HGIS Lab at Social Science History Association

Nine members of the HGIS Lab and Sustainable Farm Systems Project will present at the 2016 meeting of the Social Science History Association in Chicago, November 17-20, 2016. For details, see below:


Thursday, November 17: 02:45 PM-04:45 PM

Dearborn 2

Mapping the Industrial and Commercial Landscape

Chair: Robert Sweeny, Memorial University of Newfoundland (History)

Mapping Hundreds of Factories in Nineteenth Century London and their Global Commodity Networks

Jim Clifford, University of Saskatchewan (History)

The Changing Industrial Structure of Britain’s Localities, 1841-2011

Humphrey Southall, University of Portsmouth (Geography)

Discussant: Robert Sweeney, Memorial University of Newfoundland (History)

Thursday, November 17, 5:00PM-7:00PM

Clark 5

Presidential Session: The Energy Economy from Agriculture to Fossil Fuels

Energy, Robert Solow’s Economics of Growth, and the Abstraction of Nature

Christopher Jones, Arizona State University (Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies

The Energy of Irrigation: Deep Wells, Cropland Production, and the Transformation of Great Plains Agroecosystems, 1950-2015

Andrew Watson, University of Saskatchewan (History)

A Multi-Scale Model of Energy Flows in Modern Canadian Agri-Forestry, 1805-2000

Joshua Macfadyen, Arizona State University (Historical, Philosophical, and Religious Studies)

Energy and the Regulation of the Global Human Population

John DeLong, University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Biological Sciences

Discussant Amanda McMillan Lequieu, University of Wisconsin-Madison (Sociology)

Saturday, November 19, 1:30PM-3:30PM

Dearborn 2

Using GIS to Map Transformative Processes

Chair: Jim Clifford, University of Saskatchewan (History)

Medieval History and GIS: The use of Geographic Information Systems in the Study of Rural Economy of the Catalan Counties (9th to 12th Centuries)

Maria Soler Sala, University of Barcelona (History and Archaeology

The New Face of the City, Urban Transformations and New Geographies. Interpretation Models for the Organisation of Parishes in Venice (1797-1821)

Alessandra Ferright, Universita luav di Venezia (DACC

A Sort of Whirlwind: Mapping the Changing Geography of Presbyterian Religious Observance in Ireland

Niall Cunningham, University of Durham (Geography

Locating Metis Space: Mapping Stories, Kinship and Land Use in a Saskatchewan Metis Community

Cheryl Troupe, University of Saskatchewan (History)

Sunday, November 20, 8:00AM-10:00AM

Clark 5

Presidential Session: Sustaining Soil Fertility in Agricultural Systems

Chair: Vernon Burton, Clemson University (History & CyberInstitute)

Agrarian Intensification and Soil Fertility in Atlantic Spain, 1750s-1880s

Beatriz Corbacho González, University of Santiago de Compostela (Modern History)

Roc Padró Caminal, University of Barcelona (Economic History)

Agricultural History from Below: Maintaining Soil Fertility on the Harrach Estates, 1780-1940

Dino Güldner, Klagenfurt University (Social Ecology)

Agriculture and Soil Fertility in the Great Plains, 1880-1997

Geoff Cunfer, University of Saskatchewan (History)

Looking for a Yield: Soil Nitrogen in Saskatchewan Agriculture, 1916-2001

Laura Larsen, University of Saskatchewan (History)

Discussant: Vernon Burton, Clemson University (History & CyberInstitute)

Sustainable Farm Systems Annual Meeting in Mallorca


Our Sustainable Farm Systems Project held its annual meeting last month in Mallorca, Spain. Read a synopsis of the meeting’s events by Dr. Andrew Watson here.

Mallorca-from-Santuari-de-Cura (1)




Seven HGIS Lab Members to Present at Canadian Historical Association (CHA 2016)

Seven of our lab members will be presenting at this year’s meeting of the Canadian Historical Association to be held next week, May 30th – June 1st, in Calgary. See their panels below. For a full list of all presenters associated with the University of Saskatchewan visit this page.

