Bathsheba Demuth, an assistant professor at Brown University, is an environmental historian. When she was 18, she moved to the Yukon and learned such Arctic survival skills as mushing huskies, hunting caribou, and tracking bears. In the years since, she has studied and lived in Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America, exploring how the region’s environment, animals, and people intersect, all while taking spectacular photographs. Dr. Demuth’s writing has appeared in The New Yorker and The Atlantic among other publications. Her book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait, won the 2020 George Perkins Marsh Prize for best book in environmental history. Her Carnegie project will examine the interaction of legal rights and ecology in the Yukon watershed over the past 300 years. She will use that rich history to explore whether natural areas should be granted their own rights, similar to human rights, and whether such a designation would create a more ethical relationship between humans and nature.
Assistant Professor of History and Environment and Society, Brown University