Reply To: 4. 10 Mars Integrated History Of People on Earth

Author Replies # Posted on March 19, 2015 at 21:21

Ghide Habtetsion Gebremichael
Reflection of Current debates 3rd seminar
On Integrated History of People on Earth (IHOPE)
Uppsala University, 10 March 2015

After a week ahead reading a book titled as ‘sustainability or collapse? An integrated history of people on the earth (IHOPE)’ edited by Robert Constanza , Lisaj . Graum Lich and Will Steffen, we came knew that there are pretty much things that we can make research on the environmental history. Especially when we had get the chance to tell each other about our individual thesis in relation of what we have had read from the book considering of different time scale. At first I could not able to concentrate what each people to try to say and what they were explaining. But after a while, I started to be more conscious and even able to give and receive good comments. I remembered when Worster asking us in the joint supervision …[tell us about your thesis in one sentence ] which I have got it difficult to express it unless you made very precise topic with clear objectives.

I have seen also the same problem from my colleagues. Most of them have got a problem in explaining of what really they intended to do and even some of them still were they didn’t select their thesis topic. The seminar was prescheduled in that our task was we to relate our thesis with one time scale which was already mentioned in the book in separate chapters. The book was divided into five sections, with the overall organizational principle being the timescale at which the analyses are conducted. The approach was to address the collection, integration, interpretation, and analysis of knowledge on human history and environmental change at three complimentary temporal scales for the past—millennial, centennial, decadal—and to bring the same tools to a consideration of the future. In effect of that I tried to explain my thesis in relation to the both centennial and decadal time scale. My thesis was supposed to be ‘THE HISTORY AND DISCOURSE OF KACHUNG FOREST’ [a forest found in northern Uganda] brought to the table with three basic aims. To explore the social and environmental history of the Kachung area focusing on the 20th century, to explore the ecological role and possible impact of local communities in shaping the Kachung area and to discover how the present day discourses amongst different stakeholders in the forest has been shaped in a wider political and global context.

At first I was thinking to relate my thesis as decadal but as more comments come to me to relate it with centennial, I was convinced. Therefore, I planned to see my research thesis to see back 1000 years ago and how it was changed throughout time. Not only that we have also discussed on how different methods should fit to individual thesis. For example as it was already stated on the book, geographic information system (GIS) is one of the most useful methods we could employee in our thesis project (particularly in my project). However there were some challenges that I couldn’t answer during the seminar. Among them were which theoretical frame work, what kind of question should I have to use while and what kind of data can be useful to identify the long history of the forest.