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Sent: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 11:54 PM Subject: The Job Crisis and ASEH THE ON-GOING JOB CRISIS AND A PROPOSAL FOR THE ASEH: Recently, in the AHA Perspectives, three articles have appeared about how, in the face of the declining availability of academic positions, graduate programs should consider the necessity of training graduate students for non-academic careers. While environmental history positions were initially more available as additional schools offered environmental history courses, the number of such positions has also declined. Those trained in the techniques of environmental history, however, especially if they possess computer and GIS skills, would be qualified to aid in the missions of environmental programs and organizations - yet, few of these organizations hire historians or have them on their staffs. I believe it is time for the ASEH to begin pressuring these organizations to hire qualified historians. I am sure that ASEH members contribute to and are supportive of environmental organizations such as the Sierra Club, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Environmental Defense Fund, the Nature Conservancy, and a multitude of other state and local organizations at a much hire rate than the general public. But how many of these organizations have historians on their staffs? Perhaps the first step that the ASEH could do to broaden the job market would be to query a sample of these organizations to see if they employ historians or have considered hiring them. If not, a follow up question could be why they do not hire historians and what skills historians should possess to qualify for these positions. It could also be suggested that ASEH members make their financial contributions to those organizations whose goals they support but also are supportive of the idea of hiring historians. This may seem like crass pressure politics, but I am weary of seeing well qualified and published environmental historians go without jobs for years on end! Joel Tarr Joel A. Tarr Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History & Policy Department of History Carnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA 15213