Funding for Students

The Luce grant provides partial scholarships for a variety of programs to further students’ knowledge about the environment in Asia, including study abroad, internships, research, and language study.

Examples of Funding Opportunities

Students may be funded for a variety of research, study and internship programs that allow students to do work on Asian Studies and the Environment. These include the following:

  • Summer internships on the Environment in Asia (arranged by the student)
  • Research projects on the Environment in Asia (proposed by the student)
  • Intensive summer language study in Chinese or Japanese to prepare for Environmental Studies
  • Asian Studies/Environmental Studies 277: Environmental Sustainability in Japan (taught in Japan)
  • Asian Studies 215: Asian Conversations 2–Encounter with Asia (taught in China and Japan)
To Apply

Submission opportunities are now closed for the grant.  Thank you for looking into the Luce Initiative on Asian Studies and the Environment to support work in East and SE Asia.  Submit the following documents as pdf files to Diane Angell ( All documents should be in a file (with your name as its filename) attached to the email.

  1. resume
  2. two-page proposal outlining your project, how it furthers your long-term goals, and the name of one faculty reference
  3. one-page budget
  4. an unofficial transcript downloaded from SIS
Selection Criteria for the Scholarships

“Scholarships will be awarded based upon students’ previous coursework within Asian Studies

and/or Environmental Studies, with preference given to those who have a demonstrated

commitment to bridging the two disciplines and an ability to function in an Asian language”

(Luce grant proposal). In general, students would be expected to have taken at least one AS or

ES course before receiving funding and to commit to at least one AS or ES course after funding.

Students without prior Chinese or Japanese language study who plan to participate in Interim

courses, internships or research in China, Taiwan or Japan, must commit to taking Chinese or

Japanese conversational classes (weekly class outside your regular class load) with teaching

assistants prior to departure.

For summer language scholarships: Students who receive funding for intensive summer

language study would be expected to study at least one year of Chinese or Japanese on

campus after summer study.

Application Deadlines
  • September 26 for Interim research or internships
  • March 10 for summer research, internships or language study
  • April 28 for St. Olaf Interim courses
2018 and 2019 Grants Awarded
Advanced Chinese Language Study

Jeung Won Eum, Chinese and Math Major, ’20
Studied at Peking University Intensive Language Program in Beijing during the summer.

John Ose, Chinese Major, ’20
Studied in the intensive language program at the Beijing Language and Culture University during the summer.

Melanie Thompson, Individual & Asian Studies Major, ’19
Studied at Peking University Intensive Language Program in Beijing during the summer.


Shan Chen, Mathematics and Japanese Major, ’20
Engaged in study of water use and treatment.

Calvin Ochi, Biology Major, ’20
Using the World-Wide Organization on Organic Farming (WOOF) network in Japan he arranged to live on Pitara Farm, Yamanashi, Japan, and Oheso Café, Hiroshima, Japan, where he worked with and interviewed rice and wheat farmers in order to study the effects of wheat production and consumption on health outcomes, specifically low birth weights.

Katrina Little, Chemistry & Japanese Major, EnvSt and AsianSt Concentrations, ’19
Conducted research regarding the understanding of environmentally sustainable lifestyles the KIKAI institute for coral reef sciences located on Kikaijima, Japan. She additionally increased linguistic fluency, presented events about sustainable living, and taught English.  Her blog is here.


2017 Grants Awarded
Advanced Chinese Language Study

Kyung Eun Kim, Chinese and Math Major, ’18
Studied at Fudan University in Shanghai during the summer

Justin Horner, Economics and Chinese Major, ’19
Studied at Jilin Normal University in Siping City during the summer.  In addition he is interested in Chinese agriculture practices including crop selection, fertilizer use and the history of agriculture. Justin spent 4 weeks on a rural farm and interviewed the area farmers about the changes to agriculture witnessed during the farmers lifetime. Increased efficiency is the major theme – typically led by mechanization.

Alison Curry, Chinese and Social Work Major, ’19
Studied at Peking University Intensive Language Program in Beijing during the summer.  In addition, she did a research project exploring air quality data and environments in and around the city.


Jamie Koffler, Music and Japanese Major, ’19
Engaged in organic farming and curriculum development at a local high school, Aino Gakuen, in Iga, Japan.

Iris Burbank, Studio Art and Environmental Studies Major, ’18
Served as an intern in the Community Development Program at the Asian Rural Institute, Asia Gakuen, Nasushiobara, Japan.

Katrina Little, Asian Studies and Chemistry Major, ’19
Education First, Shibuya, Tokyo.  Produced a multitude of videos and pictures for EF’s media usage, learned additional proficiency in Japanese language in a business setting, developed a July 4th program, and met with university students interested in studying abroad and to practice a bit of English with them (in order to test their approximate conversation level).

