I joined the faculty of the University of Arizona in 2014 after twelve years at Washington State University. I am a Professor of modern Chinese History, the UNESCO Chair of Environmental History, and the Director of the UA Global Studies Program.
My research interests lay at the confluence of environmental history and the history of technological change in modern China, particularly after 1949. More specifically, my research focuses on long-term continuity and change in China’s water management. My publications include Engineering the State: The Huai River and Reconstruction in Nationalist China (Routledge 2002), State and Economy in Republican China: A Handbook for Scholars (Harvard 2001), and The Yellow River: The Problem of Water in Modern China (Harvard 2015).
I am currently researching and writing a text on the modern environmental history of China (Cambridge University Press), and have just begun work on new project tentatively entitled, “Death on the Yangtze: A Story of the Extinction of the Baiji Dolphin.” I’m very excited about this research, and any suggestions welcome!
My work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Mellon Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute for Advanced Studies (Princeton).
My teaching at the UA focuses on undergraduate courses in modern Chinese history, global studies, and East Asian Environmental History.
As the UNESCO Chair in Environmental History, I am engaged in an initial five-year research and teaching project on “indigenous peoples and water.” Along with project co-Director, Dorothy Zeisler-Vralsted of Eastern Washington University, the Chair supports projects that explore the relationships between indigenous communities and water.
And FINALLY, I have been committed to communicating my scholarship and teaching to audiences beyond the academy. I have made presentations to a wide array of audiences, including education, religious, and business groups. These efforts were recognized as I was named a Fellow in the Public Intellectual Program of the National Committee on United States-China Relations in 2006, and a Research Fellow at the National Asia Research Program of the National Bureau of Asia Research and the Woodrow Wilson Center International Center for Scholars.
Please feel free to get in touch!