Introduction to Environmental History

A photo of Mercury Bay in New Zealand.

Mercury Bay in New Zealand is one location Captain James Cook landed during his exploratory expeditions. (Photo courtesy of BullockCart on Flickr. CC-BY-NC-SA)


MIT Course Number

21H.421 / 21H.185

As Taught In

Spring 2011



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

Focusing primarily on the period since 1500, explores the influence of climate, topography, plants, animals, and microorganisms on human history and the reciprocal influence of people on the environment. Topics include the European encounter with the Americas, the impact of modern technology, and the historical roots of the current environmental crisis.

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Related Content

Harriet Ritvo. 21H.421 Introduction to Environmental History. Spring 2011. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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