EnviroLab Asia is a dynamic 5C program that focuses on understanding environmental issues in East and Southeast Asia. We aim to engage communities and explore what comes out of the intellectual exchange between the humanities and social sciences, environmental analysis, and various other fields to generate new scholarship about environmental issues in Asia. This is an initiative at the Claremont Colleges funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.
Apply online. Application deadline: Oct. 9, 5 p.m.
EnviroLab Asia Student Fellow Commitments
5C students who are interested in learning about environmental issues in Asia are invited to apply to become an EnviroLab Asia Student Fellow. We welcome students from diverse backgrounds and disciplines to partake in this unique cross-disciplinary initiative. Students must commit to:
- Taking the EnviroLab Asia Class, a 2-credit course composed of EA21 and EA31 in Spring 2018 (T/Thur 1:15-4 p.m. seminars) EA 21 is cross-listed as HIST 160 (counts toward History major)
- Clinic Trip to Thailand (May 14-29, 2018, tentative dates) - cost of travel is covered by EnviroLab Asia
- Optional Trip to Vietnam (Jan 2-15, 2018) - cost of travel is covered by The Cion Trust
About the EnviroLab Asia Class
The EnviroLab Asia Class is a unique course that embodies a liberal arts approach to understanding environmental issues in Asia. The Class will prepare students to conduct research on the Clinic Trip, which will take place at the end of the Spring semester. Student Fellows do not have to pay any travel costs; travel costs will be covered by EnviroLab Asia. Due to the demands of preparing for the Clinic Trip, the class is a required 2-class load (EA21 and EA31). This requirement provides adequate time for students to learn cross-disciplinary concepts and techniques for field research. Co-taught by two professors from different disciplines, students will be exposed to methodologies from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Guest lecturers from different disciplines will also visit the class. Students will also be divided into Class Clinic Labs that will work on some type of research, communications or policy product advised by a faculty member. The Class will also work with students and faculty at our partner institution Yale-NUS College, a liberal arts college in Singapore.
Spring 2018 Overview
For Spring 2018, the Class will examine environmental issues in Southeast Asia. Specifically, the Clinic Trip will take place in Thailand and students will work with our local partner Burapha University in Chonburi, Thailand. The class will explore the following themes: infrastructure & power, water quality, biodiversity, hydro-modification, aquaculture, agriculture, trans-boundaries & governance, agency & built environment, performance art & resilience. EnviroLab Asia will cover the travel costs of the Trip (airfare, lodging, and food). Professor Albert Park (History, CMC) will teach EA21, offered on Tuesdays at 1:15-4pm and Professor Marc Los Huertos (Environmental Analysis, Pomona), who will teach EA31, offered on Thursdays 1:15-4pm. Class sessions will take place at the Hive.
Class Clinic Labs will focus on:
- Food and Rural issues: Led by Albert Park (History, CMC), this Clinic Lab will utilize a humanities and social sciences approach to understanding the intersection between agriculture, food issues and rural development in Thailand and the region. This lab will evaluate the pressures on the environment due to increasing demands of foodstuff from the agricultural, livestock and aquatic industries, especially from Thailand’s massive shrimp farming industry. We will look at the rise of alternative systems of food production in Thailand and other parts of Southeast and East Asia that are ecologically sensitive and community oriented for social renewal in the rural. In so doing, this lab will come up with policies related to food security/sovereignty, sustainable food production and climate change and protecting and enhancing rural life and culture.
- Mangroves and Shrimp Farms: Led by Marc Los Huertos (Environmental Analysis, Pomona) and Branwen Williams (Environmental Science, Keck Sciences), this Science Clinic Lab will focus on mangroves and shrimp farms. The relationship between these two systems are both social, economic, and physical. We will evaluate these relationships using a range of social and scientific approaches. In particular, we will evaluate the role of nitrogen (and phosphorous?) as a fertilizer and pollutant. Fertilizers are used to increase farm productivity but it can also cause eutrophication when nutrients leave the farms. Mangrove forests are valuable habitats in the coasts and protects the shoreline from erosion. We will be using various scientific methods to evaluate ecosystems processes, such as nitrogen dynamics, shimp productivity, and mangrove growth.
- Performing & Visual Arts: Led by Anne Harley (Music, Scripps), this Clinic Lab will utilize oral history, community-based theater techniques, and visual arts to create a performance piece about how local communities see environmental issues. Students selected in this Lab are required to travel to Southeast Asia in January and in May 2018 to begin their research. See below for travel information. Candidates for this Lab must be able to think in intensively interdisciplinary ways, welcoming arts, science, and humanities to the project and also ideally have a track record building social capital, through the arts or otherwise.
Special Trip to Vietnam in January
Unique to this year’s program is a special research-based trip to Vietnam funded by The Cion Trust that will take place in January before the spring semester begins. The purpose of the trip is to introduce students to issues the Class will study, develop relationships with each other and with our research partner Yale-NUS, and provide students an opportunity to have a comparative analysis of environmental issues in Southeast Asia. The Vietnam Trip will explore similar themes of infrastructure & power, water quality, biodiversity, hydro-modification, agency & built environment, culture, arts & resilience. The Cion Trust will cover costs of travel. The Vietnam Trip will take place January 2-15, 2018.
Subtrip to Thailand from Vietnam in January
Students selected to be in the Performing & Visual Arts Clinic Lab will travel to Thailand in January to start research in preparation for their final projects and then join their collaborating EnviroLab colleagues in Vietnam on Jan 8/9. These students will be the first to meet key Burapha University and community partners, and work in preparing sites for performance, arts materials, and building relationships, laying the groundwork for the culminating performance projects in which all EnviroLab students will participate in May 2018. EnviroLab Asia will cover the cost of travel. The travel dates are January 2- January 8, 2018.
Application to be an EnviroLab Asia Student Fellow is due Oct. 9 at 5 p.m. Apply online