Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Congratulations to Dr Alan Roe on completing his PhD!

We offer our heartfelt congratulations to network member Dr Alan Roe on the successful completion of his PhD:

"Into Soviet Nature: Tourism, Environmental Protection, and the Formation of Soviet National Parks, 1950s-1990s"

Read Alan's dissertation abstract.

Friday, 27 November 2015

New book on environmental crises in Central Asia released

The editors are Professor Eric Freedman, the Knight Chair in Environmental Journalism at Michigan State University, U.S., and Professor Mark Neuzil of the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, U.S.

The multidisciplinary book explores an array of environmental challenges in a strategically crucial part of the globe, including the impact of climate change on glacial melt, desertification, deforestation, destruction of biodiversity, hazardous wastes, water quality and supply, energy exploration, air and pesticide pollution, and environmental diseases.

Those challenges cross national borders and may affect economic, political and cultural relationships on a vast geographic scale at a time when the region’s governments are burdened by limited economic resources, weak civil society institutions and political authoritarianism.

The book emphasizes the reality that environmental conditions don’t exist in a vacuum. They’re influenced by science, politics, history, public policy, culture, economics, public attitudes and competing priorities, as well as past human decisions. In the case of Central Asia, such Soviet-era decisions include irrigation systems and physical infrastructure that are now crumbling, mine tailings that leach pollutants into soil and groundwater, and abandoned factories that are physically decrepit and contaminated with toxic chemicals.

Thus it draws on research in the social sciences, natural sciences, media studies and health by scholars and practitioners in Central Asia, Europe and the United States.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Essays and photos from Lake Baikal

The Network fieldtrip to Lake Baikal took place on 25 July – 4 August 2015. The group met in Ulan-Ude and visited various places on and around the lake including the Barguzin Nature Reserve (Russia’s first Zapovednik), the Ushkanyi Islands (home to the nerpa – the endemic  Baikal ringed seals Pusa sibirica), Olkhon island (with its important Buriat sites), finishing up in Irkutsk. Several workshops were held and local experts were involved.

Visit the Baikal page of our website for a full itinerary, reflective essays from participants, photos and more.

Network conference in St Petersburg 26-28 November 2015

The Network is organising a joint conference together with the National Research University Higher School of Economics, St. Petersburg, on 26-28 November 2015, entitled:

Natural Resources, Landscapes and Climate in Russia and Neighbouring Countries

View the Conference programme

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Conference Report "The Environmental History of Northern Siberia: Future Directions of Research"

A report (English translation) and accompanying documents (in Russian) are now available from the following recent conference:

The Environmental History of Northern Siberia: Future Directions of Research

Conference held at Surgut State Pedagogical University, Surgut, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Region, Russia, 15-16 October 2015

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

New Book by Jonathan Oldfield and Denis Shaw

The Development of Russian Environmental Thought: Scientific and Geographical Perspectives on the Natural Environment

Jonathan D Oldfield and Denis J B Shaw
Routledge, London, 2016.

Jon Oldfield and Denis Shaw have published their book, The Development of Russian Environmental Thought, the product of several years of collaborative research, a number of UKRC research grants and other funding sources, and of many research visits to Russian libraries and archives and to many other repositories. According to the publisher’s blurb:

‘This book provides a comprehensive overview of the very rich thinking about environmental issues which have grown up in Russia since the nineteenth century, a body of knowledge and thought which is not well known to Western scholars and environmentalists. It shows how in the late nineteenth century there emerged in Russia distinct and strongly articulated representations of the earth’s physical systems within many branches of the natural sciences, representations which typically emphasized the completely integrated nature of natural systems. It stresses the importance in these developments of V. V. Dokuchaev who significantly advanced the field of soil science. It goes on to discuss how this distinctly Russian approach to the environment developed further through the work of geographers and other environmental scientists down to the late Soviet period.’

More information at

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Rossiya TV documentary on the Barguzinskii zapovednik (2011)

The Rossiya tv website has a series of documentaries that can be watched online on zapovedniki and national parks.

The episode on the Barguzinskii zapovednik (2011), featuring the Deputy Director for Science, Aleksandr Ananin, is availbale  at

Post in Environmental History at Ohio State University

College of Arts and Sciences

Department:       History
Position:              Environmental History
Rank:                    Assistant or Associate Professor


The Department of History in the College of Arts and Sciences at The Ohio State University invites applications for the position of Assistant (tenure-eligible) or Associate Professor (tenured) in Environmental History and Sustainability.  Candidates with specializations in any geographic region or chronological era are welcome to apply.  We are especially interested in candidates who explore questions of the sustainability and resilience of human communities, including histories of human consumption, pollution and waste, natural resource use, food and agriculture, water use, energy, urban environmental spaces, soil, forests, environmental (in)justice, and histories of the coevolution of materials, technologies, human behaviors, and environmental impacts. The successful candidate will participate in the History Department’s thematic constellation “Environment, Health, Technology, and Science,” as well as in other thematic, geographical, and chronological communities of historians in the department. 

