Environmental history is one of the most significant interdisciplinary fields in history today. The core faculty for environmental history are professors Robert Morrissey and Roderick Wilson. Together they work with graduate students who are preparing or have already completed dissertations on topics ranging from colonial period Potawatomi land use in the Indiana-Illinois region to typhoons and racial segregation on the Indian Ocean country of Mauritius. Most students who decide to write a dissertation with an environmental history focus take course work in environmental history while developing their regional expertise with other faculty members in the department. Given the interdisciplinary nature of the field, grad students in environmental history are also encouraged to pursue course work and other training in relevant departments (outside of history) at UIUC.
In addition to the core faculty, there are several faculty members in and outside the Department of History with whom the Ph.D. students can work. Faculty strengths cover many regions of the globe as well as myriad themes from agrarian history to commodity history to climate history and beyond. Relevant faculty include Teresa Barnes (Southern Africa), Clara Bosak-Schroeder (Classics), Antoinette Burton (British Empire), Rana Hogarth (Caribbean and Atlantic World), Kristin Hoganson (U.S. Empire), Jamie Jones (English), John Randolph (Early modern Russia), Daniel Schneider (urban ecosystems), David Sepkoski (History of Science), and Gillen D’Arcy Wood (English).