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Adam David Sundberg, PhD

Associate Professor

Adam Sundberg


College of Arts and Sciences
American Studies
DHHC - Dowling Hall/Humanities Center

Adam David Sundberg, PhD

Associate Professor

Teaching Interests

  • Environmental History, Historical Geographic Information Systems, Early Modern Europe, Anthropocene, Introduced Species

Research Focus

Northern European Environmental History. History of Disaster. History of Science and Technology. History of Climate. Geographic Information Systems for History




Associate Professor


  • 2022
  • Natural Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age: Floods, Worms, and Cattle Plague
    By the early eighteenth century, the economic primacy, cultural efflorescence, and geopolitical power of the Dutch Republic appeared to be waning. The end of this Golden Age was also an era of natural disasters. Between the late seventeenth and the mid-eighteenth century, Dutch communities weathered numerous calamities, including river and coastal floods, cattle plagues, and an outbreak of strange mollusks that threatened the literal foundations of the Republic. Adam Sundberg demonstrates that these disasters emerged out of longstanding changes in environment and society. They were also fundamental to the Dutch experience and understanding of eighteenth-century decline. Disasters provoked widespread suffering, but they also opened opportunities to retool management strategies, expand the scale of response, and to reconsider the ultimate meaning of catastrophe. This book reveals a dynamic and often resilient picture of a society coping with calamity at odds with historical assessments of eighteenth-century stagnation. 2022


  • Water history in the time of COVID-19: cancelled conversations
    12, p. 229-249 2021
  • Exhibition
    Exhibiting Climate Change Without Saying ‘Climate Change’: Objects-as-Evidence & the Challenge of Engagement
    39, p. 58-69 2020
  • Historisch Jaarboek Groningen
    Gemeenschappelijke verantwoordelijkheid en weerstand: De Kerstvloed van 1717 in Groningen [Communal Responsibility & Resistance: The Christmas Flood of 1717 in Groningen], p. 32-49 2018
  • The Low Countries Journal of Social and Economic History/Tijdschrift voor Sociale en Economische Geschiedenis
    Culling the Herds?: Regional divergences in Rinderpest mortality in Flanders and South Holland, 1769-1785
    14.3, p. 31-55 2018
  • Agricultural History
    “Happy Land: Women Landowners in early West Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, 1813-1845.”
    90.4, p. 484-510 2016
  • Dutch Crossing: Journal of Low Countries Studies
    “An Uncommon Threat: Shipworms as a Novel Disaster.”
    40.2, p. 122-138 2016
  • Environmental History
    “Claiming the Past: History, Memory, and Innovation following the Christmas Flood of 1717.”
    20/2, p. 238-261 2015


  • Arcadia
    “Molluscan Explosion: The Dutch Shipworm Epidemic of the 1730s.” Environment & Society Portal. Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society.
    14 2015
  • “Floods, Worms, and Cattle Plague: Nature-induced Disaster at the Closing of the Dutch Golden Age, 1672-1760.” 2015


  • “Dijken, Cultuur, en Wormen: Milleugeschiedenis van de Paalworm-epidemie, 1730-33,” [Dikes, Culture, and Worms: Environmental History of the Shipworm Epidemic, 1730-33] Conference of the Stichting voor de Middeleeuwse Archeologie, Hoorn, The Netherlands. 2016
  • “Teaching Global Environmental History,” Annual Conference of the American Society for Environmental History. Seattle, USA 2016
  • "A Decade of Disaster: Cattle Plague during the 1740s in the Netherlands,” 8th European Society for Environmental History Biennial Conference, Versailles, France 2015
  • “The Importance of the “New”: Novelty as a Condition of Disaster Response in Early Modern Times,” Workshop: Resilience in disastrous times: the processing of historical catastrophes in the Low Countries (ca. 1600-1850), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. 2015
  • “An Unknown Threat: Shipworms as a Novel Disaster,” N.W. Posthumus Institute Annual Conference, Brussels, Belgium. 2015