John Baeten

John Baeten

Visiting Assistant Professor


  • Ph.D., Industrial Heritage & Archaeology, Michigan Technological University, 2017
  • M.S., Industrial Archaeology, Michigan Technological University, 2012
  • B.A., Mass Media, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, 2003


  • Historical Geography
  • HGIS
  • Industrial Archaeology
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Environmental History
  • History of Technology
  • Envirotech
  • Water History
  • Discard Studies


  • Environment & Society (G208)
  • Mapping Our World (G237)
  • Environmental Conservation (G315)
  • Social & Historical GIS (G397/G597)
  • Water & Society (G453/553)
  • Intro to Archaeology (Anthro P200)

About John Baeten

John Baeten is an interdisciplinary social scientist, with a background in archaeology, geography, and environmental history. He studies the historical process behind the development, abandonment, and restoration of extractive landscapes. His current research is focused on the interrelated histories of subsurface tiling and swamp drainage in the Corn Belt. John directs the Historical Landscapes Laboratory at Indiana University where researchers are reconstructing Indiana's historical landscape from archival materials, including General Land Office field notes, City Directories, and Sanborn Fire Insurance maps.


  • Baeten, J. 2021. "Contamination as Artifact: Waste and the Presence of Absence at the Trout Lake Concentrator, Coleraine, Minnesota." In Geographies of Post-Industrial Memory, Place, and Heritage, edited by W. Prince, M. Rhodes, and A. Walker. New York: Routledge. 
  • Baeten, J., and Lave, R. 2020. "Retracing rivers and drawing swamps: Using a drawing tablet to reconstruct an historical hydroscape from Army Corps survey maps." Historical Methods: A Journal of Quantitative and Interdisciplinary History
    Baeten, J. 2018. "A Century of Red Water: Mine Waste, Legacy Contamination, and Institutional Amnesia in Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range." Water History. Vol. 10, No. 4 (December) 245-266. 
  • Baeten, J., Langston, N., and Lafreniere, D. 2018. "A Spatial Evalution of Historic Iron Mining Impacts on Current Impaired Waters in Lake Superior's Mesabi Range." Ambio: A Journal of the Human Environment. Vol 7, No. 1 (Spring) 231-244. 
    Baeten, J. 2017. "Contested Landscapes of Displacement: Oliver Iron and the Hibbing Mining District." Change Over Time: An International Journal of Conservation and the Built Environment. Vol. 7, No. 1 (Spring) 52-73. 
  • Baeten, J., Langston, N., and Lafreniere, D. 2016. "A geospatial approach to uncovering the hidden waste footprint of Lake Superior's Mesabi Iron Range." The Extractive Industries and Society. Vol. 3, No. 4 (November) 1031-1045. 

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