Human+Nature Blog

Dec. 26, 2017

Thomas Connor is a PhD candidate studying with Jack Liu. His fieldwork takes place in and around Wolong, China.

shadow

Dec. 1, 2017

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

My friends are used to my frequent and sometimes infuriating habit of stopping whatever I am doing (be it walking, talking or driving) to look at and identify any birds. I have even been known to pull to the side of the road to ogle particularly interesting species, a habit I picked up from my father.

shadow

Nov. 29, 2017

Sophia Chau is a PhD student with Jianguo Liu. She studied environmental science at the University of Notre Dame. She also spent some time in California working for the National Park Service’s Climate Change Response Program.  This is an excerpt from her blog.

“What are you researching?” Since starting my PhD program at MSU this fall, I have been asked this question countless times, but it is one to which I have no definite answer yet.

Some grad students start their studies by joining an ongoing project, while others begin from scratch and create their own project. I fall into the latter category. The freedom to research (almost) whatever I want is both exhilarating and daunting. While this freedom gives me the opportunity to shape my own questions and pursue their answers in my own way, it also means starting from ground zero and figuring out how to put the puzzle pieces together.

shadow

Aug. 24, 2017

Thomas Connor is a PhD student studying with Jack Liu. He's doing field work in and around Wolong, China.

I pick up the story of my PhD from Nanchong, China, where I have traveled to take a brief break from lab work to have meetings and an interview with representatives from the China Science and Technology Exchange Center (CSTEC).

shadow

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

As glamorous and thrilling as fieldwork might sound, no field season is complete without a few tales, typically funnier after the fact. Here’s my attempt to impart some humor and share lessons learned after the emotional trauma subsided.

shadow

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

3:00 a.m.

My alarm goes off. I open my eyes and see the Heilongjiang sun starting to rise. I close my eyes just for a minute more… (Editor’s note – China, while geographically spanning five time zones, follows only one for unity. That means far eastern locales like Heilongjiang see daybreak early.)

shadow

July 19, 2017

Thomas Connor is a PhD student studying with Jack Liu. He's doing field work in and around Wolong, China.

My China fieldwork this year splits into two trips – June to August, then January to October of next year. These will differ from my previous trips in that this time, I am funded directly from government sources (An East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute [EAPSI] fellowship this summer and a Fulbright grant next year).

shadow

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

July 18, 2017

Once again, I am currently adjusting to the Chinese way of life. Thankfully, this is not my first rodeo in China. I spent two months here last summer, so I am hoping most of the culture shock occurred then.

shadow

July 13, 2017

Anna Herzberger is an MSU Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability doctoral student studying soybean production the Heilongjiang Province in northeastern China and in the United States. She hails from the farmlands of Virginia, Ill.

My car packed with too many clothes, an extremely terrified cat and a live Kombucha culture, I headed west to my summer field site.

Oddly enough, my summer field site is also where I grew up.

shadow

Ciara Hovis is working toward her PhD with Dr. Jack Liu studying the global soy trade using the telecoupling framework between the United States, Brazil and China.

May 15, 2017

 “Because that's what Hermione does,' said Ron, shrugging. 'When in doubt, go to the library.” 

shadow