The transatlantic network of scholars in the environmental humanities was made possible by the Alexander von Humboldt Alumni-Prize in 2011 awarded to Sabine Wilke from the University of Washington.

The Prize supports the work of a group of scholars engaged in joint humanistic transatlantic research on environmental topics. The objective of these collaborations is to develop a broader framework for thinking about the environment rooted in the productive encounter of ecocritical models of thought with the German tradition in the broadest sense of the term. The basic premise is that the humanities broadly construed in a transatlantic framework can play a vital role in fostering social awareness and informed decision-making. Together we are in a better position to understand how the humanities might productively contribute to serious, ongoing, widespread civic conversations about environmental change, and to better perceive the place that the academic humanities have in this process. The research network serves as a platform for making the cross-cultural and historical study of environmental issues a central concern of the humanities and profiling the ways in which humanities research can be useful, even essential, for the scientific and political dimension of these concerns.