Another summer of 2016!
It was great getting to spend my second summer of 2016 as an Adjunct Professor affiliated with Tokyo Tech’s Department of Transdisciplinary Science and Engineering. I was able to continue working on my research on the politics of East Asian energy and environmental policy while teaching two courses to Tokyo Tech students. Thanks to all the great people at Tokyo Tech for being such kind, hospitable hosts, and a special shout out to Professor Naoya Abe, my good friend and collaborator in creating the Japan Summer Program in Sustainable Development. I am honored to be an honorary member of the Abe Research Group. In early July I enjoyed guiding Dean Jackie Royster on visits to three top Japanese universities (with side trips to Hiroshima and Kyoto) with the aim of forging collaborative ties with the Ivan Allen College. Later on, Joyce and I took a mini-vacation to get an up-close view of stately and picturesque Matsumoto Castle and take an amazing trek on the old “Nakasendo,” one of the “five roads” that connected Edo (present day Tokyo) to the provinces. I encourage anyone with an interest in Japanese history to make the 8K trek from Magome to Tsumago.
“Summer of 2016” in the Pacific
Spending summer in the southern hemisphere is the best way to escape the doldrums of winter in chilly northerly climes. I enjoyed teaching once again on Georgia Tech’s Pacific Program, which this time took me to Sydney (three weeks), Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef (one week), and Fiji (two weeks). A shout out to Program Director Dave Garton for pressing me into service. Naturally, Joyce came along — and we were able to enjoy ourselves with a terrific group of faculty and students. Here are some photos, including one of me posing with members of Fiji’s world #1-ranked rugby sevens team.
Summer in Oxford
Here I am standing in front of the magnificent Palace of Westminster, the vortex of British parliamentary democracy. My home base during summer 2015 was lovely and historic Worcester College of Oxford University. It provided a perfect springboard for trips to Bath, Devon, Warwick, Durham, and Edinburgh.
Farewell Fulbright Japan and Tokyo Tech
It is just about time to say farewell to many friends and familiar places in Japan. My “Fulbright year” passed all too quickly, although I will always be proud to be a member of the Fulbright Community. Thanks to Matt Sussman, Miyuki Ito, and the entire staff at Japan Fulbright for taking such good care of me. Tokyo Tech’s Graduate School of Engineering provided a perfect homebase for conducting my research. The people at Tokyo Tech – including Dean Kikuo Kishimoto, Jeff Cross, Naoya Abe, Sachio Hirose, Akane Iwasaki, and many others – were invariably kind and amazingly helpful. Also the accommodations at Tokyo Tech’s International House were superb and ideally located for conducting my research. Here I am pictured with Matt Sussman (and William J. Fulbright!). The other photo was taken at a dinner hosted by Dean Kishimoto – also pictured are Joyce, Andrei Fedorov (Georgia Tech), Jan Van Maele (University of Leuven), Dean Kishimoto, Jeff Cross, Ken Okazaki, and Tomo Nozaki.
Reception with Ambassador Kennedy
I was honored to be invited to a reception held at the residence of Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. The purpose of the reception was to celebrate Japanese Fulbrighters who are about to depart for the U.S. Ambassador Kennedy lauded Fulbright Japan, which is now in its 63rd year of existence. [Interesting aside: Ambassador Kennedy arrived at the reception in running shoes, having just escorted visiting family members to view the Imperial Palace. Although the Ambassador apologized for the casual attire, I thought she made a terrific fashion statement. Why can’t we always dress comfortably?].
Recent Invited Lectures
I got some terrific feedback from a lively audience at my lecture at the University of Sydney, where I presented my findings to the Department of Government and International Relations Research Colloquium. Justin Hastings — a former colleague at Georgia Tech — ably chaired the event. The University of Sydney occupies a large, lovely campus not far from the heart of downtown Sydney, an amazing city.
