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Irish Environmental History Network - Homepage

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 & Events

31 October, 2013, Irish Fisheries, Food Products & Exports Since Medieval Times - Nov 9, 2013

Irish Fisheries... Since Medieval Times, 2013We are delighted to announce details of the upcoming conference,"Irish Fisheries, Food Products & Exports Since Medieval Times", which will take place this weekend on Saturday 9 November, 2013, in the Helen Roe Theatre, 63 Merrion Street, Dublin 2

The conference is organised by the Discovery Programme, in association with the Agricultural History Society of Ireland and the Irish Environmental History Network. Peter Woodman (UCC), will deliver the opening address, entitled: "Prehistoric Fishers, Some Evidence and Problems".

The conference will begin at 9.45am with registration and coffee. Attendance is free, but to register, please email Dr. Ingelise Stuijts at For further information on the conference speakers, including abstracts, see here.

03 September, 2013, Launch of International Society for Historical Climatology and Climate History

During the recent (August 21-24) Seventh Biannual Conference of the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH), hosted by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (LMU) and the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society, an official professional society for historical climatology and climate history was established in the form of the International Society for Historical Climatology and Climate History (ISHC). The new society aims to build collaboration among geographers, climatologists, and historians working in the areas of historical climate reconstruction, impacts, and adaptation and the history of meteorology and climatology. One of the first acts of the ISHC was to welcome three honorary members: Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Christian Pfister, and Geoffrey Parker. During the conference, the IHSC convened Le Roy Ladurie and Pfister together with Michael McCormick of Harvard University for a special rountable event. The IHSC President is Rudolf Brázdil, Professor of Physical Geography, Institute of Geography, Masaryk University of Brno, Czech Republic. Membership of the ISHC should be open soon, and the society intends to host a historical climatology/climate history conference in 2014, establish a partnership with an appropriate journal and set up a series with an appropriate academic press, preferably in conjunction with the International Commission on the History of Meteorology.

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.

Irish Environmental History Network Video

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Last updated 7 November 2013 by