Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference

This fall, the University of Oregon is hosting the 3rd Annual Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples Conference, scheduled for December 2-3, 2014 in Eugene, Oregon. The University will welcome two distinguished keynote speakers to the conference: Dr. Myrna Cunningham Kain and Patricia Cochran. Dr. Cunningham Kain is Miskitu from Nicaragua, and is an internationally renowned advocate for Indigenous peoples’ rights and women’s rights who has served Indigenous peoples in countless fashions, most recently as chair of the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues (2011-2013). Patricia Cochran is currently Executive Director of the Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC), an organization that works to create links and collaborations among scientists, researchers and Alaska Native communities.  The 2nd day of the conference will feature a series of student panels exploring climate change and indigenous peoples. We have funding to bring three students from U.S. tribal colleges (or indigenous undergraduate students at other universities in the U.S.) who are researching issues related to climate change and indigenous peoples. The students invited to join us at this event will present during one of the panel sessions and participate in the conference. Please submit nominations for undergraduate students, or students can apply themselves, if conducting research on climate change and indigenous peoples. Nominations or applications should include a brief bio of the student, as well as an abstract of their research on climate change and indigenous peoples that they would plan to present during the conference. Nominations should be sent to Mark Carey at carey ‘at’ by September 1st. If a student is accepted to attend the conference, the UO will provide funding for travel and lodging.  More information about the conference is included below, and you can also visit:

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Research Funding: International Research Institute on Humanity and Nature

The International Research Institute on Humanity and Nature (??????????), a leading science and environmental policy research institute, is engaged in a series of explorations of long-term human-nature interactions associated with climatalogical and environmental change in Japan, the “Societal Adaptation to Climate Change: Integrating Palaeoclimatological Data with Historical and Archaeological Evidences” program (project web sites noted below).

Part of the institute’s research funding is thus available to support a broad array of disciplinary studies related to this theme. This includes consideration of comparative perspectives, theory and method.

Competition for awards for the next Japanese fiscal year (April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016) is now open. Information on research funding, application procedures and deadlines can be found at:


Project descriptions can be found at:





History and Climate Change: What have we learnt?

We are currently inviting 20-25 minute contributions from scholars, activists, policy-makers and members of the public to explore two related questions. Firstly, to think about how climate concern is forcing us to rethink our understandings of history, often in quite radical ways. Second, how history and historians should inform our understandings of climate change and actively contribute to changing society to ensure an ecologically wholesome future. We are particularly keen to explore how our historical understanding and rhetoric around climate change have changed in the last five years and how they might need to change in the future.

Questions we hope that papers will address include:

  • How might history become ‘activist history’ in an era of ecological emergency?
  • Whether historical rhetorics of ‘crisis’ and ‘apocalypse’ are productive or counter-productive?
  • History and scale: the roles of local and global narratives in an era ecological emergency
  • What might be learnt about social transformation from radical social movements such as Occupy?
  • Can activist historians learn from the Transition Town movement?
  • Is there an unexamined gender aspect to climate change? Why do climate debates so often seem to be dominated by men?
  • Are religious understandings a necessary and neglected aspect of environmental discourse?
  • How can local history and local historians contribute to local sustainability? (e.g. how can oral histories contribute to local energy descent models?)

The organisers are committed to the Active History tradition of scholarship that listens and is responsive; that will make a tangible difference in people’s lives; that makes an intervention and is transformative to both practitioners and communities. We seek a practice of scholarship that emphasizes collegiality, builds community among active scholars and other members of communities, and recognizes the public responsibilities of scholarship.



Call for papers: Famines during the ‘Little Ice Age’

Famines during the ‘Little Ice Age’ (1300-1800) Socio-natural entanglements in premodern societies Workshop of the Heidelberg Center for the Environment, 19th/20th February 2015, ZiF, Bielefeld


Global climate change has put famines back on the agenda. The predicted rise of extreme weather raises the question, how similar events were met in historical societies. However, such studies are challenged by disciplinary constraints. Famines occur at the interface of nature and culture. They involve both the bio-physical as well as the social sphere. Their entanglement highlights the co-evolvement of natural environment and social actions. This broad socio-ecological character extends beyond the reach of individual disciplines. As a result, popular references to the dramatic impact of famines during the premodern era are often based on conjectures.

