Event Description

The past five years have seen multiple breakthroughs in establishing the past as a key dimension for global change researchers and highlighting the need to bring environmental history, archaeology, environmental humanities, environmental science disciplines together with nonacademic holders of local and traditional knowledge and practitioners attempting to manage resources for sustainability. In multiple fields we are seeing acceptance of the importance of our stories of “long term human ecodynamics” for current and future sustainability efforts, not the least in UNESCO MOST’s launch of the BRIDGES initiative. Heritage and community engagement are now recognized as key elements in shaping more successful responses to global change impacts and in rallying support for action on climate change. We are now being listened to, and places are opening at multiple levels for our contribution to addressing current, often “wicked”, problems of growing urgency.

But many challenges remain for teams to move from isolated and often superficially understood “lessons of history” to deliver actionable advice to managers and decision- makers. Problems of disciplinary structure (single author books vs. multi-authored articles), survival of early career scholars in multidisciplinary projects, effective use of scientific data by humanists (and historical data by scientists) are all widely recognized problems. International, interdisciplinary programs such as IHOPE (Integrated History and Future of People on Earth), Princeton CCHRI (Climate Change and History research Initiative), NABO Cooperative (North Atlantic Biocultural Organisation) have worked to cross disciplinary boundaries and are increasingly working to integrate local and traditional knowledge and community. Cross regional comparisons are working to identify recurring patterns in human reaction to past ecodynamic processes in an attempt to identify patterns that cross-cut very different world regions and local cultures. A major area for successful breakthroughs to consumers in other fields and resource managers has been in Maritime Historical Ecology (Norfish, 4 Oceans) where synthesis of multiple data sets, effective data management, and successful communication of results recognizable and actionable by fisheries scientists and oceanographers has produced widely recognized successes.

These developments suggest that we have an opportunity to share lessons of success (and failure) and good practice ideas and tools for using diverse data sets in effective and creative ways. This workshop aims to address questions of scale, complexity, information-sharing and challenges of policy relevance in our fields with the aim of moving our fields forward in better mobilizing our results for actionable use.

Thematic sessions

  1. Studying the past and policy challenges
  2. Methods, data and information sharing
  3. What makes for resilience? Size, structure, conjuncture
  4. The Big Picture: scale, structure and complexity
  5. Comparative case-studies: historical pasts and policy presents

Colloquium Schedule

Cosponsored by the Center for Collaborative History, Committee for the Study of Late Antiquity, High Meadows Environmental Institute, Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Program in Medieval Studies and Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies.

Event Details

Jun 3, 2024, 9:00 amJun 5, 2024, 5:00 pm
Events Venue
Dickinson Hall, Room 211