2016 Grants Awarded
Advanced Chinese Language Study

Brynna Freitag, Physics and China Studies, ’18

Brynna studied Chinese at East China Normal University in Shanghai during the summer through the CIEE program for eight weeks.


Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry [CURI] Project with Kathy Tegtmeyer Pak and Sian Muir.

Iris Burbank  Environmental Studies and Studio Art, ’18
Anders Cologne, Asian Studies and History, ’17
Caitlin Connell, Environmental Studies, ’17
Robby Hanson, Asian Studies and History, ’18
Chenchen Xu, Economics and Mathematics, ’17

This project investigated the meanings, practices and markets for eco-tourism in Japan.  What social, policy and economic contexts shape Japanese eco-tourism? To what extent do the goals for and practices of eco-tourism align among proprietors and customers? To what extent and in what ways does eco-tourism support broader goals of environmental sustainability? How can environmentally sustainable eco-tourism be made economically viable?  Students presented their results to faculty and students at Hokkaido Gakuen University and presented a poster at the St. Olaf Undergraduate Research Symposium on campus in late July, 2016.


Internships on Traditional Papermaking in Japan

Hikari Sugisaki, Asian Studies and Studio Art, ’17
Mira Deming, Asian Studies, ’18

Students studyied the art of making washi, an environmentally sustainable process and product during the summer.  Students participated in the Mountain Village Revitalization Project in Nagawa, Japan.  This project was conceived during the Sustainability in Japan course during Interim, 2016.


Magnus the Good Award Project with Hsiang Lin Shih

Daniel Gaenslen, Asian Studies, Economics and Religion, ’17
Leah Suffern, Asian Studies and Economics, ’17

During the project titled, “Mapping Taipei from the colonial period through modern times: a digital representation of the shifting cityscape in Chu T’ien-hsin’s novella The Old Capital,” Leah focused on documenting environmental and cultural changes as described in the novella.

2015 Grants Awarded
Student Research Project: “A Tale of Two Eco-Cities”

Jacob Caswell ’17, Physics and Computer Science ’17; Nathalie Kenny, Asian Studies and Environmental Studies ’16; Cameron Rylander, Asian Studies and Philosophy, ’16; under the guidance of Prof. Ka Wong

Students explored the perception, practice, and prospect of environmental protection and sustainable urban development through a comparative study of two nationally designated “Eco­Cities” in China—Sino­-Singaporean Tianjin Eco­City and Sino-­German Qingdao Eco­Park.  [Arriving the day of a major explosion, their time in Tianjin was shortened and they did alternative work in Shanghai.]   [Co-funded by AsiaNetwork].


Student internship on Chinese Organic Farm in Xingping, China

Marit J. Hougen ­Eitzman, Asian Studies and Environmental Studies, ‘17

The Long Village Retreat Center in Southern China reduces the use of agricultural chemicals by helping organic farmers promote their produce in large nearby cities, and by encouraging farmers who use pesticides to transition towards  organic production.  Marit’s duties included working in the organic garden, cooking, helping with daily chores, and tutoring Chinese volunteers in English. She also accompanied the woman who ran the center to other farms in the region, to hear stories and gain a new perspective from them.


Studies in Environmental research and Chinese Language in Kunming, China

Jia Shi, Chemistry and Mathematics, ‘17
After completing an intensive Chinese class and a class focused on conservation in the Mekong River region, Shi traveled to China, Thailand, and Laos to learn about the environmental issues that are occurring. Students conversed with people from local fishermen who were affected the cascade of dams on the Mekong River to the chief executive of China Power International.


Summer internship in Beijing, China with an environmental organization

Rachel Wiley, Asian Studies and China Studies concentration, ‘16

Rachel interned with an environmental NGO called China Carbon Forum in Beijing, China.  She helped compile data for the 2015 Carbon Pricing Survey, researched tax policy for carbon companies in China and abroad, set up and conducted interviews with experts in the environmental sector, and attended multiple conferences.


Collaborative Undergraduate Research and Inquiry [CURI] Project with Xun Pomponio, Economics

Peter D. Willemin, Asian Studies and Economics, ’17; Abbigail R. Hull, Psychology and Asian Studies, ’17; Nii Martey Akita, Economics, Environmental Studies and China Studies, ’16; Alice R. Stevens, Asian Studies and History, ’16

Students studied sustainable development in Pingliang, Lanzhou Province, China, working with our sister institution, Lanzhou University. They focused on how local farmers try to achieve sustainable growth in their yields and their income while combating the loss of topsoil and water in high plateau and arid regions.  They presented their results to faculty at Lanzhou and also presented a poster at the St. Olaf Undergraduate Research Symposium on campus in July, 2015.


Ying Zhou
Asian Studies

Diane Angell
Biology and Environmental Studies