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Penelope Hardy

Pronouns: she/her/hers
Associate Professor
History
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Penelope Hardy Pronouns: she/her/hers

Associate Professor

History

Specialty area(s)

History of science, technology, and medicine, especially technologies of ocean science. 

Brief biography

Penelope K. Hardy is an historian of science, technology, and medicine, focusing on technologies of science, ocean sciences, and scientific exploration of the global ocean. Hardy’s research on ocean sciences in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries focuses on the role of ocean-going research vessels in the development of modern scientific understanding of the oceans and the ocean-atmosphere system, and in the establishment of oceanography as a field. Her academic fields of interest include the relationship between science and the public, the role of technology in American society, the professionalization of science, and changes in popular understanding of the deep oceans. She has published on topics including military-scientific partnerships in the US and UK, meteorology in interwar Germany, and ocean mapping as both technical feat and imaginative exercise. A recipient of numerous research fellowships, including from the Smithsonian Institution, the American Meteorological Society, the Huntington Library, and the North American Society for Oceanic History, Hardy is also co-founder of an international working group examining the history of oceanic science, technology, and medicine.

Current courses at UWL

Fall 2024

     HIS 110 - Technology & Science in World History     

     HIS 371 - Knowing the Oceans

Spring 2025

       HIS 110 - Technology & Science in World History     

       HIS 280 - Survey of the History of Modern Science

       HIS 490 - History Research Seminar

Education

PhD in History of Science & Technology, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD 

MA in History, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL 

BS in Aerospace Engineering (Astronautics), US Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD 

Career

Teaching history

During the summer of 2023, I supervised a student in the Freshwater@UW Summer Scholar program

Past courses include:

     Epidemics in World History (HIS 300)

     History of US Science and Technology (HIS 309)

     Historiography and Historical Methods (HIS 200) 

Professional history

Before coming to UW-La Crosse in 2019, I was a visiting assistant professor at Xavier University, in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

Research and publishing

I am the book review editor for H-Sci-Med-Tech and H-Oceans.

With Jonathan Galka, Dr. Alison Glassie, and Dr. Katrin Kleemann, I organized two symposia on "Oceanic Expertise, Extraction & Empire" and "Ocean Circulations," featuring eight panels with twenty-four scholars from around the world for the 27th International Congress of the History of Science and Technology to be held in Aotearoa New Zealand in 2025.

With Dr. Katrin Kleemann of the German Maritime Museum, I organized a panel on "Transforming the Oceans: Ocean Knowledge Transitions in a Changing World" for the 4th World Congress of Environmental History (WCEH) to be held in Oulu, Finland in August 2024.

I organized and will comment on a panel on "Technology, Sovereignty, and the Grammar of Empire in the History of Ocean Sciences" for the Joint ICOHTEC-SHOT Conference in Viña del Mar, Chile, in July 2024.

With Dr. Christine Keiner of the Rochester Institute of Technology, I organized and will facilitate a roundtable on "Publishing Maritime, Naval, Oceanographic, and Marine Environmental History for Diverse Audiences"  for the Joint NASOH/CNRS/Brock Conference, to be held at Brock University, St Catharines, Ontario, in June 2024.

I chaired a panel on fisheries history called "Gone Fishin' " at the North American Society for Oceanic History Annual Conference in San Diego, CA, on 18 May 2023.

I am editing a four-volume primary source collection on global oceanic history for the Routledge Historical Resources series, tentatively titled Knowing the Oceans, 1790-1914: A Global History in Primary Sources.

My book review of Oceans Under Glass: Tank Craft and the Sciences of the Sea by Samantha Muka appeared in the 23 December 2022 issue of the journal Science.

I chaired a panel on "Explorations, Expeditions, and Extractions" at the History of Science Society Annual Conference in Chicago, 17-20 November 2022. 

I co-wrote, with Dr. Helen M. Rozwadowski, a blog post on "Reckoning with a Racist Legacy in Ocean Science" for the International Commission of the History of Oceanography in June 2020.

Recent articles:

Thinking Inside the Box.Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences 54, no. 1 (February 2024): 105-108.

Water as the Medium of Measurement: Mapping Global Oceans in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries.” Ch 5 in Hydrohumanities: Water Discourse and Environmental Futures, edited by Kim DeWolff, Rina Faletti, and Ignacio López-Calvo, pp. 118-140. (Oakland: University of California Press, 2021).

“Finding the History of the World at the Bottom of the Ocean: Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the Nineteenth Century.” Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 110, no. 4 (July 2021): 117-132.

w/ Dr. Helen M. Rozwadowski, "Maury for Modern Times: Navigating a Racist Legacy in Ocean Science," Oceanography 33, 3 (September 2020): 8-13.

"Meteorology as Nationalism on the German Atlantic Expedition, 1925-1927." History of Meteorology 8, Relocating Meteorology (December 2017): 124-144.