This position is partially funded by Ohio State's Discovery Themes Initiative (, a significant faculty hiring investment in key thematic areas in which the university can build on its culture of academic collaboration to make a global impact.  The successful candidate will be engaged in the Sustainable and Resilient Economy (SRE) program ( with a highly collaborative interdisciplinary community of scholars that seeks to advance sustainability science by developing a more holistic understanding of sustainable and resilient production and consumption systems, human-environment interactions, and innovations in sustainable technologies and governance.  Successful applicants will be expected to participate in collaborative teams and interdisciplinary research on sustainability and resilience topics. Desired qualifications include a demonstrated interest and ability to collaborate with interdisciplinary teams including scholars from natural and social sciences, engineering, and humanities.


Applicants must hold the Ph.D. at time of appointment and must demonstrate an actual or potential record of sustained publication commensurate with the expectations at a research university. They must also have a demonstrated ability for excellence in teaching undergraduate and graduate students.  Preferred qualifications include program experience, university teaching experience, and experience mentoring members of underrepresented groups.

About Columbus:

The Ohio State University campus is located in Columbus, the capital city of Ohio. Columbus is the center of a rapidly growing and diverse metropolitan area with a population of over 1.5 million. The area offers a wide range of affordable housing, many cultural and recreational opportunities, excellent schools, and a strong economy based on government as well as service, transportation and technology industries (see Columbus has consistently been rated as one of the Top U.S. cities for quality of life, and was selected as one of the Top 10 cities for African Americans to live, work, and play by Black Enterprise magazine. Additional information about the Columbus area is available at

Application Instructions:

Review of applications will begin on October 20, 2015 and continue until the position is filled. Complete applications will include a letter of application, curriculum vitae, an article-length writing sample, and three letters of recommendation.  Please apply online through Academic Jobs Online at: Inquiries may be directed to Nick Breyfogle,   

The Ohio State University is committed to establishing a culturally and intellectually diverse environment, encouraging all members of our learning community to reach their full potential. We are responsive to dual-career families and strongly promote work-life balance to support our community members through a suite of institutionalized policies. We are an NSF Advance Institution and a member of the Ohio/Western Pennsylvania/West Virginia Higher Education Recruitment Consortium (HERC).

The Ohio State University is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation or gender identity, national origin, disability status, or protected veteran status.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Talk on Lake Baikal at Georgetown University - 22 September

Tuesday, September 22, 4 - 6pm, at Georgetown University

Exploring Russia's Environmental History : Lake Baikal 

David Moon and Catherine Evtuhov will talk about their recent visit to Lake Baikal in Siberia

Baikal forest fires appeal

The Network has received an urgent appeal for help to combat the catastrophic forest fires around Lake Baikal from Nikolay Tsyrempilov, of Buryat State University, who hosted a roundtable discussion on our recent trip to Ulan Ude and Baikal.

Nikolay explains the seriousness and urgency of the situation in his email below and also sends links with information on how to make donations and help.

David Moon
Lead investigator, Leverhulme International Network, Exploring Russia's Environmental History and Natural Resources.
31 August 2015

Here in Buryatia we face a catastrophic situation with fires in the forests around lake Baikal. Russian authorities (both federal and regional) demonstrate inability to stop them. Moreover, they try to conceal the scale of destruction. Meanwhile about 180 000 hectares of woods are being destroyed by fires and the weather forecast is very pessimistic. Many people here in Buryatia fight with fires as volunteers.

My friends organized a public committee "SOS Baikal Buryatia". They raise funds, buy equipments, food, costumes, medicaments, etc for those volunteers who fight with the fires. I have just returned from a meeting. We face lack of funds. I am writing to my friends in Moscow and other cities of Russia. I am sending you our collective request to donate what you can to support our efforts. Any donation is welcome.

Please visit our Facebook groupБайкал-Бурятия/888410137909923?fref=ts and website On the website you'll find the USD bank account number to which you can send your donations. I'll appreciate if you let your other colleagues involved in Leverhulme network. I guarantee with my reputation that all your donations will be used only for support of volunteers. Andrey Suknev and Sergey Shapkhaev are with us. Please help us to save Baikal and protect it from the large-scale ecological catastrophe.
Thank you for your understanding and support. Don't hesitate to ask me, Sergey Shapkhaev or Andrey Suknev for additional information. Just to be clear, it is very urgent. 

Nikolay Tsyrempilov
Buryat State University

10 September 2015 update

Please excuse us for the problematic bank account. In the attachment you can find the new one. We still desperately need your help. Most of the fires are stopped but still there are some areas where firefighters and volunteers work. We need also money to equip the volunteers station because we should be ready for such kind of fires again in the future.

Thank you for your efforts,

Nikolay Tsyrempilov