Training future leaders to face Asia’s environmental challenges
Asian School of the Environment
The Asian School of the Environment (ASE), at Nanyang Technological University, is an interdisciplinary school that trains future leaders to face Asia’s biggest environmental challenges. Students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels participate in rigorous programmes of study that range from biodiversity conservation and earthquake geology to data analysis and environmental policy.
ASE students pursuing PhD and Bachelor of Science degrees work closely with internationally renowned researchers at the Earth Observatory of Singapore and beyond. They take part in lab and field work, experiment with cutting-edge technology, participate in visiting-student programmes and internships, and receive specialty certifications. Additionally, graduate students co-author scientific papers, participate in public policy efforts, and attend professional conferences and meetings.
This year’s cohort of fourth-year undergraduates is ASE’s first group of graduating students. As part of their assessment, they had to present their Final Year Projects, which are original research projects developed under the guidance of ASE supervisors. The topics presented included a study of dissolved materials in the Singapore Strait and an analysis of air-quality data from Malaysia. Students were required to demonstrate that they could apply the knowledge and concepts learnt during their undergraduate years to projects that could become promising research areas in the future. Ninety per cent of these final-year students also secured employment before their graduation; many of them were offered positions in companies including Mott MacDonald, Arup Group, and Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited.
In 2017, ASE students participated in several international workshops, attending the Japan-East Asia Network of Exchange for Students and Youth Programme, becoming Youth Advocates for the United Nations, and taking part in the University Scholars Leadership Symposium. One student, who did research in collaboration with the National Oceanography Centre of Southampton, UK, received the Marine Science Research and Development Programme’s Overseas Programme Award funded by the National Research Foundation. Students also served as moderators for talks by National Geographic explorers Joel Sartore and Arthur Huang, and hosted a visit by explorer Mike Horn.