C of I group wins grant to study in Thailand
2011. 02. 03.
College of Idaho professor Rob Dayley and four C of I students have earned a $25,000 Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Grant from the Freeman Foundation and ASIANetwork, a national consortium of Asian studies programs. The grant will support Dayley and his students on a month-long trip this summer in Thailand, where they will conduct research on the consequences of economic development and trade liberalization and produce a video documentary.
Dayley, a professor of political economy and Asian studies, will join C of I seniors Morgan Bow (Gooding), Alex Grande (Boise), Chris Kober (Germany) and Nikki Watson (Boise) on the research trip to Thailand. The C of I group's grant proposal, “Tangerine Dreams: The Local Effects of Liberalizing Thai-China Trade,” was one of only 13 to receive funding from the ASIANetwork this year.
“This grant shows we have a strong Asian studies program for a liberal arts college,” Dayley said. “We joined ASIANetwork about five years ago and we definitely are excited that they accepted our proposal. Hopefully, this is the first of many grant-funded research trips to come.”
Dayley and his students will spend four weeks in the “Golden Triangle” region of northern Thailand, where they will research the effects of the country's rapidly expanding tangerine industry. The team will consider how tangerine production and Thai-China trade benefits and harms local communities economically, socially and environmentally. As part of their project, the C of I group will interview local farmers, public officials and community leaders—including a Buddhist abbot famous for ceremonially ordaining old-growth teak trees as monks to ward off tangerine developers who encroach on forest land. The students also will document the transformation of Thailand's northern border area from a dangerous zone where opium traffickers and warlords held much power to an agricultural hotspot for tropical fruit production and global trade. After collecting data in Thailand, the students will return to Caldwell to compile their findings. The team will present a research paper, poster and video documentary at ASIANetwork's 2012 national conference in Willamette, Ore.
“This is unique because it's an even smaller group than I usually take,” said Dayley, who has led multiple student trips to Asian countries. “The students did a lot of preliminary research for this study, including language preparation. The grant funding allows them to get beyond the classroom to develop their international research skills. The project reinforces the student-oriented mission of the College by emphasizing close faculty-student mentorship.”
Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state's oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three undergraduate minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.