Keskkonnaajaloo keskus

The Centre for Environmental History is an academic research network affiliated with Tallinn University School of Humanities. Since 2015 it is part of the Institute of History, Archaeology and Art History. The Centre fosters the research activities of the scholars of environmental history in Estonia. 


  • Bringing Research Into Green Humanities Teaching (BRIGHT) network has been funded by NordPlus. KAJAK is a part of it, along with partners from Nordic countries. The network is led by KAJAK board memberDolly Jørgensen, professor of history at University of Stavanger.
  • On October 8-9, 2018, the First Baltic Conference on the Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences (BALTEHUMS) takes place at the Academic Center for Natural Sciences, Latvian University, Riga, Latvia. More information here.

  • On 21.-25.08.2019, ESEH biannual conference will be held in Tallinn with KAJAK as the main organiser. Doctoral school preceding the conference will take place in Tartu.

The Centre aims to:

  • develop the understanding of interrelationship between human culture and the natural environment through research and teaching in Estonia;
  • promote regional and international cooperation;
  • distribute literature on environmental history, popularise information within this area, and further knowledge of the historical integration of environment and human culture.

The research is based on the assumption that the relationship between environment and human culture cannot be one-sided, but rather that every historical change in one leads to reactions and adaptations in the other. The intellectual aspect of culture is equally important with its material relations, since every kind of human activity is applicable through the prism of knowledge and culture. The Centre’s activities are mainly focused on the historical cultural space of Estonia, but since environment is a cross-cultural phenomenon, regional and international cooperation is seen as essential.

The thematic focus of the centre's research is on food history, archaeology, human-animal relations, and the presentation of environmental history in museum context. 

The Centre organises seminars, conferences, and public lectures; lecture courses and seminars for bachelor and master students. It promotes doctoral studies in environmental history; facilitates the publishing of research findings and source materials; coordinates translation of publications that introduce environmental history; participates in international research projects and furthers cooperation with other similar institutions abroad.

Membership of the Centre is comprised of researchers active in Estonia, with an area of interest in the concurrence of and interaction between the environment and human culture from a historical perspective. In addition to the researchers working at the School of Humanities, the Centre also includes partner members from various Estonian academic institutions, in order to maintain broad-based and interdisciplinary research.

As ‘unity makes strength’, we try to gather under the umbrella of the Centre for Environmental History, the specialists who have shown outstanding individual research results in the field, for gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the history of environment in Estonian territory and in the Eastern Baltic Sea region from pre-historic to modern times.


KAJAK has 40 members - see the list here.

KAJAK is led by dr. Kadri Tüür, together with board members prof. Ulrike Plath, dr. Priit Raudkivi and dr. Kati Lindström

Members of the international advisory board of KAJAK are:

Dolly Jørgensen (University of Stavanger)

Christof Mauch ( Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München)

Libby Robin (Australian National University; KTH)

Verena Winiwarter (Universität Klagenfurt) 

Our partners

ESEH - The European Society for Environmental History

ICEHO - International Consortium of Environmental History Organizations

RCC - Rachel Carson Center

ERM - Estonian National Museum 

UTKK - Under and Tuglas Literature Centre

Contact us

ADDRESSNarva mnt 29, 10120 Tallinn

Phone(+372) 619 9525