Field Notes

  • picking queen anne's lace under Platt Bridge

    On Water Retrospective: Walk Around Mingo Creek

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    December 12, 2018

    On the eve of PPEH Rising Waters Fellows' trip to India for the Penn Winter Institute in Mumbai, we're looking back to the warm days of the Summer

  • Biological Design Students working at the biology teaching labs at Stephen Levine Building.

    2017-18 Faculty Seed Fund Sprouts and Shoots: Part 5

    December 11, 2018

    In roundtables convened in Williams Hall November 1 and 15, 2018, faculty recipients of the 2018 Research and Teaching Seed Fund awards presented first fruits of their projects to faculty, staff and students.

  • PPEH fellows along the Schulykill River

    Join the PPEH Core Team: Apply to Be Our Next Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow!

    Announcement

    December 6, 2018

    The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities is now inviting applications for our second two-year Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow. We seek applicants whose research, teaching, and public engagements support and complement PPEH’s core commitments:

  • Margaret Badding, pictured in front of a database she helped construct of US cities’ urban carbon emissions sources

    2017-18 Faculty Seed Fund Sprouts and Shoots: Part 4

    December 5, 2018

    In roundtables convened in Williams Hall November 1 and 15, 2018, faculty recipients of the 2018 Research and Teaching Seed Fund awards presented first fruits of their projects to faculty, staff and students.

  • Fantasy Island students

    2017-18 Faculty Seed Fund Sprouts and Shoots: Part 3

    December 5, 2018

    In roundtables convened in Williams Hall November 1 and 15, 2018, faculty recipients of the 2018 Research and Teaching Seed Fund awards presented first fruits of their projects to faculty, staff and students.

  • Green Infrastructure

    2017-18 Faculty Seed Fund Sprouts and Shoots: Part 2

    November 29, 2018

    In roundtables convened in Williams Hall November 1 and 15, 2018, faculty recipients of the 2018 Research and Teaching Seed Fund awards presented first fruits of their projects to faculty, staff and students.

  • Behind the Scene in Barmer, India

    2017-18 Faculty Seed Fund Sprouts and Shoots: Part 1

    November 29, 2018

    In roundtables convened in Williams Hall November 1 and 15, 2018, faculty recipients of the 2018 Research and Teaching Seed Fund awards presented first fruits of their projects to faculty, staff and students.

  • Eric Holthause Climate Grief

    Climate Futures, Climate Grief and the Climate Game: Eric Holthaus Joins PPEH for Series of Residencies

    Announcement

    November 16, 2018

    Meteorologist, journalist, aspiring game developer Eric Holthaus, will join PPEH as our first Writer-in-Residence for three short stays in 2018-19 beginning with a visit in early

  • Penn in Berlin and Rotterdam group shot

    Fighting for the Future: Lessons from Berlin and Rotterdam

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    November 1, 2018

    This is a guest blog post by Lucy Corlett, recipient of the PPEH Travel Fellowship for the Penn in Berlin and Rotterdam Program in 2018.
  • PPEH logo

    PPEH is Hiring!!

    Announcement

    October 16, 2018

    Come join the growing core team at PPEH! We're hiring a Program Assistant to provide operational and administrative support for our programs. Details here.

  • Professor Orkan Telhan demonstrates proper pipetting techniques during the Violacein lab

    Call for Applications: Faculty Research and Teaching Seed Fund 2018-2019

    Announcement

    October 9, 2018

    For the second year, the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities invites faculty to apply for Research and Teaching Seed Funds in support of projects that speak to PPEH's core commitments.

  • PPEH

    Last chance to apply for a 2018-2019 Undergraduate Research Fellowship with PPEH

    Announcement

    September 21, 2018

    The PPEH Undergraduate Research Fellows Program, now in its fifth year, is still accepting applications from students across all of Penn’s Schools.

  • Floating Archives on Schuykill River

    Floating Archives on the River on three Saturdays in September

    News

    September 3, 2018

    Floating Archives – a major floating public art installation by artist Jacob Rivkin in partnership with the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities – offers moving, animated projections of historic river images, displayed on a screen suspended between canoes and paddled up the tidal river.

