaeoecological Data Synthesis and Analysis Project instigated by Professor Fraser Mitchell, Trinity College Dublin and funded through a Marie Curie Postdoctoral Fellowship. The postdoctoral fellow, Rob Marchant, collected the initial site records in 2000, whilst the database has since been updated by Dr. Bettina Stefanini, the current curator and webmaster (who may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org).
15 May, 2011, New Masters in Public History and Cultural Heritage
The School of Histories and Humanities in Trinity College Dublin are offering a new Masters programme beginning September 2011 in Public History and Cultural Heritage. The programme has been designed to give students a thorough grounding in public history and to provide them with a unique preparation for the management of cultural heritage. ‘Public history’ and ‘cultural heritage’ are broadly defined. The programme will involve the study of cultural memory, its construction, reception and loss, and of the public status of history in modern society. It will examine the political issues surrounding public commemoration and ‘sites of memory’; the role of museums, archives, galleries and the media in shaping public perceptions of the past. And it will survey the more concrete questions involved in the conservation, presentation and communication of the physical heritage of past cultures, particularly where interpretation and meaning are contested. Much of the programme will be team-taught with professionals from partnering cultural institutions. Each student will participate in a practical internship. The deadline for applications is Wednesday, 22 June, 2011. For full details on how to apply, click here, or click the programme poster to see a larger image.
28 April, 2011, Botany in Trinity College Celebrates its Tercentenary
This year the Department of Botany is celebrating its Tercentenary. "It all started with Henry Nicholson who was appointed as a lecturer in Botany in 1711. He gave his first lecture to a class of Medical students on 16 August 1711 and botanical teaching and research has remained a core activity within the College since then." To celebrate the Tercentenary, the Department has created a dedicated webpage featuring interesting information on the origins and development of the discipline of Botany in Trinity College, as well as highlighting the relevance and importance of the discipline in confronting the many global challenges facing society today. As part of the celebrations, the Department has also organised a diverse range of events, including concerts, walks, dinners, the opening a Physic (medicinal) Garden (jointly with the Schools of Chemistry and Medicine) and a range of talks and podcasts.
19 August 2010, Where are the big fish? By Poul Holm
We're happy to publish Prof. Poul Holm's short article "Where are the big fish?" as the first of our short Research Highlights. The article appears here for the first time in English, and outlines some of the most striking discoveries of the global History of Marine Animal Populations project, of which Prof. Holm is Chair. The article originally appeared in Chinese, in Chinese Social Sciences Today (April 22, 2010), hosted by the China National Social Sciences Academy, Beijing.
The problem of the ocean is that we don't see what's beneath the surface. On the land we can see environmental change with our own eyes. That is why fishermen's own records deserve attention... The story boils down to one single figure: we have reduced the total abundance of large fish not just sharks but cod, tuna and all other major commercial species by 90 per cent in the last 150 years... Skippers' logbooks are a clear indication of the scale of change. In 1874 the British fisheries observer Edmund Holdsworth noted the first indication of change: It has been observed that when any newly-discovered cod-bank is first worked some fish of remarkable size are pretty sure to be caught. But monster-cod five or six feet in length [152-183 cm], as were at first frequently reported, are now very seldom met with.' Read more.
23 July 2010, Irish Environmental History Network Video
At a meeting held in Trinity College, Dublin, October 2009, to discuss the establishment of the IEHN, the opportunity was taken to make a short film of some of the attendees discussing their views on the potential of the IEHN and the directions it might take in immediate future and longer term. We thank the brave participants who agreed to be filmed: Prof. Poul Holm and Dr. Juliana Adelman of Trinity College, Dublin, Prof. Chris Smout of the University of St. Andrews, and Prof. Richard Oram of the University of Stirling. The film can be viewed below, and also on Youtube, here. Our thanks to Dr. Cecilia Mcallister for her work on filming and production.
