From 27 June to 2 July 2011 the sixth conference of the European Society took place in the city of Turku in Finland. The meeting consisted of many parallel sessions on a wide range of topics exploring the interactions between human societies and nature in the past. This podcast will report on a paper discussing the results of a novel experiment in environmental didactics involving the web and e-learning technologies carried out by Martin Schmid of the Institute of Social Ecology, Alpen-Adria University Vienna and Rogerio Ribeiro de Oliveira of Pontifícia Universidade Católica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They used web technologies to teach an intercontinental course in urban environmental history involving classes in Rio de Janeiro and Vienna.
The second part of the podcast reports on a roundtable entitled “Towards an online environmental history of Europe”. This panel discussed the technical, structural and thematic issues of an online environmental history of Europe which is under development by the Rachel Carson Centre for Environment and Society in Munich. The project, dubbed “Arcadia”, will be an encyclopedia-like resource with articles in the form of localized histories and each entry will include time, theme and location metadata as well as information about relevant organizations, people and species in order to visualize it on a map and make the material searchable. The site will provide visitors with exploratory tools to aid the discovery of material. The Arcadia online environmental history will be launched in early 2012 as part of the umbrella Environment and Society Portal.