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Landscapes in Transition: Environment, Culture, and Society in China and Japan

Interdisciplinary approaches to sustainability with summer field studies.

China Field Studies (2019)


Among the most pressing issues for the 21st century are water security and scarcity, and conflicts over land’s purpose, management, and access.  Addressing these issues requires knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines, and experience applying these in real-world settings.

Landscapes in Transition provides opportunities for students to explore issues related to water and land in China, Japan, and the American Midwest in FYIs and in courses in the arts and humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. 

Additionally, field studies will allow a sub-set of students who have completed Landscapes courses to gain hands-on experience applying what they learned in China (May/June 2017 and 2019) and Japan (May/June 2018 and 2020).  There they will work closely with local experts and students. 

Priority in selecting students for field studies will go to students who in addition to completing two landscapes core courses, will have studied Chinese and/or Japanese and taken one or more elective courses offered in the program. Students selected for field studies will enroll in an orientation course in the spring semester prior to their travel to China or Japan.

Landscapes in Transition is supported by the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment and is undertaken in partnership with Henan University and its Yellow River Institute (Kaifeng, China) and Akita International University (Akita, Japan).

Landscapes in Transition builds on a variety of initiatives that have allowed Beloit College to strength teaching about Asia, build strong partnerships with Chinese and Japanese universities, and advance experiential and interdisciplinary teaching and learning.


Project contact: Elizabeth Brewer, ext. 2269

Landscapes in Transition is guided by a steering committee consisting of Elizabeth Brewer (international education), Susan Furukawa (Japanese), Jim Rougvie and Sue Swanson (both in geology), Pablo Toral (political science), and Daniel Youd (Chinese).