Research Projects – Past & Ongoing

EnviroLab Asia supports faculty development by providing funding for publication, research, and other project activities. There are five different “entry-point” fund areas faculty may apply to: Conference Travel Fund; Research Pods; Research Labs; Course Development; and the Continuing Course/Speakers’ Fund. Faculty may also apply to the Manuscript Review or Subvention Funds to support the completion of an academic product (article, art piece, or book). These funds are designed to have a clear purpose while remaining flexible, in order to allow for innovations and collaborations to occur.

To find out more about research opportunities, please contact EnviroLab.Asia@cmc.edu.

 

Please note the school abbreviations:

CMC = Claremont McKenna College
SCR = Scripps College
HMC = Harvey Mudd College
POM = Pomona College
PTZ = Pitzer College

Research

Scientific research is the cornerstone of EnviroLab that critically examines environmental issues through a scientific lens.

"Nature and Spirit"; "The Beautiful Hulun Buir Grasslands, Enduring Eco-Wisdom—An Unforgettable Trip to Hulun Buir"

“Nature and Spirit” talk and musical performance (2019), Scripps College
https://youtu.be/zjILqYDVnaw

“The Beautiful Hulun Buir Grassland, Enduring Eco-Wisdom—An Unforgettable Trip to Hulun Buir” by Zhihe Wang, International Daily (2019) www.chinesetoday.com/en/article/1271598

Facilitated by the research lab “Nature and Spirit: Sacred Artistic Practices and Ecology in Bali and China” including Hao Huang (Music, SCR), Joti Rockwell (Music, POM), Melinda Herrold-Menzies (Environmental Analysis, PIT), and Zhihe Wang (Center for Process Studies/CGU & Guest Scholar-in Residence, SCR)

"Each Day Begins with the Sun Rising: Four Artists from Hiroshima" curated art exhibit by Rebecca McGrew, re-scheduled to be held February 10 to June 26, 2022 at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College

Facilitated by the research lab “Birds, Bombs, and Beauty—An Interdisciplinary Study of Nature, Politics, and Culture Linking the SétoInland Sea Region of Japan with Southern California” including members Kyoko Kurita (Asian Languages and Literatures, Pomona), Tom Le (International Relations/Politics, Pomona), Nina Karnovsky (Biology, Pomona), Rebecca McGrew (Art History, Pomona College Museum of Art), and Philip Choi (Physics, Pomona)

“Examining molluscs as bioindicators of shrimp aquaculture effluent in mangroves.”; “Tracking the fate of shrimp farm effluent in a Thailand bay using stable carbon isotopes.”

“Examining molluscs as bioindicators of shrimp aquaculture effluent in mangroves.” By Hong, A., Hargan, K., Williams, B., Nuangsaeng, B., Siriwong, S., Tassawad, P., Chaiharn, C., and Los Huertos, M. (2020) Ecological Indicators. 115: 106365.

“Tracking the fate of shrimp farm effluent in a Thailand bay using stable carbon isotopes.” By Hargan, K., Williams, B., Nuangsaeng, B., Siriwong, S., Tassawad, P., Chaiharn, C., McAdoo, B., and Los Huertos, M. (2020) Journal of Applied Ecology. 57: 754-765, doi:10.1111/1365‐2664.13579.

This research was also presented at the following conferences:

  • “Examining improvements in the management of shrimp aquaculture effluent – using mangrove molluscs and sediments as biomonitoring tools for trace metals.” Presented by Hong, A., Hargan, E.†, Williams, B., Nuangsaeng, B., Siriwong, S., Chaiharn, C., Tassawad, P., McAdoo, B., and Los Huertos, M. (2019) ASLO Conference, Puerto Rico.
  • “Spatial and temporal variability in organic carbon sources and storage in an oceanic mangrove system adjacent to shrimp aquaculture.” Presented by Hargan, K., Williams, B., Nuangsaeng, B., Siriwong, S., Tassawad, P., Chaiharn, C., McAdoo, B., and Los Huertos, M. (2020) AGU Virtual Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA
  • “Organic carbon and nitrogen sources to a Thai mangrove foodweb receiving shrimp farm wastewater.” Presented by Hargan, E., Williams, B., Nuangsaeng, B., Siriwong, S., Tassawad, P., McAdoo, B., and Los Huertos, M. (2019) ASLO Conference, Puerto Rico.

