Photo by Zhou Ji
During the 2013 spring break, a team of eleven School of International Service MA students traveled to Beijing to share their ongoing research with counterparts at Beijing Normal University. They were participating in a Global Environmental Politics Practicum on International Financial Flows and the Environment under the direction of the Washington-based World Resources Institute.
Students in Washington and China are writing case studies of best and worst examples of the social and environmental impacts of international corporate investment. WRI plans to use these studies to make recommendations to the Chinese government and to provide curriculum content for Chinese companies. Fortunately, the students were also able to make time to visit the Great Wall, eat plenty of Chinese food, and make some good friends; they also experienced a full-fledged sandstorm and some of Beijing's notorious air pollution. They will present their research at WRI in May.
The practicum is one of several hosted by the Global Environmental Politics department. Three others -- which have drawn students from all over SIS -- are focusing on sustainable urban design, civil society responses to the U.S. Farm Bill and the international rivers management and cooperation in the Mekong.
The practicum is a new innovation from the School of International Service; it allows SIS master's students to fulfill their capstone research requirements on independent team projects coordinated with and for client organizations outside the school.