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Graeme Wynn, University of British Columbia.

Graeme Wynn profile photograph


Trained as an historical geographer, I have had a career-long fascination with and involvement in environmental history. Rooted in these two disciplines and engaged with the environmental sciences, my research is interdisciplinary, and its foci have broadened over time from eastern Canada to New Zealand, the rest of Canada and (to lesser degree) Australia. In the broadest terms I am interested in the environmental history and geography of the British empire, including the metropole. A fair part of my work has focused on forest exploitation, conservation, preservation and management, but I have also published in rural/agricultural and urban studies, written on the histories of geography and environmental history, and contributed broadly to Canadian Studies. These perspectives, articulated in over 100 publications, are brought together in my latest book Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History (ABC-Clio, 2007). I have a long record of service which includes sixteen of the last twenty years in university administration at the University of British Columbia (UBC) (successively Associate Dean of Arts and Head of Geography), periods as a Director of the Forest History Society, 1983-1990 (and Program Committee Chair 1985-90), Council Member of the Canadian Historical Association (1990-3) and the Canadian Association of Geographers (1987-9), and service to ASEH on the Editorial Board of Environmental History, as Chair of the Rachel Carson Prize Committee (2007-8) and as one of the adjudicators of the Leopold-Hidy Award (and its predecessor awards in the 1980s). In 2005, I inaugurated the Nature|History|Society monograph series with UBC Press which now includes fifteen volumes under my general editorship, and I am one of the leaders of NiCHE (the Network in Canadian History and Environment). I will be the Brenda and David McLean Chair of Canadian Studies at UBC 2011-2013.


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Research Interests

Canada - British empire - Migration - Forests.


Earth, Water.

Selected Publications

Evenden, M. and Wynn, G. (2009) ‘54:40 or Fight’: Writing within and across borders in North American environmental history [invited submission], In: Warde, P. and Sorlin, S. (eds.), Nature's End. History and the Environment. London: Palgrave, 215-46.

Wynn, G. (2009) ‘The True North Strong and Choked with Ice’? History, Nordicity and Environmental Change in Canada [being the invited Plenary Address delivered at the Association for Canadian Studies in German-speaking countries, Grainau, February 2009], Zeitschrift fürKanada-Studien, 29 (2), 9-24.

Hassan, M. A., Gottesfeld, A. S., Montgomery, D. R., Tunnicliffe, J. F., Clark, G. K. C., Wynn, G., Jones-Cox, H., Poirier, R., MacIsaac, E., Herunter, H., and Macdonald, S. J. (2008) Salmon-driven bedload transport and bed morphology in mountain stream, Geophysical Research Letters, 35, doi:10.1029/2007GL032997.

Wynn, G. (2008) Travels with George Perkins Marsh: Notes on a Journey into Environmental History, In: MacEachern, A. and Turkel, W. J. (eds.), Method and Meaning in Canadian Environmental History. Toronto: ThompsonNelson, 2-23.

Wynn, G. (2007) Canada and Arctic North America: An Environmental History. [Nature and Human Societies Series]. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-Clio Press.

Wynn, G. (2007) Northern Exposure, Environmental History, 12 (2), 388-390.

Hermansen, S. and Wynn, G. (2005) Reflections on the Nature of an Urban Bog, Urban History Review, XXXIV (1), 9-27. [Special issue on The Nature of Cities].

Wynn, G. (2005) Donald W. Meinig and The Shaping of America [Invited Essay], Journal of Historical Geography, 31 (4), 610 - 633.

Wynn, G. (2005) Peeping Through the Cracks: Seeking Connections, Comparisons, and Understanding in Unstable Space, In: Reid, J. and Hornsby, S. (eds.), Connections and Comparisons: New England and Atlantic Canada. Montreal and Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 295-313, 404-406.

Wynn, G. (2004) A Place for Geography? New Zealand Geographer [Special IGU Year Issue: Understanding Our Place in the World: New Voices/ New Directions], 60 (1), 2-11.

Wynn, G. (ed.) (2004) BC Studies: On the Environment. Special Double Issue of BC Studies # 142/143 (Summer/Fall 2004).

Wynn, G. (2004) ‘Shall We Linger Along Ambitionless’? Environmental Perspectives on British Columbia, BC Studies [Special issue On the Environment], #142/143, 5-67.

Wynn, G. (2004) On Heroes, Hero-Worship, and the Heroic in Environmental History, Environment and History, 10 (2), 133-151.

Wynn, G. (2003) Four Hundred Years in the Forests of Canada, In: Rolfe, T. S. (ed.), The Nature and Culture of Forests. Vancouver: EU/UBC Institute for European Studies, 73-80.

Wynn, G. (2003) Hacia una historia ambiental de los bosques de pino de la Norteamerica nororiental (1700-1900) [Toward an Environmental History of the Pine Forests of Northeastern America, 1700-1900], In: Martinez, B. G. and del Rosario Prieto, M. (eds.), Estudios Sobre Historia y Ambiente en America II. El Colegio de Mexico, 125-140.

Wynn, G. (2002) Destruction Under the Guise of Improvement? The Forest 1840-1920, In: Pawson, E. and Brooking, T. (eds.), Environmental Histories of New Zealand. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 100-116.

Wynn, G. and Cant, G. (2001) The Bonanza Wheat Boom, In: Cant, G. and Kirkpatrick, R. (eds.), Rural Canterbury. Wellington and Christchurch: Daphne Brasell Associates and Lincoln University Press, 61-79.

Wynn, G. (2001) Realizing the Idea of Canada, In: Muller, E. and McIlwraith, T. F. (eds.), North America. Totowa, NJ: Rowman and Littlefield, 357-378.

Wynn, G. (2001) Thinking About Mountains, Valleys and Solitudes: Historical Geography and the New Atlantic History, Acadiensis, XXXI, 129-145.

Conzen, M., Rumney, T. and Wynn, G. (eds.) (1993) A Scholar's Guide to Geographical Writing on the American and Canadian Past. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Wynn, G. and Oke, T. R. (eds.) (1992) Vancouver and Its Region. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press.

Wynn, G. (1990) People, Places, Patterns, Processes: Geographical Perspectives on the Canadian Past. Toronto: Copp Clark Pitman Ltd.