About AES

The Asian Environmental Studies (AES) Initiative at Hobart and William Smith Colleges was generously supported by the Henry Luce Foundation from 2011 to 2015. 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
    As part of its Asian Environmental Studies Initiative, supported generously by the Henry Luce Foundation, Hobart and William Smith Colleges hosted a second Asian Environmental Studies (AES) Curriculum Development Workshop in the summer of 2013. The workshop was held August 19-21 on the HWS campus in Geneva, NY.

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




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


Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.