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




'Fukushima: Four Years Later'

In March 2011, a record 9.0-magnitude earthquake struck Japan's Tohoku region resulting in one of the largest disasters in modern times. Its immediate aftermath brought on a tsunami that hit the nation's coastline about 230 miles northeast of Tokyo, tragically causing widespread loss of life, devastation and nuclear fallout following severe damage sustained by the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power ...  More >>

Magee on China’s Neighbor Relations

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, a geographer with expertise in water and energy in China, was recently quoted in an article about the threat to regional stability posed by China's complex dam system and, particularly, its lack of clear and effective communication about them. "Troubled waters: the Mekong River crisis," appeared in Financial Times magazine. The article de...  More >>

Writing China’s Energy Future

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, a China geographer with expertise in water and energy in China, is serving as a fellow of the prestigious Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) for the 2014 calendar year. Magee is taking part in the Reinventing Fire: China project, which could write the plan for China's energy future. An international team of researchers and organizations are l...  More >>

Magee Discusses Water Diversion in China

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, a China geographer with expertise in water and energy in China, was recently quoted by McClatchy News on China's South-North Water Diversion project. The project entails diverting more than 2.5 trillion gallons of water from the south of the country to the north annually. Among the issues addressed in the article is the fact that a 718-mi...  More >>

Magee Quoted on Dam Controversy

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Darrin Magee, a China geographer with expertise in water and energy in China, was recently quoted in a Voice of America report, "China Mekong Dam Project Generates Growing Controversy." "The methods being used to build the dams are increasingly coming under attack, however, because of the projects' environmental and social impacts. And China's plan to ...  More >>


Darrin Magee
Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies
Director, AES Initiative
Email: magee@hws.edu
Phone: (315) 781-3364