  • Escapisms Poem

    Escapisms: An Essay, Enjambed

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 25, 2018

    Exploring the Environments of Modernity is a seven part series featuring the scholarly participants of a symposium held earlier this year. Knar Gavin showcases her poem reflecting on the overall message of the event.
  • PPEH's Data Refuge at Philadelphia Science Festival 2018 (Patricia Kim/PPEH)

    PPEH and Data Refuge at the Philadelphia Science Festival

    News

    May 21, 2018

    A recap from the Philadelphia Science Festival’s Science Carnival, which brought hundreds of families, educators, and passersby in conversation with PPEH and Data Refuge fellows at the specially-designed “Is it Science or is it Art” booth on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.
  • Environments of Modernity poster

    Exploring the Environments of Modernity: An Introduction

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 18, 2018

    Exploring the Environments of Modernity is a seven part series featuring the scholarly participants of a symposium held earlier this year. Nicole Welk-Joerger gives an introduction to frame a discussion that will continue through the summer.
  • Embodied scientist exploration at Environmental Performance Agency Headquarters, Crown Heights, Brooklyn, July 2017. Photo credit Catherine Grau/Environmental Performance Agency

    Meet the Ecotopian Toolkit Artists, Part 2

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 18, 2018

    For this year's PPEH Ecotopian Toolkit, each selected artist/team will produce projects that engage floating on/ sinking in/ and otherwise living with urban waters; and explore what it might mean to face contemporary ecological challenges with critically attuned and creatively oriented tools.
  • Documentation of the Eastwick Oral History Project Kiosk at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum (William Hodgson/PPEH)

    Eastwick Oral History Kiosk "Jukebox" Installation at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge

    News

    May 18, 2018

    The Eastwick Oral History Project documents the rich history and complex cultural life of Eastwick — a vibrant community in Southwest Philadelphia. The neighborhood’s history is marked by deep connections to the landscape and waterways, as well as experiences of displacement and environmental injustice.
  • Kristina Lyons and Ben Mendelsohn Image

    Welcome New PPEH Scholars Kristina Lyons and Ben Mendelsohn

    Announcement

    May 16, 2018

    PPEH welcomes two new scholars to our intellectual community at Penn: Kristina Lyons (Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Humanities) and Ben Mendelsohn (2018-2019 Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow). Each comes to the program with exciting scholarly projects, excellence in teaching, innovative research approaches, and visions for public engagement in Philadelphia and beyond.
  • PPEH Undergraduate Fellows Carlos Price-Sanchez and Seung-Hyun Daniel Chung share their culminating project Paper Waters:Dreams at Slought, May 2018.

    PPEH Fellows: End of Year News and Notes

    News

    May 16, 2018

    Catch up with several of our 2017-2018 graduate and undergraduate PPEH Fellows, as they complete their public engagement projects, celebrate milestones, and look back on their year.
  • Sabrina Elkassas's Photo

    Meet the Data Storytellers, Part 4

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 10, 2018

    As part of Penn's first Teach-In since 1969, organized by the Faculty Senate, PPEH and Data Refuge Stories set up Stories Hubs across campus at central locations of interdisciplinary knowledge production and circulation.
  • Courtesy of Dylan Gauthier, Kendra Sullivan, and Marina Zurkow

    Meet the Ecotopian Toolkit Artists, Part 1

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 9, 2018

    Last week, we announced the five 2018 Ecotopian Toolkit artists and teams, each of whom will produce projects with PPEH that engage floating on/ sinking in/ and otherwise living with urban waters; and explore what it might mean to face contemporary ecological challenges with critically attuned and creatively oriented tools. Over the next two weeks, we will introduce the Toolkit recipients and share glimpses of their work, ahead of the expanded launch of their projects over the next several months.
  • Bri Barton's image

    Schuylkill Corps Questionnaire: Bri Barton

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 4, 2018

    Bri Barton is an artist, witch, plant grower and organizer. Paired with artist Meg Lemieur, Bri lead an interactive art workshop on story-telling and activism, using their shared work, Waterways as a point of reference.
  • Wastewater pipes run through hidden gulches along the route of the Santa Cruz Wastewater Walk, 2015. (FICTILIS).

    2018 Ecotopian Toolkit Recipients Announced

    News

    May 3, 2018

    This spring, the Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) invited artists to contribute proposals to the second installment of the Ecotopian Toolkit, an ongoing public project that began one year ago. 

  • PPEH/Data Refuge Booth at the 2018 Philadelphia Science Festival (PPEH)

    Research Residences, Part 3

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 3, 2018

    Throughout the course of the spring semester, PPEH Fellows and students enrolled in our "Public Environmental Humanities" course engaged local partners in short-term research residencies with local environmental organizations, public humanities projects, and municipal/civic entities. In this blog series, fellows and students reflect on the following prompt: “How has your research residency shaped your own research project?”
  • Seung-Hyun Chung image

    Research Residencies, Part 2

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 2, 2018

    Throughout the course of the spring semester, PPEH Fellows and students enrolled in our "Public Environmental Humanities" course engaged local partners in short-term research residencies with local environmental organizations, public humanities projects, and municipal/civic entities. In this blog series, fellows and students reflect on the following prompt: “How has your research residency shaped your own research project?”
  • Nicole Welk-Joerger Image