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Call for abstracts: Cultural histories and memories of extreme weather events

Abstracts are invited for inclusion in a proposed session at the International Conference of Historical Geographers, London, 5-10 July 2015
Extreme weather events are as much social texts as material occurrences. Geographical context, particular physical conditions, an area’s social and economic activities and embedded cultural knowledges, norms, values, practices and infrastructures all affect community experiences, reactions and responses to extreme weather. The way in which an extreme event is perceived in turn determines whether it becomes inscribed into social memory in the form of oral history, ideology, custom, behaviour, narrative, artefact, technological and physical adaptation, including adaptations to the working landscape and built environment. These different forms of remembering and recording weather in the past act to curate, recycle and transmit extreme events across generations and into the future. Cultural memories, experiences and knowledge of past weather events and personalised weather narratives and autobiographical memories of past events may thus serve an important orientating function and could play significant role in popular understanding and articulation of current debates about weather and climate. This session will draw together scholars whose research uses archival/ documentary based investigations and oral history approaches to i.) construct climate histories, including histories of extreme weather and associated impacts in a range of case study regions and ii.) to explore whether and how extreme weather events affected the individuals lives of local people and became inscribed into the cultural and infrastructural fabric and social memory of local communities. We welcome abstracts from people working on climate (re)construction as well as those interested in weather observers and their historical geographies.
We welcome submissions across a broad range of sub themes and from early career scholars as well as those in established posts. Please contact  or for further information.
Abstracts should not exceed 200 words.
Deadline for abstract submission (to August 25th

Call for papers: “The Coldest Decade of the Millennium?

“The Coldest Decade of the Millennium? The Spörer Minimum, the Climate during the 1430s, and its Economic, Social and Cultural Impact”

4 and 5 December 2014, University of Bern, Switzerland.

For further information, please download the flyer.

Please contact the organiser, Dr. Chantal Camenisch at with any questions.


Call for papers: International Conference of Historical Geographers 2015

“Towards policy-driven research in historical climatology”

London, 5-10 July 2015
Convened by George Adamson (King’s College London)

The interrelationship climate and society during the past 500-1000 years is a fast-growing area of research within historical climatology. Substantial work has been undertaken to uncover climatic agency in the Little Ice Age, on the role of climate in the collapse of major societies such as the Classic Maya, and on adaptation strategies within pre-industrial communities. Yet historical approaches have thus-far largely failed to engage with the policy agenda. This is partly due to an epistemological divide that exists between practitioners of historical climatology and the development research community that largely dictate adaptation paradigms.

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World Congress of Environmental History

With thanks to the compiler Alex Hall, please see a list of all weather/meteorology/climate related panels and papers for the upcoming World Congress of Environmental History in Portugal. Those unable to attend can follow many of these sessions on Twitter by searching for the hashtag #WCEH2014.

Weather and Climate related panels at WCEH 2014 (pdf)

Conference Opportunities

Climate in meteorology, meteorology in climate studies

November 20-21, 2014, Bergen, Norway


The International Commission on History of Meteorology (ICHM) announces four competitive travel bursaries available to graduate students and recent Ph.D.s to support their participation in a workshop hosted by the history of meteorology project at the University of Bergen. The university will provide accommodation at the workshop for the successful applicants. The bursaries are intended to support the costs of airfare, prorated by distance and cost.


Applicants should send their name, contact information, affiliation, year or expected year of Ph.D., dissertation topic or title, and a 200-word abstract of a proposed paper to Georgina Endfield, President of ICHM, by 4pm August 1st, 2014.  All submissions will be considered by an ICHM panel.


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2014 American Geophysical Union Graduate Fellowship in the History of Science

The American Geophysical Union invites applications for a $5000 fellowship in the history of science to a doctoral student attending a U.S. institution who is completing a dissertation in the history of the geophysical sciences, which include topics related to atmospheric sciences, biogeosciences, geodesy, geomagnetism and paleomagnetism, hydrology, ocean sciences, planetary sciences, seismology, space physics, aeronomy, tectonophysics, volocanology, geochemistry, and petrology. The fellowship must be used during the year following the start of the 2014 fall semester/quarter.

The goal of the fellowship is to assist doctoral students in the history of the geophysical sciences with the costs of travel to obtain archival/research materials needed to complete the dissertation.

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