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. 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. At Yale, he researched the marine environment in twentieth-century East Asia, with special attention to seaweed cultivation in Tokyo Bay and colonial Korea. He endeavored to highlight linked histories of coastal zones in the Japanese archipelago and the Korean peninsula. He aimed to bring the natural world to the fore in entangled histories of empire, colonial subjectivity, capitalist expansion, and traditional livelihoods. Outside of his academic interests, Ethan enjoys bluegrass, folk, and choral music and is an avid hiker.