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Editor's Message

Marc Jason Gilbert


     With a mega-earthquake in Japan triggering a Pacific tsunami, deadly tornados sweeping the American mid-west and south, and climate change spurring higher food prices across the globe, we need few reminders of the primacy of the connection between human beings and their natural environment. We can however, benefit from fresh perspectives and case studies of that connection. These can be found in this issue's Forum on the Environment in World History. The Forum is supported by John Maunu's guide to on-line resources for teaching and learning about world environmental history, and further supplemented by essays in World History Connected's book review section, including a Featured Review of a major anthology of scholarship on the subject. The case studies offered in the Forum, particularly those regarding the Middle East and the relationship between war and the environment, are on the cutting edge of environmental history and are all the more valuable for having the classroom applications of this new knowledge reviewed in both the Forum's introduction and in Sharon Cohen's article on historical interpretation. Other articles, such as Michael Houf's treatment of immigration policy in Hong Kong (and its relationship to immigration policies in the United States and elsewhere) and Michael McInneshin's examination of cartography, address the environment as a spatial issue, or rather, what humans conceive as geographical spaces in cultural, economic, and political terms.

     Sharon Cohen's article is the first of what the editors of World History Connected hope will be a series of articles addressing expectations arising from the revision of the Advanced Placement World History course and examination.

     It is also hoped that the Forum on the Environment in World History will not be the journal's last word on that subject. As always, much depends on reader participation as authors of articles, as well as identifiers of topics deserving of the journal's attention. The only thing as gratifying as seeing good peer-reviewed research quickly into print is getting that scholarship classroom-ready and into instructors hands in as timely a fashion as possible, usually within 3 months of identifying the need. Your past participation and support has been vital to that enterprise, which is not only integral to our mission; it is our mission.

Marc Jason Gilbert
Hawaii Pacific University

Marc Jason Gilbert is Professor of History and National Endowment for the Humanities Endowed Chair in World History at Hawai'i Pacific University. He can be reached at


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