History Professor Receives Fulbright for Research in Vietnam

By Staci Wilson, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
May 9, 2011

History professor David Biggs, author of Quagmire: Nation-Building and Nature in the Mekong Delta (2011), has recently been awarded a Fulbright award in order to facilitate further research on the environmental effects of military occupation in Vietnam. Although Professor Biggs’ research will focus on changes related specifically to American bases, his work does recognize the presence of other environmentally dangerous factors, as well as Vietnam’s long history of past military occupations. He will be using Phu Bai, located in central Vietnam, as the center for his research which will include recording oral histories, looking into satellite images, utilizing geographic information systems, and studying colonial and post-colonial government structures. The working title for his project is “Military Landscapes in Central Vietnam: An Environmental History."

Professor Biggs has been traveling to Vietnam since 1993, just after he graduated college, and thinks of it as, in his own words, “a second home.” He began research for this specific project back in 2007, while leading his first summer seminar in Vietnam. He will be leading the 4th UCR Summer Travel Session in Vietnam (Summer 2012), and continues to teach a full course load focusing on southeast Asian studies at UCR.

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