Monday, May 30th 2016

1:00 – 2:30|13h00 – 14h30 (Science B-148) 9

29. Storied Landscapes: Indigenous Land Use, GIS, and Historical Inquiry | Paysages riches d’histoire : l’utilisation du territoire par les Autochtones, le SIG et la recherche historique

Chair|Animatrice : Shannon Stunden Bower (University of Alberta)

Liam Haggarty (Mount Royal University): History and Tradition: Mapping Metis Land Use in Northwest Saskatchewan

Stephanie Danyluk (Whitecap Dakota First Nation): Kinship Unbound: A Gendered Analysis of Traditional Land Use Studies

Janelle Marie Baker (McGill University): Where is the Story in a Traditional Land Use Assessment?

Matthew Todd (University of Saskatchewan): Re-Mapping the Indigenous Nations on the Prairies: Merging GIS and Archival Sources to Create Traditional Land-Use Maps

Tuesday, May 31st 2016

8:30 – 10:00|8h30 – 10h00 (Science A-17)

47. Recreation, Popular Resistance, and the Environment at the City’s Edge | Les loisirs, la résistance populaire et l’environnement aux portes de la ville

Chair|Animateur : Robert McDonald (University of British Columbia)

Dale Barbour (University of Toronto): Fencing in an Island: How Toronto Island formed at the Nexus of Nature, Play and Capital: 1870 to 1920

J.I. Little (Simon Fraser University): “One of the finest pieces of empty real estate in Canada”: The Creation of Vancouver’s Devonian Harbour Park

Jessica DeWitt (University of Saskatchewan): Tales of a Park Not Yet Created: The Fish Creek Provincial Park Questionnaire, 1974

Wednesday, June 1st 2016

8:30 – 10:00|8h30 – 10h00 (Science B-148)

83. The Stories Staples Tell: Resource Economies in Canada |Ces histoires que racontent les ressources de base : les économies de ressources au Canada

Chair|Animateur : Andrew Watson (University of Saskatchewan)

Colin M. Coates (York University): The Staples Thesis and Digital History

Jim Clifford and Andrew Watson, with Anne Janhunen, (University of Saskatchewan): Interacting with London’s Canadian Ghost Acres, 1865-1919: Creating a Deep Online Map with HGIS and a MediaWiki Database

Anne Dance (Memorial University): Ordered Reclamation: Redefining Mine Cleanup in Northern Canada


2:30 – 4:00|14h30 – 16h00 (Science A-247)

122. Restor(y)ing Western History through a Métis Lens: Family, Land, Bodies and Nation |Nouvelle narration de l’histoire de l’Ouest sous l’angle Métis : la famille, le territoire, les collectivités et la nation

Chair|Animatrice : Brenda Macdougall

Adam Gaudry (University of Saskatchewan) “Men who’d come from over the sea … to steal our fair country”: Métis narratives of the Battle of Seven Oaks and Métis-settler relations

Cheryl Troupe (University of Saskatchewan): Storied Spaces: Memory, Kinship and Place in a Saskatchewan Metis Road Allowance Community

Allyson Stevenson (University of Saskatchewan): Coming Home: Crafting a Métis Historical Consciousness Through Restoring Severed Family Ties Tara Turner (First Nations University of Canada): Re-Searching Metis Identity: My Metis Family Story


2:30 – 4:00|14h30 – 16h00 (Science B-146) 31

123. Revisiting Park Histories: Everyday Voices from Canada’s Protected Places | L’histoire des parcs repensée : la voix des Canadiens en provenance des lieux protégés du Canada

Chair|Aniamatrice : Claire Campbell (Bucknell University)

Mica Jorgenson (McMaster University): Playground, not Sanctuary: Family Camping at Algonquin before World War II

Anne Janhunen (University of Saskatchewan): “A Very Great Deal of Pleasure:” Park Creation, Management, and Dispossession in Ontario’s Georgian Bay Region

Matthieu Caron (Université de Montréal): “It’s a viper’s nest of uncounted perverts and near insane alcoholics”: Policing Montréal’s Mountain during the 1950s


4:15 – 5:45|16h15 – 17h45 (Science B-146)

127. Sustaining a Fragile West: Environmental Myths and Realities | Soutenir l’Ouest canadien fragilisé : mythes et réalités environnementaux

Chair|Animateur : Warren Elofson (University of Calgary)

Laura Larsen (University of Saskatchewan): Mining Our Bison Heritage: Stories of Agricultural Practices in Saskatchewan Through its Soils

Frances Reilly (University of Saskatchewan): Rat Patrol, Communism, and Radioactive Fallout: Protecting Alberta from Invading Species in the Early Cold War

Claire Campbell (Bucknell University): Ranching Landscapes, Frontier Thinking, and Canadian Environmental History





Congrats Elise and Louis!

