Photo by Mycroyance (Creative Commons license)

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 initiative at the Claremont Colleges is entering its third year of a four-year grant funded by the Henry Luce Foundation.

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 in Spring 2020 (EA20/CMC Hist160, Tuesdays, 1:15-4pm)
  • Fully participating in Clinic Trip to Korea (May 18-May 30, 2020) – cost of travel is covered by EnviroLab Asia

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 after the end of the spring semester. Travel costs will be covered by EnviroLab Asia. The class must be completed successfully by a student before he/she/they may go on the Clinic Trip. Guest lecturers from different disciplinary backgrounds in the sciences, humanities, and social sciences will visit the class to share their discipline’s methodological approaches. Students will also work in Class Labs that focus on specific research projects (see Spring 2020 Class Lab Descriptions). 

Spring 2020 EnviroLab Asia Class

For Spring 2020, the EnviroLab Asia Class will examine environmental issues in Korea. The class will explore the following themes: infrastructure & power, modernity, agriculture, community, and landscapes. Professor Albert Park (history, CMC) and Professor Marc Los Huertos (environmental analysis, POM) will co-teach EA20/CMC Hist 160. The Class will have three Class Labs.

Spring 2020 Class Lab Descriptions

Emissions Lab, led by Branwen Williams (environmental science, Keck), Franck Fu (atmospheric chemistry, Keck), and Katie Purvis-Roberts (chemistry & environmental science, Keck)
Emissions from animal husbandry impact not only the area immediately surrounding the farms, but also have wider spread due to atmospheric transport and greenhouse gas emissions. We propose to study and compare the environmental impacts of different types of farms such as concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) versus an organically run piggery in rural South Korea. 

Air Quality Lab, led by Seo Young Park (anthropology, Scripps College)
This Clinic Lab will explore how the growing concerns of air pollution in Seoul shapes the way people interact with physical nature, built environment, and information in their everyday lives. More specifically the research examines (a) the restored stream of Cheonggyecheon in downtown Seoul, (b) certified eco-friendly buildings in Seoul Capital Area, and (c) proliferating air quality apps and SNS that create interactive maps and information of the city. Through library research into the context of these spaces and the Clinic Trip to South Korea, the research asks: How these natural, built, and virtual spaces have addressed the air quality problems in Seoul Capital Area? How does the growing environmental concerns converge with commercial and political interest in these spaces? How these sites of convergence foster new cultural idioms such as “smart city” or “futurity”?
Korean language proficiency is not required, but a plus.

Food and Rural Issues Lab, led by Marc Los Huertos (environmental analysis, Pomona College) and Albert Park (history, Claremont McKenna College)
This Clinic Lab will explore approaches of the natural sciences and social sciences to understanding the intersection between agriculture, food issues and rural development in Korea and the region. This lab will evaluate the pressures on the environment due to increasing global food demand and changes in diet. Conducting fieldwork in both Korea and Japan, we will look at the rise of alternative systems of food production in Korea, and its connection with Japan, that are ecologically sensitive and community oriented for social renewal in the rural. In so doing, this lab will evaluate policies related to food security/sovereignty, sustainable food production and climate change and protecting and enhancing rural life and culture.

Application to be an EnviroLab Asia Student Fellow is due September 27. 2019 September 30, 2019, 12 noon. Please submit application here:


EnviroLab Asia will cover the travel costs of the Trip (airfare, lodging, and meals). Students are responsible for travel incidentals, such as personal items like toiletries, non-college sightseeing, luggage storage, cell phone wifi, etc. If you have any questions, please email Karin Mak, Project Administrator of EnviroLab Asia, at kmak[at]


All undergraduate students at the Claremont Colleges are eligible to apply, including graduating seniors and students who are currently off-campus. Students must be on campus in Spring 2020 to attend the EnviroLab Asia Class. No prior experience or knowledge of environmental issues in Asia is required, though you must demonstrate how you will contribute to the research. EnviroLab Asia aims to select a diverse cohort of Student Fellows with a mix of expertise and experience in Asia and the environment. We also aim to bring together students from different disciplines (sciences, humanities, and social sciences).

Selection Process

The selection process is lengthy due to the need for multi-lab coordination. We thank applicants for their patience. 

  1. The written application is due on September 27. 2019 September 30, 2019, 12 noon via google forms ( The application will be reviewed by the Class Lab leaders and the Co-Principal Investigators of EnviroLab Asia. 
  2. Select applicants will be offered interviews. Interviews will take place in October. 
  3. Final offers will be sent early November. 


Application questions are below. Please submit application here:

General questions

  1. How did you hear about this opportunity? (in 100 words or less.)
  2. Why are you interested in the EnviroLab Asia Class and Clinic Trip? (in 200 words or less.)
  3. Please provide the name and email of one faculty or staff member who may serve as a reference for you. References do NOT need to submit a letter. References will only be contacted should the selection committee have a question.
  4. Please submit a resume.

Applicants may apply to more than one Class Clinic Lab. Below are the questions specific to the Class Labs and students must write a response to EACH Class Lab they wish to apply to. 

  1. Tell us more about yourself and any experiences, courses, qualifications, languages, career goals, etc. that would make you a good fit for the Lab and/or EnviroLab Asia Class. (in 250 words or less.)
  2. Please describe how you are a good candidate for the Lab. How would you contribute? What do you hope to learn? What questions would you like to explore? (in 200 words or less.)
  3. Is there anything else you would like to share (in 100 words or less)?