Envirotechie Joel Tarr receives SHOT’s Leonardo da Vinci Medal

The Society for the History of Technology honored long-time envirotechie Joel Tarr with the Leonardo da Vinci Medal during the Lisbon Annual Meeting in October 2008. The Leonardo da Vinci Medal is the highest recognition from SHOT and is awarded to individuals for their “outstanding contribution to the history of technology, through research, teaching, publications, and other activities.”

We are very glad Joel received this recognition for his contributions to the field and would like to join SHOT in congratulating him.

The SHOT award citation begins like this: “Since the 1990s, one of the most exciting developments in historical studies has been the convergence of environmental and technological history. Joel Arthur Tarr began to explore this convergence a generation earlier. His scholarship, both painstaking and pioneering, has pointed the way for many scholars now working at the intersection of technological and environmental history. From the late 1960s to this day, as a scholar, educator, and citizen, he has studied the interplay of human-built systems, processes, and values with the natural environment. Beginning his career as an urban historian, he asked new questions, examined new sources, and synthesized a new range of disciplinary approaches. At once an urban, environmental, and technological historian, Joel Tarr demonstrates the impossibility and irrelevance of labeling subfields, when the unifying and ultimate topic is the story of humanity’s interactions with the non-human world.”

Joel Tarr is the Richard S. Caliguiri University Professor of History & Policy in the Department of History, Carnegie Mellom University.