Nicholas J Cunigan

Nicholas Cunigan


B.A., History, Calvin College
M.A., Early American, Environmental, and Indigenous Peoples History, University of Kansas
Ph.D., Environmental, Indigenous Peoples, and Atlantic History, University of Kansas


While I am not digging through the archives or deciphering old Dutch script, you can find me, my wife, and our twins cycling, running, swimming, hiking, backpacking, and camping throughout West Michigan. If you can’t find us here, we’re probably exploring one of the US’s National Parks.

Academic interests

My broad research interests lie at the intersection of environmental, indigenous peoples, and Atlantic history. I am a strong advocate for the use of history in contemporary policy debates and my work draws on the historical relationship between climatic changes and various social groups in order to shed light on present-day issues surrounding global climate change.

I received a Fulbright grant for the 2014-2015 academic year to study at the University of Amsterdam and conduct research in various archives throughout the Netherlands. My dissertation investigated the impact of 17th-century climatic changes on the relationship between indigenous peoples and the Dutch West India Company and received the George L. Anderson Award for Outstanding Dissertation.

I am currently preparing a book manuscript based on my dissertation and beginning research on my second project that will examine the environmental history of Dutch coffee plantations in the East and West Indies.

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