    Meet the Data Storytellers, Part 3

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 30, 2018

    As part of Penn's first Teach-In since 1969, organized by the Faculty Senate, PPEH and Data Refuge Stories set up Stories Hubs across campus at central locations of interdisciplinary knowledge production and circulation. These sites included Penn Nursing, Annenberg School of Communication, Van Pelt Library, David Rittenhouse Labs. At each hub, teams comprised of PPEH student fellows gathered stories about data, research, and evidence-based practice, all of which will be entered into the Data Refuge storybank. Who are the people that generously gathered stories? Meet some of them here:
  • Art in Arctic Fields

    Art in Arctic Fields, Part 1

    April 26, 2018

    In October last year, 30 artists sailed along the coast of Svalbard in the tall ship Antigua. Led by guides and crew, we landed to explore the landscape daily. In this blog series, reflections based on field notes are combined with glimpses into artists’ studios, tracing the complexity of the connections between the frozen north and our globalized lives.
  • Philadelphia Hydrology Map focused on Mingo Creek (current)

    Research Residencies, Part 1

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 25, 2018

    Throughout the course of the spring semester, PPEH Fellows and students enrolled in our "Public Environmental Humanities" course engaged local partners in short-term research residencies with local environmental organizations, public humanities projects, and municipal/civic entities. In this blog series, fellows and students reflect on the following prompt: “How has your research residency shaped your own research project?”
  • Emma Singer Image

    Meet the Data Storytellers, Part 2

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 19, 2018

    As part of Penn's first Teach-In since 1969, organized by the Faculty Senate, PPEH and Data Refuge Stories set up Stories Hubs across campus at central locations of interdisciplinary knowledge production and circulation. These sites included Penn Nursing, Annenberg School of Communication, Van Pelt Library, David Rittenhouse Labs. At each hub, teams comprised of PPEH student fellows gathered stories about data, research, and evidence-based practice, all of which will be entered into the Data Refuge storybank. Who are the people that generously gathered stories? Meet some of them here:
  • Luna Sarti Image

    Meet the Data Storytellers, Part 1

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 16, 2018

    As part of Penn's first Teach-In since 1969, organized by the Faculty Senate, PPEH and Data Refuge Stories set up Stories Hubs across campus at central locations of interdisciplinary knowledge production and circulation. These sites included Penn Nursing, Annenberg School of Communication, Van Pelt Library, David Rittenhouse Labs. At each hub, teams comprised of PPEH student fellows gathered stories about data, research, and evidence-based practice, all of which will be entered into the Data Refuge storybank. Who are the people that generously gathered stories? Meet some of them here:
  • What does is mean to do public research in the environmental humanities? This and other questions lie at the heart of this series of essays, "Public Engagements." Contributors, PPEH Fellows and students, reflect on: Who is the "public" in my public research? How will they be engaged? Does my project need a public audience? A participant audience? Participant observers? Am I looking for research subjects? Co-creators? How will I document my social practice research?

    Public Engagements, Part 3

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 10, 2018

    What does is mean to do public research in the environmental humanities? This and other questions lie at the heart of this series of essays.
  • What does is mean to do public research in the environmental humanities? This and other questions lie at the heart of this series of essays, "Public Engagements." Contributors, PPEH Fellows and students, reflect on: Who is the "public" in my public research? How will they be engaged? Does my project need a public audience? A participant audience? Participant observers? Am I looking for research subjects? Co-creators? How will I document my social practice research?

    Public Engagements, Part 2

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 10, 2018

    How can we imagine new ways to tell stories that inspire urgency and radically re-orient our consciousness toward climate crisis and the Anthropocene?
  • Data Refuge Periodic Table

    Public Engagements, Part 4

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 10, 2018

    What does is mean to do public research in the environmental humanities? This and other questions lie at the heart of this series of essays, "Public Engagements." Contributors, PPEH Fellows and students, reflect on: Who is the "public" in my public research? How will they be engaged? Does my project need a public audience? A participant audience? Participant observers? Am I looking for research subjects? Co-creators? How will I document my social practice research?
  • What does is mean to do public research in the environmental humanities? This and other questions lie at the heart of this series of essays, "Public Engagements." Contributors, PPEH Fellows and students, reflect on: Who is the "public" in my public research? How will they be engaged? Does my project need a public audience? A participant audience? Participant observers? Am I looking for research subjects? Co-creators? How will I document my social practice research?