Additional funding:

  • National Geographic Society: Do mangrove forests reduce coastal aquaculture nutrient pollution while increasing carbon storage? A case study of a Thai shrimp farm-mangrove ecosystem. Williams, B. $ 28,170 (2018-2019)
“The Ideal Woman: An Exploration of the Women’s Movement in Myanmar” curated art exhibit by Allison Joseph with support from (2018) the Hive, Claremont Colleges

Allison Joseph (Environmental Analysis & Psychology, SCR ‘20) was an Envirolab Asia Fellow in 2018 (??) mentored by Anne Harley and Ruth Pongstagphone on this installation; in 2021 she collaborated with Pongstaphone, Sian Huai, New Yangon Theater Institute and The Image of Woman. Read more about her research here: https://envirolabasia.claremont.edu/2019/07/10/qa-with-allison-joseph-gender/

Faculty Research Labs

The concept for the Faculty Research Labs was born out of an expressed need for additional opportunities through which faculty and students can, through different angles, approach and study issues based on the EnviroLab theme and topic of that year. This approach ensures that the topic and theme will be comprehensively studied through a flexible framework that best suits the skills, expertise, and interests of students and faculty. Faculty Research Labs align with the guiding principles of EnviroLab, such that they further research on environmental issues in East and Southeast Asia, and are cross-disciplinary (at least one person from the sciences and one person from the humanities/social sciences). Ideally, the Lab involves collaboration between faculty from different Claremont Colleges.

Funding for Research Labs has been allocated. No new call for applications will take place. The following are the groups that received Research Labs and Research Pods awards.

“Nature and Spirit: Sacred Artistic Practices and Ecology in Bali and China”
  • Hao Huang (Music, SCR)
  • Joti Rockwell (Music, POM)
  • Melinda Herrold-Menzies (Environmental Analysis, PTZ)
  • Zhihe Wang (Center for Process Studies/CGU & Guest Scholar-in Residence, SCR)

Lab members hosted a “Nature and Spirit” talk and musical performance event at Scripps College on October 11, 2019. The performance can be watched on the EnviroLab YouTube Channel here. Dr. Zhihe Wang wrote an article, “The Beautiful Hulun Buir Grassland, Enduring Eco-Wisdom—An Unforgettable Trip to Hulun Buir.” The article was published in the International Daily.

“Birds, Bombs, and Bizen (ceramic ware)”
  • Kyoko Kurita (Asian Languages and Literatures, POM)
  • Tom Le (International Relations, POM)
  • Nina Karnovsky (Biology, POM)
  • Rebecca McGrew (Pomona College Museum of Art)

Lab members Kyoko Kurita, Tom Le, Nina Karnovsky, and Philip Choi presented on their research on October 2, 2020. Rebecca McGrew, Senior Curator at the Benton Museum of Art Pomona College, curated the art exhibition, Each Day Begins with the Sun Rising: Four Artists from Hiroshima. Due to the pandemic, the exhibition has been re-scheduled to be held February 10 to June 26, 2022 at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College.

“Land use, forest recovery, and sustainability at the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in Vietnam”
  • Donald McFarlane (Keck Science)
  • Michael Ballagh (International Programs, PTZ)
  • Warren Roberts (Honnold Library, CGU)
  • Branwen Williams (Keck Science)
Alternatives to Bear Bile-use in Traditional Chinese Medicine in Vietnam Lab
  • Shannon Randolph (the Hive)
  • Chloe Martinez (Religious Studies, CMC)
  • Charles Taylor (Chemistry, POM)
  • David Smith (Biology, Keck Science)
Mangroves Research Lab to develop art and cultural materials in relation to the nutrient connection between mangroves and shrimp farms.
  • Anne Harley (Music, SCR)
  • Kathryn Hargan (EnviroLab Postdoctoral Fellow)
  • Rachel Mayeri (Media Studies, HMC)
  • Branwen Williams (Environmental Science, Keck Science)
“Conceptions of the natural environment in relation to mental health in Vietnam and Okinawa”
  • Wei-Chin Hwang (Psychology, CMC)
  • Stacey Doan (Psychology, CMC)
  • Kathy Yep (Asian American Studies, PTZ)
EnviroLab Postdoctoral Fellow Research Lab - Kathryn Hargan (EnviroLab Postdoctoral Fellow; Environmental Science, Keck)

EnviroLab’s first postdoctoral fellow, Kathryn Hargan, finished her two-year postdoctoral position and became an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland in January 2020. Dr. Hargan’s first paper with Envirolab is published in the Journal of Applied Ecology (https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/1365-2664.13579) and her second article was published in the journal Ecological Indicators (http://dbsrv.lib.buu.ac.th/epfolionew/wp- content/uploads/2020/04/PDF.pdf). This second article was lead-authored by undergraduate student Alison Hong (CMC ’19) who participated in the Clinic Program. Dr. Hargan also advised Alison in the writing of her senior thesis.

Faculty Research Labs

The concept for the Faculty Research Labs was born out of an expressed need for additional opportunities through which faculty and students can, through different angles, approach and study issues based on the EnviroLab theme and topic of that year. This approach ensures that the topic and theme will be comprehensively studied through a flexible framework that best suits the skills, expertise, and interests of students and faculty. Faculty Research Labs align with the guiding principles of EnviroLab, such that they further research on environmental issues in East and Southeast Asia, and are cross-disciplinary (at least one person from the sciences and one person from the humanities/social sciences). Ideally, the Lab involves collaboration between faculty from different Claremont Colleges.

