Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Forests have dominated Maine’s landscapes since the recession of the Laurentide Ice Sheet. The outmigrations of glaciers gave way to a tundra environment, later transforming into the northern hardwood forests. Trees such as the Eastern hemlock, sugar maple, American chestnut, Eastern white pine, and brown ash form unique relationships with plants, fungi, animals, and humans. This paper examines the unique history of Maine’s forests from 8,000 years ago to today, emphasizing the changes brought by European colonization. Big history argues that history should be studied at large time scales, ranging from thousands to even millions or billions of years. It encompasses all elements of past histories from the creation of the Earth to the present day. In utilizing big history as a theoretical framework, this thesis works to voice history from the perspective of the tree, destabilizing anthropocentrism and evoking empathy toward the planet we share.

Level of Access

Open Access

First Advisor

Tyler Harper

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Community Engagement


Open Access

Available to all.