Umeå environmental historian elected new ESEH president
Dolly Jørgensen, researcher at the Department of Ecology and Environmental Science at Umeå University, has been elected as President of the European Society for Environmental History (ESEH).
“The greatest challenge will be in developing cooperation and connections with other environmental scholarly societies in Europe. ESEH has already had extensive cooperation with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich to support educational and publishing initiatives. Now it is time to widen that cooperation to sister societies, so I will be focusing on building those bridges during my tenure,” says Dolly Jørgensen.
ESEH is Europe’s leading association for environmental historians and the second largest in the world. Founded in 1999 to promote the study of environmental history in all academic disciplines, the association now has members from over 40 countries and has held six conferences.
“Environmental history is an exciting interdisciplinary field that focuses on the interaction between humans and the non-human world,” says Dolly Jørgensen. “Not only do humans alter nature, but nature also alters human societies. Environmental history is the study of that reciprocal relationship both on long and short time scales.”
Environmental history is a cross-disciplinary field with scholars situated in many different disciplines, such as history, history of ideas, religious studies, archeology, human geography, science and technology studies, environmental science, biology, and geology.
Dolly Jørgensen was elected to serve as President by the society’s members at the general assembly held in Munich on 23 August 2013 during ESEH’s 6th conference. Her two-year term will culminate with the association’s next biannual meeting in 2015 in Versailles, France.
Dr. Dolly Jørgensen was born in 1972 and is an environmental historian who has published on a broad array of topics and time periods, from the Middle Ages to present. She was a practicing environmental engineer (with a degree in Civil Engineering) for 13 years before completing a PhD in history from the University of Virginia, USA, in 2008. Her dissertation investigated sanitation practices and technologies in late medieval cities. She held a post-doctoral researcher position at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway, where she worked on a global comparative history of converting offshore oil structures into artificial reefs. She moved to Umeå University in 2010 as a researcher and project coordinator for the project RESTORE: Ecosystem restoration in policy and practice financed by Formas. In 2013, she received a Young Researcher Grant from Formas to pursue a comparative environmental history of animal reintroductions in Norway and Sweden. She runs a research blog about her Return of Native Nordic Fauna project. Link to blog: dolly.jorgensenweb.net/nordicnature/