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Roberts Receives Emile G. Scholz Prize

Stacy Roberts has been awarded the Emile G. Scholz Prize for her paper, “The Private Commons: Oyster Planting in Nineteenth-Century Connecticut.” The annual prize of $1,200.00 is awarded to the graduate student whose paper the prize committee deems the most outstanding in the HIS 203 year-long research seminar required of all second-year history graduate students.

In clear, graceful prose, Roberts examines the competing legal claims of private oyster farmers and local residents who harvested oysters from natural beds in the public waters off the Connecticut coast. She found that “common and private interests in natural resources did legally and ecologically succeed side-by-side in nineteenth-century Connecticut waters.” The necessary compromises, however, required repeated state intervention and had to be continually re-negotiated as a result of the ecology of oyster beds.

Congratulations to Stacy Roberts for a fascinating, well-argued piece of environmental history.

Honorable mention: Fiona Viney, “Property and the Power to Civilize:The Changing Political Relationship between Haudenosaunee Peoples at Buffalo Creek Reservation and the United States Federal Government, 1815 – 1830.”

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