Funding for Research Labs has been allocated. No new call for applications will take place. The following are the groups that received Research Labs and Research Pods awards.

Examining connections among air quality, goods movement, transportation, and freeways in Vietnam, Taiwan, Philippines, US, and Tonga
Pod Members:

  • Mike Manalo-Pedro (Director of Asian American Resource Center, POM)
  • Linda Lam (Director of CAPAS, PTZ)
  • Scott Chan (Lecturer, Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies, POM)
Exploring the role of the performing and fine arts in advocating for environmentally-friendly and ecologically-sound practices in China and Bali
Pod members:

  • Joti Rockwell (American Studies and Music, POM)
  • Zhihe Wang, (Executive Director of the China Project, Center for Process Studies, Director of the Institute for Postmodern Development of China, affiliated with Claremont Graduate University)
  • Melinda Herrold-Menzies (Environmental Analysis, PTZ)
  • Hao Huang (Director of the Scripps Humanities Institute, Music, SCR)
Analyzing the environmental implications of various coffee-growing practices in Indonesia and Vietnames Here
Pod members:

  • William Barndt (Political Studies, PTZ)
  • Ethan Van Amam (Chemistry, W.M. Keck Science Department)
  • Babak Sanii (Chemistry, W.M. Keck Science Department)
  • Jamel Velji (Religious Studies, CMC)
Examining the environmental issues related to the production and consumption of traditional zoological and botanical medicines in China and Vietnam
Pod members:

  • Shannon Gray Randolph (The Hive, POM)
  • David Smith (Biology, W.M. Keck Science Department)
  • Lisa Auerbach (Art, POM)
  • Tamara Venit-Shelton (History, CMC)

Research Support

EnviroLab has supported faculty research in the humanities, social sciences, arts, and the sciences at the Claremont Colleges.

SRPublication Support

EnviroLab has supported publications in major journals and in university presses.

Some examples of supported publications include:

Zhiru Ng (religious studies, Asian Studies Coordinator, POM) received an award to support the printing of color photographs for her book chapter “Lighting Lamps to Prolong Life in 5th and 6th century China” that will appear in a volume titled Buddhist healing in Medieval China and Japan: Global and Local Perspectives, edited by Pierce Salguero (Penn. State Univ.) and Andrew Macomber (Columbia University). The book has been accepted for publication by the University of Hawai’i Press.

Pey-Yi Chu (History, POM) was awarded funding to hire a cartographer to create illustrations forher forthcoming book The Life of Permafrost: A History of Frozen Earth in Russian and Soviet Science that will be published by the University of Toronto Press.

Albert L. Park (History, CMC) was awarded funding to support the production of graphs and maps for the book Forces of Nature: New Perspectives on Korean Environments, published by Cornell University Press.

Faculty Research Labs – Art

This is a River

On August 15th 2020, Theatre Without Borders, the Pomona College Department of Theatre, and Very Little Theatre presented an online, informal, Zoom reading of ‘This Is A River,’ a new ecodrama by (student) Isabelle Rogers and James P. Taylor. Directed by Giovanni Ortega, with dramaturgy by (student) GiGi Buddie, the reading featured Southeast Asian performers living in Los Angeles, Chicago, London, Singapore, Malaysia, and Australia. The play looks at indigenous communities and their struggles to protect natural resources. It was inspired by the EnviroLab May 2016 Clinic Trip to Borneo.

Awakening to the Environment

EnviroLab invited award-winning Malaysian-Chinese composer and environmental activist Yii Kah Hoe to share his music and perspectives on the connections between music and environmentalism at events throughout the three-day get-together. The three-day event kicked off with an “Awakening to the Environment” concert on November 1st 2015 at Garrison Theater, Scripps College. The concert was organized by Anne Harley, Associate Professor of Music at Scripps and an EnviroLab Faculty Fellow, and where Kah Hoe’s piece Forest Threnody was performed by the Claremont Concert Choir and Claremont Chamber Choir of CMC, Harvey Mudd, Pitzer and Scripps.

Each Day Begins with the Sun Rising: Four Artists from Hiroshima

This exhibition was held from February 10 to June 26, 2022.

For more information: https://www.pomona.edu/museum/exhibitions/2022/each-day-begins-sun-rising

EnviroLab Journal

EnviroLab is a journal on environmental issues written by faculty and students. This journal is published in collaboration with the Claremont Colleges Library’s Scholarship at Claremont.

Environments of East Asia

The Environments of East Asia is a book series sponsored by EnviroLab and published by Cornell University Press. This is an open access book series on environmental issues in East Asia which is edited by Ann Sherif (Oberlin College) and Albert L. Park (Claremont McKenna College), acquiring editor is Emily Andrew.