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From the Steppes to the Great Plains: A Study in Transnational Environmental History

Project: Research project (funded)Research

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This original research project in transnational environmental history investigates
the transmission of new ways of understanding and exploiting the environment. It
challenges notions that the main direction of innovation has been from west to
east. The project focuses on the steppes of Russia and the Great Plains of the
USA – major grain growing regions with similar environments and environmental
histories – and considers the transmission of modern soil science and techniques
to plant belts of trees to shelter the land from the wind. These developments were devised on the steppes in the 19th century, and were adopted in the USA in the early 20th century. The US Dept of Agriculture (USDA) adopted Russian soil
science in the 1920s. Shelterbelts based on Russian techniques were planted on
the Great Plains in the 1930s during the 'dust bowl'. By this time, wheat varieties
introduced from the steppes were mainstays on the Great Plains. Thus, this
project adds a little known Russian dimension to the well known history of the
Great Plains in the period of the 'dust bowl'.

The grant is for a series of research trips to Russia, Finland and the USA and presentations at international conferences.

Research trips:
3-27 August 2012: Helsinki, Finland: Slavonic Library, National Library of Finland.
21 February - 31 March 2013: St Petersburg, Russia.
Effective start/end date1/07/1230/09/14

Award relations

From the Steppes to the Great Plains: A Study in Transnational Environmental History

Moon, D.



Award date: 1/03/12

Award: UK Research Councils

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