Elise Lehmann

Elise Lehmann


Louis Reed-Wood

Louis Reed-Wood

The HGIS Lab applauds two of our undergraduate assistants, Elise Lehmann and Louis Reed-Wood, who have been accepted into graduate programs for the Fall. Elise will be going to the University of Alberta to start working on a Master of Library and Information Studies. Louis Reed-Wood will be going to the University of Calgary to begin his MA in History.



Relive our Lab’s #DayofDH2016


This past Friday, Jim Clifford organized a group blog for the 2016 day of digital humanities (#DayofDH2016). The blog highlighted the dh projects being pursued by individual members of our HGIS Lab. To see all of the blog posts visit this link.


University of Saskatchewan at the American Society for Environmental History, Seattle, March 30th-April 3rd


We are happy to announce that seven members of the University of Saskatchewan, including three members of the HGIS Lab, will be presenting at the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History in Seattle, March 30-April 3, 2016. Please see the list below for presentation and panel information and schedule:

Northern Environments and Indigenous Communities

Panel 1-B: Blakely (San Juan Level–Level 3), Thursday, March 31, 8:00-9:30 am

  • Liza Piper, University of Alberta, chair
  • Paper 1: Heather Green, University of Alberta, “The Great Upheaval”: Material and Cultural Change in the Relationship between the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in and the Local Environment in the Klondike Region, 1850–1940
  • Paper 2: David Vogt, University of Victoria, “An Intricate Maze”: Indigenous Encounters with Trapline Registration in Northern British Columbia, 1930–1940
  • Paper 3: Glenn Iceton, University of Saskatchewan, Trapline Registration and Constructing Land Use: A Spatial History of Kaska Land Use in the Early to Mid-Twentieth Century

Digital Maps and Visualizations for Research and Public Outreach

Panel 1-C: Grand Crescent (Grand Level–Level 4), Thursday, March 31, 8:00-9:30 am

  • Richard William Judd, University of Maine, chair
  • Paper 1: Giacomo Parrinello, Institute of Social Ecology–Vienna, Entangled Flows: An Online Interactive Map of Water Uses in the Po Valley 1860–2000
  • Paper 2: Jennifer Bonnell, York University; Marcel Fortin, University of Toronto, Making Public Historical-GIS: Crowdsourcing Toronto’s Spatial History
  • Paper 3: Joshua MacFadyen, Arizona State University, Data Visualizations for Energy and Nutrient Flows in Farm Systems for the Sustainable Farm Systems Project
  • Paper 4: Jim Clifford, University of Saskatchewan, Interacting with London’s Industry, 1865–1895: Creating a Deep Online Map with HGIS and a MediaWiki Database

Negotiations and Renegotiations of Space and Resource Use in Pacific Northwest Aboriginal History            Panel 2-H: Olympic (Mezzanine Level), Thursday, March 31, 10:00-11:30 am

  • Keith Thor Carlson, University of Saskatchewan, chair
  • Paper 1: David-Paul Brewster Hedberg, Portland State University, “Without Regulation the White Man Does Not Know What Conservation Means”: Wilson Charley Articulates Conservation and Yakama Sovereignty on the Postwar Columbia River
  • Paper 2: Corey Larson, Simon Fraser University, Contested Claims and Negotiation over the Sequalitchew
  • Paper 3: Colin Murray Osmond, University of Saskatchewan, Giant Trees, Iron Men: Coast Salish Loggers and Masculinity

