EnviroLab Class & Clinic Trip

EnviroLab provides an experiential learning component known as the Clinic Trip, where students and faculty travel to specific sites in Asia to study regional environmental issues. Prior to the Clinic Trip, students are required to take an EnviroLab class, which are co-taught by two professors from different disciplines. The themes of the class will change year-to-year, depending on the location of the Clinic Trip. The class requirement allows students to engage in cross-disciplinary training needed for conducting field research. Students will be exposed to methodologies from the sciences, humanities and social sciences. Clinic Labs are also an aspect of the class. Each lab will be expected to produce some type of research or communications product that will be advised by a faculty member.

Clinic Trip

For 10 days during the summer vacation after taking EnviroLab classes, the students and faculty travel to sites on Asia to conduct the research they had been preparing for in their classes. Separate labs will focus on different aspects of environmental studies, the themes ranging from strict scientific data analysis to a literature-centered history analysis, and the research may be conducted separate regions in a country. At the end of the 10 days, all the lab reunites to share their experience and research. This allows the students and faculty to ruminate on the interdisciplinary ramifications of their research and view environment from several different lenses.

Clinic Trip Schedule

The following is a schedule of upcoming Clinic Trips. Each of the trips and associated research will be conducted in close cooperation with partnering institution Yale-NUS, and local universities and organizations.

Year 1 (2018) Thailand

EnviroLab held its first Clinic Trip in January 2016 to Singapore and Malaysian Borneo. Eight faculty members and 10 students from the Claremont Colleges joined six faculty members, eight students, and one staff member from Yale-NUS. The group embarked on a 10-day immersive learning experience seeing how development, sustainability, food systems, human rights, and sovereignty connect to environmental issues. The group visited an oil palm plantation and met with Dayak Tribes in Borneo to study the impact of dams and oil palm on their livelihood. The group also met with officials from Wilmar International — one of the largest producers of oil palm, and NGOs, such as Birdlife International and Save Rivers.

Themes: infrastructure & power, water quality, biodiversity, hydro-modification, aquaculture, agriculture, trans-boundaries & governance, agency & built environment, performance art & resilience

Contact person for more information: Albert Park, CMC History Department

Year 2 (2019) Japan
Themes: intersection of nature, nuclear history and infrastructure, social movements and activism, conservation (rare seabird), artistic expression & activism

Contact person for more information: Albert Park, CMC History Department

Year 3 (2020) Korea
Themes:  contested infrastructure & ecological development, human agency and social organization/transformation, specifically related to military demands (missile defense systems in Seongju, naval base in Cheju that threaten coral reef), rural and urban ecology (as related to farms near the DMZ, Nanji Park and Cheonggyecheon)

Contact person for more information: Albert Park, CMC History Department

Year 4 (2021) China
Themes: agriculture, development, infrastructure, sustainability ( nature reserves), Rural/urban, Populations, Industrialized/De-industrialized

Contact person(s) for more information: Albert Park, CMC History Department, Marc Los Huertos, Pomona Environmental Analysis, Branwen Williams, Keck Sciences



2020 EnviroLab Student Fellows (Korea)

Aileen Villa Food and Rural Issues Lab SCR, Class of 2022, politics and anthropology (dual) she, her, hers Aileen Villa is a second-year student from Nogales, Arizona. She has been involved in bridging health disparities in her community by addressing food issues and...

Haikus from Japan

Haikus from Japan

Sharing haikus and art from students in the Food and Rural Issues Lab who went to Japan in May 2019. Haikus by Kat Kornegay (POM) Morning was peaceful. The fresh air and soothing sounds, Does wonders for soul. In rural Japan. Feels like a whole other world. Bullet...