Project Goals

The Carleton Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment will enable faculty to share ideas, test concepts, and consolidate resources that have, until now, lacked focus. At the end of the exploration period (April 2014 to July 2015), we will have identified and developed an array of courses, themes, resources, and collaborations related to Asia and the Environment across the curriculum.

Looking ahead, we envision an implementation project that will leverage Carleton’s existing resources towards an ambitious goal: training a generation of students who are

  • Capable of understanding the complex environmental challenges facing Asia
  • Prepared to engage in collaborative work across disciplines with on-campus and off-campus partners, and
  • Equipped with knowledge of local conditions, languages, history, and culture.

Faculty in Asian Studies and Environmental and Technology Studies (ENTS) are providing leadership for the exploration project, in cooperation with faculty from each of the science departments. The project will involve a minimum of 12 faculty (4 from Asian Studies/ENTS, 4 from Asian Languages, and 4 from the natural sciences) in course development; participation of approximately 25 faculty in activities; and teaching of approximately 200 students enrolled in 12-14 courses.


During our project we seek to achieve the following objectives:

  • Conduct faculty development activities to initiate project themes and activities, including an initial two-day workshop, three reading-seminar programs, and three visiting scholar events
  • Incorporate environmental and sustainability readings and topics into a minimum of three and up to seven courses in Asian Studies
  • Introduce environmental readings and topics into intermediate/advanced Chinese and Japanese; develop Foreign Language Across the Curriculum (FLAC) units for three non-language courses
  • Complete planning for a new off-campus study (OCS) Southeast Asia program; revise the current Carleton Chinese Language and Culture OCS program to include an environmental studies component; and explore the possibility of developing an Asian Studies/ENTS program in cooperation with our OCS partner Doshisha University, Kyoto
  • Incorporate study of Asian environmental and sustainability issues in 2-4 ENTS courses
  • Incorporate Asian environment/sustainability issues in three science courses; pilot a two-week science research program (atmospheric chemistry) at Fudan University in Shanghai
  • Conduct a capstone workshop, ideally in cooperation with ACM, to review resources and plan collaboratively towards an implementation project