"Every Ship a Floating Observatory: Matthew Fontaine Maury and the Acquisition of Knowledge at Sea." In Soundings and Crossings: Doing Science at Sea 1800-1970, edited by Katharine Anderson and Helen M. Rozwadowski (Sagamore Beach, MA: Science History Publications/Watson Publishing International, 2016): 17-48.

"Matthew Fontaine Maury: Scientist." In "Forum: Reconsidering Matthew Fontaine Maury," International Journal of Maritime History 28, no. 2 (May 2016): 402-410.

I have reviewed scholarly books for Science, Technology and CultureThe British Journal for the History of Science, International Journal of Maritime History, Endeavour, The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord, History: Review of New Books, Global Maritime History, H-Environment, H-Water, H-War, The Michigan Historical Review, Michigan War Studies Review, and Anthropological Forum.

Kudos

published

Penelope Hardy, History, authored the article "Thinking Inside the Box" in Historical Studies in the Natural Sciences, vol 54, no. 1 (Feb 2024), published on March 15 by the University of California Press. In the essay, Hardy details an experiential in-class exercise she developed for her course HIS 371: Knowing the Oceans to help students grasp the historical difficulties of studying the bottom of the sea.

Submitted on: Mar. 16

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Life at Sea onboard HMS Challenger" at Challenger Conversations on Feb. 8 online. Hardy was part of a roundtable presenting overviews of life at sea during the HMS Challenger expedition, life at sea today, and life at sea using technology in future. This conversational webinar series starts with the legacy of the HMS Challenger expedition on its 150th anniversary and develops a diverse global community of citizen scientists who understand the influence of the ocean on our lives and our influence on the ocean.

Submitted on: Feb. 12

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Ships, Science, and the Sea: Research Vessels and the Development of Ocean Science" at Deutsches Schiffahrts Museum International Lecture Series on Ocean Humanities on Tuesday, Jan. 30 online. Hardy presented case studies of nineteenth and twentieth century researchers from several countries and their research vessels, showing how the changes they made to ships created a new science and led to the ways we see and study the oceans today.

Submitted on: Jan. 30

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Grasping the Bottom of the Nineteenth-century Sea in a Twenty-first-century Classroom" at the 50th International Committee for the History of Technology (ICOHTEC) Annual Conference on Aug. 17 in Tallinn and Tartu, Estonia. The presentation explained a pedagogical exercise Hardy developed to help students understand the historical challenge of accessing the deep ocean.

Submitted on: Aug. 21, 2023

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Careers in Maritime History and Archaeology: A Roundtable Discussion:" at the annual conference of the North American Society for Oceanic History on May 18 in San Diego, CA. Hardy and four colleagues from the fields of history and archaeology discussed career options, the job search, and life after graduate school, and they answered questions from graduate students and early career professionals.

Submitted on: May 22, 2023

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Ships as Spaces of Inquiry in Nineteenth Century Ocean Science" at the Spaces of Inquiry workshop at Johns Hopkins University on April 29 in Baltimore, Maryland.

Submitted on: May 1, 2023

awarded

Penelope Hardy, History, received the award for Charles Dana Gibson Award at the North American Society for Oceanic History annual conference on June 25 in Pensacola, FL. The award recognizes Hardy's article, "Finding the History of the World at the Bottom of the Ocean: Hydrography, Natural History, and the Sea in the Nineteenth Century," which was published in Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 110, no 4 (July 2021): 117-132, as the most significant article on any aspect of North American maritime history published in a peer-reviewed journal in 2021.

Submitted on: Sept. 1, 2022

served

Penelope Hardy, History, served on an ad hoc committee on the legacy of meteorologist Cleveland Abbe for the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The committee's charge was to report on the most probable historical account of Abbe's contributions to the atmospheric science community and to examine parts of his biography that have come into question, so that the AMS Council can make informed decisions about how to appropriately utilize his legacy. The committee's report was presented to the AMS Council and published in the April 2022 issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.

Submitted on: May 31, 2022

published

Penelope Hardy, History, authored the chapter "Water as the Medium of Measurement: Mapping Global Oceans in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries" in Hydrohumanities: Water Discourse and Environmental Futures published on Tuesday, Dec. 21 by University of California Press. The book is available for purchase from the usual outlets or as an open-access download from https://doi.org/10.1525/luminos.115

Submitted on: Dec. 21, 2021

presented

Penelope Hardy, History, presented "Drafting the Deep: Knowing the Ocean through Images in the Mid-Nineteenth Century" at the joint annual conference of the History of Science Society and the Society for the History of Technology on Nov. 20 online.

Submitted on: Dec. 7, 2021

Memberships & affiliations

[{"organization":"International Commission of the History of Oceanography","position":"Vice President","url":"https://oceansciencehistory.com/"},{"organization":"North America Society for Oceanic History","position":"Council Member","url":"https://nasoh.org/"}]