    Public Engagements, Part 1

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    March 21, 2018

    What does is mean to do public research in the environmental humanities? This and other questions lie at the heart of this series of essays, "Public Engagements." Contributors, PPEH Fellows and students, reflect on: Who is the "public" in my public research? How will they be engaged? Does my project need a public audience? A participant audience? Participant observers? Am I looking for research subjects? Co-creators? How will I document my social practice research?
  • Lake Mead Image

    What's in a Name? The Anthropocene, Part 3

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    March 19, 2018

    This year's PPEH undergraduate fellows represent a range of scholarly fields, modes of inquiry, and creative practices. Together, they have reflected on their ideas surrounding the concept of the "Anthropocene." In particular, they responded to the following prompt: How has recognition of the Anthropocene influenced your thinking about your trajectory in terms of research, scholarship, career, life? This is the third in a series of three posts regarding the Fellows' own thinking and critical pursuits within a moment of profound human imprint on our environment.
  • This year's PPEH undergraduate fellows represent a range of scholarly fields, modes of inquiry, and creative practices. Together, they have reflected on their ideas surrounding the concept of the "Anthropocene." In particular, they responded to the following prompt: How has recognition of the Anthropocene influenced your thinking about your trajectory in terms of research, scholarship, career, life? This is the second in a series of three posts regarding the Fellows' own thinking and critical pursuits withi

    What's in a Name? The Anthropocene, Part 2

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    March 16, 2018

    This year's PPEH undergraduate fellows represent a range of scholarly fields, modes of inquiry, and creative practices. Together, they have reflected on their ideas surrounding the concept of the "Anthropocene." In particular, they responded to the following prompt: How has recognition of the Anthropocene influenced your thinking about your trajectory in terms of research, scholarship, career, life? This is the second in a series of three posts regarding the Fellows' own thinking and critical pursuits within a moment of profound human imprint on our environment.
  • This year's PPEH undergraduate fellows represent a range of scholarly fields, modes of inquiry, and creative practices. Together, they have reflected on their ideas surrounding the concept of the "Anthropocene." In particular, they responded to the following prompt: How has recognition of the Anthropocene influenced your thinking about your trajectory in terms of research, scholarship, career, life? This is the first in a series of three posts regarding the Fellows' own thinking and critical pursuits within

    What's in a Name? The Anthropocene, Part 1

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    March 15, 2018

    This year's PPEH undergraduate fellows represent a range of scholarly fields, modes of inquiry, and creative practices. Together, they have reflected on their ideas surrounding the concept of the "Anthropocene." In particular, they responded to the following prompt: How has recognition of the Anthropocene influenced your thinking about your trajectory in terms of research, scholarship, career, life? This is the first in a series of three posts regarding the Fellows' own thinking and critical pursuits within a moment of profound human imprint on our environment.
  • Bethany Wiggin

    PPEH Faculty: Ben Talks

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    March 6, 2018

    Modeled after the popular TED Talks, BEN Talks give our acclaimed faculty 10 minutes each to deliver their “ideas worth sharing,” bringing to life the innovative vision and future of Penn Arts & Sciences.
  • Eve Mosher Photo

    Schuylkill Corps Questionnaire: Eve Mosher

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    February 28, 2018

    Eve Mosher is an artist, interventionist and playworker-in-training currently living and working in New York
  • Kate Farquhar Image

    Schuylkill Corps Questionnaire: Kate Farquhar

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    February 6, 2018

    Kate Farquhar is a Landscape Designer at Roofmeadow, a landscape architecture and civil engineering firm specializing in innovative green stormwater infrastructure.
  • Charles Haas image

    Schuylkill Corps Questionnaire: Charles Haas

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    January 22, 2018

    Charles Haas is the head of Drexel's Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental engineering.
  • Adapted GIF Animation from Joshua Rowley Watson, "View of the Middle and Upper Bridges on the River Schuylkill taken from the Old Waterworks Philadelphia October 5th, 1816"

    PPEH Announces New Mellon Artist-in-Residence and Call for "Ecotopian Toolkit" Contributors

    News

    January 19, 2018

    The Penn Program in Environmental Humanities (PPEH) fosters interdisciplinary environmental collaboration and scholarship at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia, and beyond. Among our core commitments is arts-driven inquiry into place: our campus, the City of Philadelphia, the Delaware River watershed, and beyond. Since 2014, when the Program began, we have worked with artists, alongside scientists, humanists, and civic organizations, to engage a variety of publics around environmental and climate concerns.
  • Danielle Kreeger Image

    Schuylkill Corps Questionnaire: Danielle Kreeger

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    January 11, 2018

    Danielle Kreeger is the Senior Science Director for the Partnership for Delaware Estuary
  • A researcher from Louisiana shares her Data Story with PPEH Managing Director Paul Farber. 

