Published Date

January 30, 2016

Resource Type

For Departments, Program of Study


Environmental, Indigenous

AHA Topics

Teaching & Learning, Undergraduate Education


United States

This resource was developed as part of the AHA’s Globalizing the US History Survey project.


By Leslie Kawaguchi
Institution: Santa Monica College
Location: Santa Monica, CA

Week 1

  • Small group discussion: What do you think are the top three environmental issues or concerns facing the United States today?
  • Introduction regarding recent “natural disasters”: natural vs. human caused?
  • What is Environmental History?

Week 2

  • Native Americans and the Environment (covers all regions of the U.S., including Alaska and Hawaii) examines how Natives utilized the resources of their areas, established their societies and cultural practices

Week 3

  • Native Americans and the Spanish in the Southwest and California
  • Native Americans and the French, Dutch, and English on the Atlantic coast

Week 4

  • Native Americans, Africans, and the English (and the Spanish in Florida)

Week 5

  • Population Diversity and the 18th-century Environment (including the Spanish in Florida, Russians in California, and Europeans in Hawaii)
  • Nature, the American Revolution, and the New Republic

Week 6

  • Rural Development in the 19th Century which focuses on the philosophies, populations, and policies that brought peoples westward
  • Urban Development in the 19th Century including immigration

Week 7

  • Nature and the Market Revolution
  • American Romanticism and Nature

Week 8

  • Cotton, Slavery, and the South
  • The Far West and Extraction includes miners, farmers, salmon, and ethnic diversity