About AES

The Asian Environmental Studies (AES) Initiative at Hobart and William Smith Colleges is generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation. The initiative builds on existing institutional strengths at HWS in Environmental Studies and Asian Studies, and seeks to infuse East Asia in a meaningful and substantive manner into teaching and research on human-environment relations at HWS. The initiative also seeks to catalyze AES work across the liberal arts community through curriculum workshops, collaborative research and teaching, symposia, study abroad, and other programs.


  • Asian Environmental Studies Curriculum Development Workshop Set for August 19-21, 2013
    As part of its Asian Environmental Studies Initiative, supported generously by the Henry Luce Foundation, Hobart and William Smith Colleges will host a second Asian Environmental Studies (AES) Curriculum Development Workshop this summer. The workshop will be held August 19-21 on the HWS campus in Geneva, N.Y.

    For more information, including registration, click HERE.

  • Energy Expert Amory Lovins Speaks at HWS
    Amory Lovins, Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Scientist at Rocky Mountain Institute, will be kicking off the 2013 Hobart and William Smith Colleges President's Forum Speaker Series Thursday, September 13, 2012. Amory's talk, "Reinventing Fire: Bold Business Solutions for the New Energy Era" will showcase the work done in RMI's most recent major initiative, Reinventing Fire.

  • Fourth Biennial "Half the World Symposium: Peoples and Environments in East Asia" Symposium
    March 2-4, 2012
  • Plastic bottles and other items bundled for recycling at a
    government-run recycling center in 2010 (Beijing, China).
    Photo by Tom Drennen.

Half the World Symposium Series


  • Christine Boyle (Economics, University of North Carolina)
    "China's Water-Energy Nexus"
  • John Flower (History, Sidwell Friends School)
    "A Place-Based Approach to Teaching about China's Environment"
  • Joseph Hannah (Geography, University of Washington)
    "Waste Politics and Activism in Hanoi"
  • Andrew Mertha (Political Science, Cornell University)
    "Not So Fast: The Impact of China's Political Pluralization on Energy Policy Outcomes"
  • Desiree Tullos (Biological and Ecological Engineering, Oregon State University)
    "IDAM: Integrated Dam Assessment and Modeling in China"


Construction at the site of the Xiaowan Hydroelectric Dam on
the Lancang (Upper Mekong) River in spring 2005 (Yunnan
Province, China). Photo by Darrin Magee.

  • Darrin Magee (Environmental Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
    "Great Walls and Grand Canals: Major Water Infrastructure in China"
  • Tom Drennen (Economics/Environmental Studies, Hobart and William Smith Colleges)
    "International Climate Change Negotiation: The China Factor"
  • Mary Lovely (Economics, Syracuse University)
    "Trade Growth, Production Fragmentation, and China's Environment"
  • Miranda Schreurs (Freie Universitat Berlin)
    "Japan's Search for Sustainability: A Decade of Transformations"
  • Jessica Graybill (Colgate College)
    Environment and Development in Russia's Far East: Petro-development in Sakhalin"


  • Graham Parkes (Philosophy, University of Hawaii)
    "An Environmental History of China: A Ridiculously Rapid Overview from a Distinctly Daoist Perspective"
  • Jennifer Turner (Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars)
    "Greening the Dragon: Top-Down and Botton-Up Efforts Pushing Environmental Protection in China Today"
  • William Tsutsui (History, University of Kansas)
    "Historicizing Nature and the Environment in Japan"
  • Miranda Schreurs (Government and Politics, University of Maryland)
    "Environmental Stewardship Japanese Style: Environmental Policies and Politics of Present-Day Japan"
  • David Biggs (History, University of Washington)
    "Riding on the Rivers and Tides: Modern Vietnam from a Watery Perspective in the Mekong Delta"
  • David Rosenberg (Political Science, Middlebury College)
    "Governing the South China Sea: Resource Management around the Hub of the Industrial Revolution of Asia"

AES Study Abroad Opportunities




Tanaka Lecture Features Coggins

Geographer and conservationist Chris Coggins, professor of Asian studies and geography at Bard College at Simon's Rock, was the guest speaker at the Tanaka Asian Lecture Series on Sept. 22, delivering the talk, "China's Fengshui Forests: and the Lineage Village Landscape." "Chris' work on fengshui forests in China lies at the intersection of ethnography and ecology, geography and dendrology, Env...  More >>

McDowell '15 Earns Fulbright

In September, Emma McDowell '15 will arrive in Bangkok, Thailand to begin her tenure as an English Teaching Assistant with the support of a 2016-17 Fulbright U.S. Student Award. "It was a goal of mine to apply for a Fulbright since sophomore year, and it's an honor to have been chosen," explains McDowell, who double-majored in environmental studies and Spanish & Hispanic studies, with a minor...  More >>

Tanaka Series Welcomes James Mark Shields

James Mark Shields, associate professor of comparative humanities and Asian thought at Bucknell University, recently served as a guest of the Tanaka Asian Studies Lecture Series on April 18, delivering the talk, "Against Harmony: Progressive and Radical Buddhism in Modern Japan." "Professor Shields is one of the leading specialists in radical and progressive Buddhism, pushing the boundaries of ho...  More >>

WWF's Tao Hu Joins Tanaka Lecture Series

Tao Hu, director of the World Wildlife Fund's China Program, will deliver the first talk of the fall's Tanaka Lecture Series funded by the Tanaka Memorial Foundation. His lecture will begin at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 in Stern Hall. An ecologist and environmental economist by training, Tao is a veteran with an insider's perspective on China's environmental policy. With almost two decades of e...  More >>

Mottainai: A Photo Exhibit

In June 2014, Sarah Meyer, the community outreach coordinator for the Finger Lakes Institute (FLI), led the annual Technos Program, which promotes international exchange and understanding on the campus of Technos International College, and offers students the opportunity to experience and appreciate Japanese life and culture. During the trip, Meyer captured a series of photographs reflecting on J...  More >>


Darrin Magee
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Director, AES Initiative
Phone: (315) 781-3364



Hobart and William Smith Colleges,
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

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