Ethan Barkalow began studying East Asia while an undergraduate student at Bowdoin College where he took courses in Japanese and Chinese history, studied Japanese language, and wrote an honors thesis on environmental history in northern Japan. He majored in History and Environmental Studies and minored in Japanese. He is primarily interested in nineteenth-century environmental histories of water. Using Japan as a base, he aims to bring to the fore natural elements such as water in entangled histories of state expansion and industrial development. After graduating from Bowdoin, his unyielding interest in Japanese language, history, and environmental studies inspired him to move to Japan where he taught English in elementary schools for two years as a Japan Exchange and Teaching Program participant. Outside of his academic interests, Ethan enjoys bluegrass, folk, and choral music and is an avid hiker.