Mediating Politics and Culture through Parks in North America and Scandinavia

Panel 5-F: Cascade 1C (Mezzanine Level), Friday, April 1, 8:30-10:00 am

  • Tina Adcock, Simon Fraser University, chair
  • Paper 1: Alyssa Warrick, Mississippi State University, Overlooked Wilderness? Mammoth Cave National Park, Exploration, and Preservation
  • Paper 2: Paula Saari, University of Helsinki, Inserting Yellowstone into a National Story: The National Park Idea in Finland from the 1930s to the 1970s
  • Paper 3: Peder Roberts, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, National Parks as (Geo)Political Instruments on Svalbard
  • Paper 4: Jessica Marie DeWitt, University of Saskatchewan, Middle Park Syndrome: Securing a Place for Provincial and State Park History in Canadian and U.S. Conservation History

Local and Global Environmental Histories of Production and Trade

Panel 6-F: Cascade 1C (Mezzanine Level), Friday, April 1, 10:30-12:00 pm

  • Colin Coates, York University, chair
  • Paper 1: Gudrun Pollack, Alpen-Adria-Universität–Klagenfurt; Gertrud Haidvogl, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences–Vienna, Using and Abusing a Torrential Urban River: Tanneries and Other Crafts at a Viennese Danube Tributary before and during Industrialization (Wien River, Vienna, Austria)
  • Paper 2: Andrew Watson, University of Saskatchewan, The Ecological Consequences of London’s NineteenthCentury Leather Tanning Industry
  • Paper 3: Guluma Gemeda, University of Michigan–Flint, Hunting, Ivory, and Firearms Trade in the Ethiopian Region, c. 1840s–1940s

Public Health and Environmental History

Panel 10-H: Whidbey (San Juan Level–Level 3), Saturday, April 2, 3:00-4:30 pm

  • Josh MacFadyen, Arizona State University, chair
  • Paper 1: Erin Spinney, University of Saskatchewan, Regulators of an Internal Environment: British Naval Nursing in Late Eighteenth-Century Hospitals
  • Paper 2: Paul Niebrzydowski, The Ohio State University, Starving Children, Scientific Nutrition, and the American Relief Administration’s Mission in Central Europe, 1918– 1923
  • Paper 3: Agnes Kneitz, University of China–Renmin, The Janus Head of Public Hygiene. Episodes from China’s Kiaochow as German Protectorate, 1897–1914


Andrew Watson to Give Sustainable Farm Systems Talk at UNBC on March 24th

Andrew Watson

Andrew Watson

Our Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Andrew Watson, to give presentation at the University of Northern British Columbia on March 24th, entitled “Sustainable Farms Systems in Historical Perspective: The Energy Returned on Investment in Western Agriculture during the 19th and 20th Centuries.” The presentation will be given as part of our Sustainable Farm Systems Project. For more information visit this link.


Geoff Cunfer to Give Sustainable Farm Systems Talk at University of Alberta

HGIS Lab Director, Dr. Geoff Cunfer, to give presentation at the University of Alberta at 3:30 pm on March 21st, entitled “Feeding the World: An Environmental History of Agricultural Sustainability through Two Centuries of Transition.” The presentation is given as part of our Sustainable Farm Systems Project.

Geoff Cunfer at UofA

Catch up on our Sustainable Farm Systems Project Blog Series!

SFS-logoSince October, members of our Sustainable Farm Systems Project, led by Dr. Andrew Watson, have written monthly posts for The Network in Canadian History and Environment (NiCHE) explaining different aspects, research methods, and findings of the project. To catch up on all of these posts, visit this link.

The most recent post is “Chronic Hunger, Chronic Terror: Agrarian Modernization and the Struggle for Sustainability in Guatemala, 1944-1980” by HGIS Lab Grad Student, Patrick Chasse. In the post, Chasse concludes that: “Historical research helps contextualize agricultural industrialization in Guatemala, highlighting moments when reformers and Indigenous peasants worked together to create a more sustainable and equitable agrarian landscape. Guatemala’s agrarian reform offers a fleeting glimpse of a more diversified and sustainable farm system. Yet the rise of cotton and rapid turn to African Palm suggests that Guatemala’s industrial agrarian regime has achieved remarkably resiliency by off-loading the costs of production onto labourers and the environment. Guatemala’s soaring productivity continues to be underwritten by bracing inequality and a disregard for the ecosystems that surround and permeate the farm.”