Environmental Historians Action Collaborative

The Environmental Historians Action Collaborative (EHAC) is a community of environmental historians who work together to bring the insights and skills of environmental history to bear on the major environmental, climate, and political crises of our time. 

We aim to participate in current debates through special reports and public commentary, promote conversations among historians and history educators about environmental crises, and amplify existing research and pedagogy for a wider audience.

We communicate to the public through comment on policy changes, op-eds, and public annotations of speeches and political documents. We promote conversations in the profession through conferences, panels, and one-on-one organizing, as well as through regular meetings. We work to bring environmental pedagogy to a wide range of classrooms by gathering and creating resources and hosting workshops on best practices. As a collaborative, we are open to new projects and support each others’ initiatives.

EHAC originated at a meeting of environmental historians in spring 2019. That summer, many of our original members participated in the writing of or signed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on the case Juliana v. US, which argued on behalf of young people the historical case for a constitutional right to a stable climate. Later that summer, we became a working group of the Environmental Data Governance Initiative (EDGI).

We are always happy to accept new members and are particularly interested in promoting the diverse work of junior, graduate, and contingent scholars. Interested historians should contact Emily Pawley (pawleye at dickinson dot edu) to be included on our mailing list.

What we do


Emily Pawley, “Pennsylvania Water is not What it Used to Be,” Penn Live Patriot-News, October 23, 2020.

Keith Pluymers, Sarah Lamdan, and Christopher Sellers, “The Supreme Court’s Environmental Legacy was Tarnished Even Before Barrett,” Syndicated by Augusta Free Press, Canton Daily Ledger, Southeast Texas Record, Jewish Journal, Orlando Weekly, and The East County Californian, October 21, 2020 and November 6, 2020.

Josiah Rector and Christopher Sellers, “For Labor Day, Honor Workers by Keeping them Alive,” USA Today, September 7, 2020.

Jay Turner and Emily Pawley, “Trump’s Most Ambitious Roll-Back Yet,” Globe-Post, January 21, 2020.


EHAC is co-organizing “The Climate Crisis: Early Americanists Respond” a workshop with the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, June 16-17 2022. Proposals are due March 1st and our call for papers is here.

EHAC will present a panel “Teaching the Climate Crisis” on March 24, 2022 8:30-10:00 am at the annual meeting of the American Society for Environmental History.

EHAC organized “Turning Environmental History into Action” a panel for Environmental History Week, 2021.

Public Comments

EDGI/EHAC submitted a public comment critiquing proposed rule changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) by the Trump CEQ in March 2020.


Joe Biden’s Clean Energy Plan Speech–Annotated (July 2020)

Remarks by President Trump on NEPA Regulations–Annotated (January 2020)

Remarks by President Trump on America’s Environmental Leadership–Annotated (November 2020)