Richard P. Tucker Ph.D.

Adjunct Professor

Ph.D., History, Harvard University, 1966
B.A., History, Oberlin College, 1960

Teaching emphasis

I am teaching two related courses.  One is a world environmental history survey, centering on global trends in resource exploitation and pollution accumulation.  It emphasizes colonial regimes and their legacies, including the neocolonial reach of the American ecological empire.  This constitutes an approach to the history of unsustainability, but it also considers our evolving capacity to consume and manage resources more sustainably.  The second course is a world history of environmental impacts of wars and militarization, a major dimension of environmental history that has rarely been considered seriously.  This course includes an emphasis on our contemporary situation.

Recent and current research

I continue to do research and writing on the history of American capital investment in tropical and subtropical natural resources, and the expansion of American consumer markets for tropical products, including minerals and petroleum.  This is linked to what is presently my primary research, the environmental consequences of wars and military preparations around the world since World War I.

Selected publications in environmental history

  • "Forest Management and Imperial Politics: Thana District, Bombay, 1823í¢â‚¬”˜1887," Indian Economic and Social History Review, Julyí¢â‚¬”˜Sepí‚ ­tember 1979, pp. 273í¢â‚¬”˜300.
  • Co-editor, with J. F. Richards, Global Deforestation and the Nineí‚ ­teenthí¢â‚¬”˜Century World Economy.  Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press, 1983.  Author of chapter, "The British Colonial System and the Forests of the Western Himalaí‚ ­yas, 1815í¢â‚¬”˜1914," pp. 146í¢â‚¬”˜66.
  • "The Historical Roots of Social Forestry in the Kumaon Himaí‚ ­layas," Journal of Developing Areas, 18:3 (April 1984), pp. 341í¢â‚¬”˜356.
  • "The Evolution of Transhumant Grazing in the Punjab Himalaya,"  Mountain Research and Development, 6:1 (1986), pp. 17í¢â‚¬”˜28.
  • With Norman Myers, "Deforestation in Central America: Spanish Legacy and North American Consumers," Environmental Review, 11:1 (Spring 1987), pp. 55í¢â‚¬”˜72.
  • Coí¢â‚¬”˜editor, with J. F. Richards, World Deforestation in the Twentieth Century.  Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1987. Author of chapter, "The British Empire and India's Forest Resources: The Timberlands of Assam and Kumaon, 1914í¢â‚¬”˜1950," pp. 91í¢â‚¬”˜111.
  • "The Depletion of India's Forests Under British Imperialism: Planí‚ ­ters, Foresters and Peasants in Assam and Kerala," in Donald Worster, ed., The Ends of the Earth. Cambridge: Cambridge Univerí‚ ­sity Press, 1988, pp. 118í¢â‚¬”˜140.
  • "The Commercial Timber Economy under Two Colonial Regimes in Asia," in John Dargavel, et. al., eds., Changing Tropical Forests:         Historical Perspectives on Today's Challenges in Asia, Australasia and Oceania.  Canberra: Australian National Universií‚ ­ty, 1989, pp. 219í¢â‚¬”˜230.
  • "Resident Peoples and Wildlife Reserves in India: the Prehistory of a Strategy," in Patrick West and Stephen Brechin, eds., Resident Populations and National Parks: Social Dilemmas and Strategies in International Conservation. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 1991, pp. 40í¢â‚¬”˜50.
  • Coí¢â‚¬”˜editor, Changing Tropical Forests: Historical Perspectives on Today's Challenges in Central and South America.  Durham, NC: Forest History Society, 1992. Author of chapter, "Foreign Investors, Timber Extraction, and Forest Depletion in Central America before 1941," pp. 265í¢â‚¬”˜276. 
  • Coí¢â‚¬”˜editor, Changing Pacific Forests: Historical Perspectives on the Forest Economy of the Pacific Basin.  And author of chapter, "Managing Subsistence Use of Forest: The Philippine Bureau of Forestry, 1904í¢â‚¬”˜1960," pp. 105í¢â‚¬”˜115.  Durham, NC: Forest History Society, 1992.
  • "Noní¢â‚¬”˜Timber Forest Products Extraction in the Western Himalayas under British Rule," in Richard Grove and Vineeta Damodaran, eds., Nature and the Orient: Essays on the Environmental History of South and Southí¢â‚¬”˜East Asia.  New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • The Historical Development of Human Impacts on Great Himalayan National Park.  Dehra Dun: Wildlife Institute of India and Winrock Institute, 1997.
  • Insatiable Appetite: The United States and the Ecological Degradation of the Tropical World.  Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Concise, revised edition, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007.
  • "Environmentally Damaging Consumption: American Markets and Tropical Nature in the Twentieth Century," in Thomas Princen, ed., Confronting Consumption, Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002.
  • Co-editor, with Edmund Russell, Natural Enemy, Natural Ally: Historical Studies in War and the Environment, Corvallis: Oregon State University Press, 2004.
  • í¢â‚¬Å“Containing Communism by Impounding Rivers: American Strategic Interests and the Global Spread of High Dams in the Early Cold War,í¢â‚¬  in John R. McNeill and Corinna R. Unger, eds., Environmental Histories of the Cold War, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010.
  • í¢â‚¬Å“Environmental Transformations in the Twentieth Century World,í¢â‚¬  in Michael Adas, ed., Global History in the Twentieth Century, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2010.
  • í¢â‚¬Å“Exporting War and Importing Commodities: The Global Ecological Reach of the United States,í¢â‚¬  in Douglas Sackman, ed., American Environmental History, New York: Blackwell, 2010.
  • í¢â‚¬Å“The International Environmental Movement and the Cold War,í¢â‚¬  in Richard Immerman and Petra Goedde, eds., The Oxford Handbook of the Cold War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010.
  • í¢â‚¬Å“War and the Environment,í¢â‚¬  in J. R. McNeill and Erin Stewart, eds., Blackwell Companion to Global Environmental History, forthcoming.
  • í¢â‚¬Å“The Environmental History of Rubber,í¢â‚¬  in J. R. McNeill and Kenneth Pomeranz, eds., Cambridge World History, Volume VII: Production, Connection, and Destruction, 1750 í¢â‚¬“ Present, forthcoming.
  • The Military and the Environment.  ABC-CLIO Press, in progress.
  • Mass Violence and Ecological Change: A World History.  In progress.


1520 Dana