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Renowned environmental historian, Richard Judd, retired from teaching at the University of Maine, May 2018. Professor Judd was one of the UMaine History Department’s most prolific scholars and helped build numerous connections between the sciences and the humanities at UMaine in addition to being a significant force within the interdisciplinary field of environmental history itself for the past three decades.

Professor Judd authored dozens of books and articles related to conservation; environmental thought; and the traditional farming, hunting, fishing, and logging cultures of Maine and northern New England. He also served as an editor for a number of projects—most notably among them, the Historical Atlas of Maine—as well as the Journal of Forest History and Maine History.

To celebrate and discuss the significance of Professor Judd’s career, some of his current and former students organized a panel discussion featuring five forward-thinking scholars within eastern environmental history.

  • Brian Payne, a former student of Judd’s and a professor of history at Bridgewater State discusses how Judd influenced him as a mentor and introduced him to the field of environmental history.
  • Kate Viens, director of research at the Massachusetts Historical Society, expands on Payne’s comments about Judd’s influence as an educator, discussing the implications of his work to the field of public history in addition to her own graduate research.
  • Matthew McKenzie, professor of history at University of Connecticut and New England Fisheries Management Council appointee, discusses the way in which Judd’s environmental history work intersects with both the sciences and social history and brings new insights to the environmental recovery within many areas of New England over the last several decades.
  • John Cumbler, professor emeritus of history at the University of Louisville and current history faculty at Suffolk University explores, in greater depth, Judd’s contributions to a social-environmental history hybrid field and his work as indicative of environmental history’s emergence from labor and social history.
  • Brian Donahue, chair of the environmental studies program at Brandeis University and director of the Working Landscapes program at Harvard Forest, discusses the ways in which Judd broke new ground within the field of environmental history by highlighting through his research the conservation efforts of ordinary rural people.



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