Dr. John Thistle

Former Research Associate 

Labrador Institute of Memorial University
P. O. Box 490, Station B
Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
A0P 1E0

PhD (Geography), University of British Columbia (2009)

Research and Teaching Interests

John worked as a Research Associate with the Labrador Institute and is an Adjunct member of the Department of Geography at Memorial University. His teaching and research interests span environmental history, resource geography, and science and technology studies.


a) Books and monographs

Resettling the Range: Animals, Ecologies and Human Communities in Early British Columbia. Vancouver: University of British Columbia Press, 2015.

Unger, Richard, and John Thistle. Energy Consumption in Canada in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: A Statistical Outline. Naples, Italy: CNR Edizioni, 2013. Print.

b) Articles

John Thistle and Nancy Langston, "Entangled histories: Iron ore mining in Canada and the United States," The Extractive Industries and Society (in press).

“A Vast Inland Empire and the Last Great West: Remaking Society, Space and Environment in British Columbia” Journal of Historical Geography 37 (2011), 418-428.

“Accommodating Cattle: British Columbia’s ‘Wars’ with Grasshoppers and ‘Wild Horses’,” BC Studies 160 (2008), 67-91

“‘As Free of Fish as a Billiard Ball is of Hair’: Dealing with Depletion in the Pacific Halibut Fishery, 1899-1924,” BC Studies 142/143 (2004), 110 -125.

c) Recent Book Reviews

John Thistle “Review of Claire Campbell and Robert Summerby-Murray’s Land and Sea: Environmental History in Atlantic Canada. Fredericton: Acadiensis Press, 2013.” The Otter ~ La Loutre Reviews. (September, 2014).

Matthew McKenzie, Clearing the Coastline: The Nineteenth Century Ecological and Cultural Transformation of Cape Cod. Hanover, University Press of New England, 2010, xviii+227, Journal of Historical Geography, 38, 4 (2012): 481

Dean Bavington, Managed Annihilation: An Unnatural History of the Newfoundland Cod Collapse. Vancouver, University of British Columbia Press, 2010, xxix + 186 pages, Journal of Historical Geography 38, 3 (2012): 481.

Recent Presentations

“Extractive Industry in the Atlantic Subarctic,” World Congress of Environmental History, Guimaraes Portugal, July 8-12, 2014.

"Why Employment Benefits are Not Enough: Reflections from the Economic and Environmental History of Iron Ore Mining in Labrador" Special Panel on
“Managing Growth” Expo Labrador, June 2013.

“Community Resiliency in a Resource Economy: Reflections from Research on Iron Ore Mining in Western Labrador” Harris Centre of Memorial University, Public Forum, Labrador City, March 26 2013.

(with Jean Sebastian Boutet), “The Second Red Gold Rush: Recent Developments in Iron Ore Mining in Quebec-Labrador,” Canadian Association of Geographers Annual Meeting, Waterloo, 2012.

“Making an Iron Ore Landscape: Industrial Development and Change in the Quebec-Labrador Borderlands, 1936-1954.” Department of Geography, Memorial University, November 2011.