It was great getting to travel to Seattle to speak at an event organized by the Center for Japanese Studies in the Jackson School of International Studies. Many thanks to Robert Pekkanen for extending the invitation. Seattle is a lovely city any time, but autumn is especially nice.
I was invited to lecture at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) on 3 April 2015 at an event organized by Professor Man-Sung Yim in the Department of Nuclear and Quantum Engineering. It was great presenting my ideas to some really bright KAIST faculty and graduate students. As an added bonus, the Daejeon campus was awash in beautiful spring blossoms!
It was a pleasure returning to Hongō in January 2015 and passing through the fabled “Akamon” (Red Gate) of the University of Tokyo, where I spent two years as a visiting scholar. On this visit, I presented some research findings to the Contemporary Japan Group at Tōdai‘s Institute of Social Science. To learn more about more about this event, click on this link.
Here I am at the conclusion of a lecture at the Tokyo Institute of Technology in January 2015. The event was organized by the Abe Research Group (pictured here) and supported by Tokyo Tech’s Department of International Development Engineering. For more information about this event and the Abe Research Group, click on this link.
This photo was snapped at the 3rd International Educational Forum of the Academy for Co-Creative Education of Environment and Energy Science, which convened in in Perth (Australia) from 12-17 December 2014). The Forum – which was organized by Tokyo Tech – brought together international specialists in a range of energy- and environment-related fields. For more information about ACEEES and the Forum, please click on this link.
Among the highlights of an April 2014 trip to conduct fieldwork in South Korea was the chance to witness the transformative effect the restoration of Chonggyecheon Stream – now a ribbon of green though the heart of Seoul – has had in adding vitality to an already amazing city. In addition, I got to enjoy some delicious Korean food and finally made the trek to the DMZ.
This photo was taken on “Arab Street” during an enjoyable visit to Singapore in January 2015. Singapore is a fascinating blend of cultures in a dynamic, mostly urban, setting. It makes for a great escape from chilly Tokyo in mid-winter.
Here I am posing with former Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan. Mr. Kan generously granted me an hour-long interview in which he explained his views concerning Japanese energy and environmental policies (the focus of my Fulbright-funded research), the causes and consequences of the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and candid recollections of this thoughts and actions as Japan’s prime minister during the cascading disasters unleashed in March 2011. The interview took place in October 2014 in Mr. Kan’s office in Nagatachō. In case you’re wondering, the gold placard is a gift from U.S. President Barack Obama.
I was invited to participate in the Atlantic Faculty Development and Curriculum Enhancement Program – organized by the Atlantic Institute – for college and university professors in the Southeastern United States. The program took place from 6-16 June 2014. This gave me the chance to return to Turkey – an amazing country – for educational workshops, site visits, and intercultural exchange. My group visited Istanbul, Izmir, Gaziantep, Urfa, Mardin, and Ankara. In this photo I am posing with the charming co-mayors of Mardin City. You can learn more about this program here.
How cool is it getting to spend spring semester 2012 teaching in New Zealand? The photo was taken from the campus of Victoria University — where we were home based — and shows Wellington’s iconic cable car with the lovely harbor in the background. You can learn more about the Pacific Study Abroad Program — which also includes segments in Australia and Fiji — here.
I learned much though participating in the Green Growth Leaders conference that produced the Copenhagen Manifesto on Sustainable Growth. The proceedings were held on 12-13 October 2011 in the stately chambers of Copenhagen’s City Hall, and the Manifesto was subsequently presented to the EU Commission for Climate Action, the OECD, the Danish Government, the C40, Eurocities, and the UN Global Compact in preparation for the World Summit on Sustainability, Rio+20. If you have a powerful enough magnifying device, you might be able to find me in the photo.
Bucket List of U.S. States to Visit
The three remaining U.S. states on my bucket list are (in no particular order): Wisconsin, South Dakota, and North Dakota. I am eager to find compelling reason to visit any or all of these states. Suggestions, anyone?