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9 May, 2012, Trinity College Dublin
The 21st Meeting of the Irish Environmental History Network will feature a talk by Dr. Elizabeth Fitzpatrick of the National University of Ireland, Galway, entitled "The Wild Park: Exploring Livestock Parks in the Lordships of Gaelic Ireland." A short abstract may be found below.
This paper discusses whether, in the broader picture of the Gaelic landholding matrix, park lands may be used as key indicators of lordship and overlordship mensal (lucht tighe) or food-producing lands. Park (páirc) place-names are especially common on or near the landholdings of Gaelic learned families in the lordships of the later medieval and early modern period. They occur as elements of townland names, field-names, names of topographical features, especially lakes and rivers, and they are also ascribed to earthwork monuments more particularly to raths and large enclosures. Combinations of pasture, waste or marginal land and woods, especially areas of blackthorn, young wood and scrub land, characterise the locations at which páirc place-names are found. What they all have in common is consistent, plentiful and accessible watering places that occur as ponds, springs, streams, rivers, areas liable to winter flooding and large and small lakes, some of which are turloughs or seasonal lakes. A watery environment in tandem with a páirc place-name, and Irish names that reflect surrounding woodland or marginal land and the presence of livestock, are key indicators of a former livestock park. In the absence of man-made park boundaries, it is the distribution of water sources in conjunction with particular archaeological features, such as enclosures, that may prove of greatest assistance in mapping the extent of the Gaelic páirc. The keeping of livestock was integral to the economy of the Gaelic learned family landholding because families who were not exempt from taxes had to pay food-rents to their lords, and as hospitallers and guest-house keepers, many of them had obligations to provide food. They also needed a steady supply of animal parchment for manuscript production in their schools. School buildings of these families were often located in the park lands, and assembly places of Gaelic lordships are found there too in several instances.
The lecture will take place on Wednesday, May 9, from 5.30pm, in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin. Prof. Patrick Duffy of the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, will act as Chair. Attendance is free, and all are welcome.
9 May, 2012, Trinity College Dublin
The Ninth Ralahine Utopian Studies Workshop will focus upon the theme of “Otherworlds Inspiring This One: Irish Environmentalism in a Global Context”. The workshop will take place Wednesday 9 May, from 9.15am, in the Millstream Seminar Room, University of Limerick. The workshop will be opened and introduced by Prof. Tom Moylan. See the workshop programme for more details.
25 May, 2012, St. Ann's Church & Royal Irish Academy
The forthcoming Irish Historic Atlas Seminar, entitled "Maps & Texts – Using the Irish Historic Towns Atlas: Monastic and Viking Towns", will take place Friday 25 May. This year's seminar will take place in St. Ann's Church on Dawson Street (next door to Academy House). The event will also include the launch of the Irish Historic Atlas, No. 24: Sligo, by Fióna Gallagher and Marie-Louise Legg, and Irish Historic Atlas, Volume III (Derry~Londonderry, Dundalk, Armagh, Tuam and Limerick) after the seminar in Academy House. RSVPs for attending the seminar are needed by 17 May. See the seminar programme for more details.
1 June, 2012, Trinity College Dublin
The Space and Settlement in the Middle Ages 2012 conference will be held in the Trinity Long Room Hub, Trinity College Dublin, from Saturday 1 June to Sunday 2 June. The conference will examine such themes as agriculture and land use in medieval Ireland, mediveal housing, ecclesiastical site distributions, circular earthworks and settlement patterns, commerce and natural resource usage. The Keynote Lecture will be given by Benjamin Hudson of Pennsylvania State University, and is entitled: "Space, Settlement and Medieval Atlanticism." See the conference programme for more.
9 June, 2012, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
The Agricultural History Society of Ireland will hold its AGM and conference on 9 June, 2012, in Renehan Hall, South Campus, NUIM. The conference theme is "Clachan and Rundale: Post-Medieval Farming and Settlement." The conference will be officially opened by Prof. Jim Walsh, with Concluding Remarks by Prof. William Nolan. Registration is 45 euro, which includes lunch. See the conference programme for more details.
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