War and the Environment

A Discussion Examining the State of the Field

The history of the relationship between armed forces and the environment is a history subfield that emerged towards the end of the last century and has since blossomed into a vital area of study that has no geographic or temporal boundaries. The study of military history and environmental history in combination helps us understand the impact of military-related activities and armed forces on the environment and society during wartime and peacetime, at the battle front and on the home front.

Members of “War and Environment,” a history special-interest group, held a roundtable discussion examining the state of the field of military-environmental history in 2021. Panelists with geographic specializations and work that covers all parts of the globe will discuss the present state of the field, important new trends and lines of inquiry, and where the subfield may be heading next. For more on this exciting subfield of history, check out the group's website here.

This event was made possible with funding from the Lynn W. Day Endowment.


James Lewis, Forest History Society (U.S. Forest Service during wartime at home and overseas)


Anthony Andersson, DePauw University (Conflict in the tropical lowlands of Mesoamerica commonly known as the Maya Forest)

Lisa M. Brady, Boise State University (U.S. Civil War; conflict on the Korean Peninsula in the 20th century)

Gerard J. Fitzgerald, George Mason University (Militarized landscapes and industrialization in the 20th-century U.S.)

Keri Lambert, Phillips Academy (European colonial–era Africa and rubber production in Ghana)

Richard Tucker, University of Michigan (The two World Wars; forestry in South and Southeast Asia, and Latin America)