On March 4, 2016, the three Southern California Luce Foundation-funded programs at Whittier College, Occidental College, and the Claremont Colleges came together to examine the theme of “Globalization & Sovereignty: Examining Environmental Issues in Asia.” Although the regional programs are in different stages of their grants, utilize different approaches, and work in different countries, they came together to share their research. The conference took place at Pitzer College’s Archive and Conference Center with a break during lunch, where participants walked to Pomona College’s Oldenborg Center to hear keynote speaker Yan Min Aung. The image below is a word cloud comprised of topics participants learned about at the conference (taken from survey responses). In general, participants enjoyed learning about each other’s programs, and especially liked the opportunity to discuss with each other environmental issues in Asia.

Word Cloud created from evaluation asking what participants learned at the conference

Word Cloud created from evaluation asking what participants learned at the conference

Conference Agenda:

9:30am            Coffee & Light Breakfast

10:00am          Welcome – Thomas Poon, Interim President, Pitzer College

EnviroLab Asia Welcome – Albert Park, Co-Principal Investigator and Associate Professor of History, Claremont McKenna College

10:15               Student & Faculty Presentations. Moderator: Kyoko Kurita, Professor of Japanese in the Dept. of Asian Languages and Literatures, Pomona College

  • 10:15- 10:45 – EnviroLab Asia at the Claremont Colleges
    • Title: Reflections on Development, Deforestation and Dams in SE Asia
    • Presenters:
    • Wallace “Marty” Meyer, Director of the Bernard Field Station & Assistant Professor of Biology
    • Isabelle Ng, Pitzer College ‘17, Organismal Biology & Environmental Analysis (Policy Track) major
  • 10:45-11:15 – Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment at Whittier College
    • Title: Sustainable Management through Liberal Arts Thinking
    • Presenters:
      Jeff Decker, Associate Professor, Department of Business Administration
      Keoni Kanoa, Whittier College ‘17, Business Administration (Marketing) Major
      Eoghan Foley, Whittier College ‘16, International Business Major
  • 11:15-11:45 – the Luce China-Environment Program at Occidental College
    • Title: The Challenges of Urban Renewal and Housing in Contemporary Hong Kong
    • Presenters:

Wooyoung Lim, Occidental College ‘16, Urban & Environmental Policy major Mark Vallianatos, Occidental College, faculty mentor & Policy Director of Urban and Environmental Policy Institute (UEPI).

    • Title: Effects of Air Quality on School Aged Children
    • Presenters:
    • Daniela Borquez, Occidental College ‘17, Biology major
    • Ashley Andreou, Occidental College ‘17, Biology major
    • Sasha Day, Occidental College, faculty mentor & Assistant Professor History & East Asian Studies

11:45am – depart for lunch at Oldenborg Center, Pomona College (350 N. College Way)

12:15pm – Keynote speaker: Yan Min Aung, National Land and Environmental Policy Consultant, Union of Myanmar (Burma)

“Lotus in the Brownfield: Environmental Relevance of Buddhist Spirituality”

Introductions by Elizabeth Weinlein, Pitzer College & JasonJake” Carbine, Associate Professor, C. Milo Connick Chair of Religious Studies, Whittier College, Director/PI of LIASE Whittier College

1:30pm – Presentations continued at Archive & Conference Center

  • 1:30-1:50 – EnviroLab Asia in collaboration with Yale-NUS
  • Title: Economic Development and Tribal Rebellion in Rural Sarawak
    • Presenters:

Wan Ping Chua, Yale-NUS ‘18, Environmental Studies major, corporate sustainability and citizenship concentration

May Tay, Yale-NUS ‘18, Environmental Studies major, food safety and sustainability concentration

2:00pm            Break

2:15pm            Roundtable Discussion – Pitzer Archive & Conference Center

Moderator: Char Miller, W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis, Pomona College

3:15pm            Conclusions

Reception & Networking




Isabelle Ng presents her research

Isabelle Ng (Pitzer) presents her research

MartyMeyer presenting photo by Karin Mak

Marty Meyer (Pomona) shares his observations from the Clinic Trip

The conference was jointly planned by the Coordinators of the LIASE programs: Heng Lam Foong at Occidental College, Denise Wong Velasco at Whittier College, and Karin Mak of EnviroLab Asia at the Claremont Colleges.