The colloquium will be an introduction to environmental history through reading and discussing critical essays and chapters. We will develop a broad international and comparative focus and will begin with definitions and theories, including the role of the natural sciences in history. After that we will focus on such themes as climate and soils, water and forests, food and health，cities and population. We will discuss technology and political economy, along with efforts to conserve the environment. Our final focus will be on the place of nature and landscape in western and Chinese cultural traditions.