    Data Refuge Stories at the American Geophysical Union

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    December 19, 2017

    Data Refuge launched November 2016 in Philadelphia to draw attention to how climate denial endangers federal environmental data. Now, Data Refuge is building a storybank to document how data lives in the world – and how it connects people, places, and non-human species. 
  • The Sea of Ice, Caspar David Friedrich, 1832;The Svalbard Global Seed Vault, 2008

    Science and Ice: The Changing Sublime in the Frozen North

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    November 14, 2017

    It’s rather strange, the romance of ice. Strange that a material so hard and cold should seem so alive: so vital and dynamic, so noisy, so busy. Strange and romantic, too, that this lively ice is the pulse of the earth
  • “Firenze, che spettacolo il tramonto visto dal piazzale Michelangelo/Florence, what a show is the sunset as seen from piazzale Michelangelo.” From the website of the newspaper La Repubblica, accessed 2017. Photo by Claudio Giovannini.

    Fluvial Ecosystems: Waterly Readings of the Italian Landscape

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    October 18, 2017

    Jogging on a summer evening in Florence almost two years ago, I suddenly realized tourists sitting on the ramps of Piazzale Michelangelo were applauding the setting of the sun over the Arno river.
  • Cows fed haylage with a robot feeder. Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 2014.

    Feed for Thought

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    October 11, 2017

    In his short manifesto, “The Pleasures of Eating,” Wendell Berry proposed a powerful statement: “Eating is an agricultural act.” The phrase proposes that the decisions we make when we choose and eat certain foods foster particular kinds of agricultural systems.
  • The Newkirk viaduct and Grays Ferry bridge, Schuylkill River, Philadelphia.

    Building an Understanding of the Environment

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    October 3, 2017

    Having the opportunity to work with craftspeople in India using materials such as bamboo, mud and iron -- materials with a comprehensible relationship to one’s immediate environment -- forced me to question aspects of my practice as an architect.
  • The Ganges River. Qadri, Atlaf. & AP. “Durga Puja festival on the Yamuna river, one of the rivers granted status of living human entities by the Uttarakhand court.” Found, The Guardian, 12 June 2017, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/mar/21/ganges-and-yamuna-rivers-granted-same-legal-rights-as-human-beings

    Reflections on Various Cases of the Legal Rights of Nature

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    June 17, 2017

    In 2016, the indigenous Maori tribe of New Zealand achieved a ground breaking victory when their sacred river—the Whanganui —was granted the same legal rights as a human being. Since then, several countries across the world have experienced similar legal and ecological victories by successfully extending anthropocentric legal protections to beings of historical, cultural, and political significance.
  • Artist rendering of Penrith Lakes, Sydney. Source: Daily Telegraph.

    Matters of Concern: What's in An Ecotopian Toolkit? Part 3

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 19, 2017

    In this series, four of the presenters for Ecotopian Toolkit for the Anthropocene reflect on a number of concerns that emerged from the conversations throughout the conference's three days. Representing different fields and academic disciplines, the four women offer various perspectives while pondering the following questions: what might an Ecotopian Toolkit look like? How do “we” build one? What tools might “we” want to include?
  • Stem Wikipedia Page

    Matters of Concern: What's in an Ecotopian Toolkit? Part 2

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    May 4, 2017

    In this series, four of the presenters for Ecotopian Toolkit for the Anthropocene reflect on a number of concerns that emerged from the conversations throughout the conference's three days. Representing different fields and academic disciplines, the four women offer various perspectives while pondering the following questions: what might an Ecotopian Toolkit look like? How do “we” build one? What tools might “we” want to include?
  • Photo Credit: Janette Kim

    Matters of Concern: What's in an Ecotopian Toolkit? Part 1

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    April 30, 2017

    In this series, four of the presenters for Ecotopian Toolkit for the Anthropocene reflect on a number of concerns that emerged from the conversations throughout the conference's three days. Representing different fields and academic disciplines, the four women offer various perspectives while pondering the following questions: what might an Ecotopian Toolkit look like? How do “we” build one? What tools might “we” want to include?
  • Maya Anjur-Dietrich, guiding participants on seeding and sorting NOAA sites. Photography by Naomi Waltham-Smith. 

    Data Rescue Philly Builds Data Refuge

    PPEH Fellows Blog

    January 15, 2017

    Updated:

    Over the course of the two-day DataRescue Philly event, 250+ people attended. We are very grateful for so many motivated, determined, and--above all--generous volunteers and collaborators. Thanks to you all.