Environmental history offers an earth's-eye view of the past, by addressing the many ways in which humans have interacted with the natural environment over time. How has the environment shaped the course of human history, and how have human actions and attitudes shaped the environment? And how does studying past environments help us understand our present-day challenges? All too often, historians study the human past without considering nature; similarly, all too often, scientists study nature without considering human history. We will explore the value of integrating these different perspectives, and argue that a historical perspective is absolutely crucial if one hopes to understand contemporary environmental issues.