The Culture of Islands and theRichard H. Grove
History of Environmental Concern
[Text of Presentation]
Institute of Advanced Studies, Australian National University, Canberra and
Fellow, Program in Agrarian Studies, Yale University.
Professor Richard H. Grove received his BA in Geography from Oxford in 1979, an MSc in Conservation Biology from University College, London the following year, and a PhD in History from Cambridge University in 1998. He is currently a Visiting Fellow in Environmental History at the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Australian National University in Canberra. In addition, for the current year his is a Visiting Fellow at the Program in Agrarian Studies at Yale University.
Professor Grove's expertise and research interests cover a wide span of disciplines and historical periods. Focusing upon the interaction of humans and the ecosystems which they inhabit, Professor Grove has undertaken innovative and stimulating research on topics as diverse as the historical impact of El Nino events and the ecological transformations of island terrains around the world. His major works include: Green Imperialism : Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins ofEnvironmentalism, 1600-1860 (Studies in Environment and History) from Cambridge University Press and El Nino : History and Crisis. In addition he has edited a volume with David Anderson on Conservation in Africa : Peoples, Policies and Practice (Cambridge University Press). Professor Grove in a Founding Editor of the professional journal, Environment and History -- an international journal of environmental history. In addition he serves as the editor of the monograph series, Studies in Environmental History, published by the White Horse Press in Cambridge, England.
The highly original research that Professor Grove has undertaken and stimulated others to pursue has deepened our understanding of human agency in complex ecosystems. Throughout his work, he has documented in detail the multiple levels of historical misunderstanding that Europeans frequently demonstrated about themselves as unwitting actors in the unfolding ecological drama of colonialism. His work raises troubling questions about consciousness, intention and the unforseen consequences of human manipulation in complex ecosystems. In the light of this work we are challenged to reformulate our understanding of what might constitute an acceptable "land ethic" in the modern world.