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Micah Muscolino
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Micah Muscolino

University of California, San Diego

Fellowship year

2024 - University of California, San Diego - Study 11

At CASBS, Micah Muscolino will complete a book tentatively titled The Burden of Conservation: Water, Soil, and History in Rural China. By exploring how terracing and other soil and water conservation measures undertaken in China’s erosion-prone Loess Plateau region between the 1940s and the late 1970s remade the biophysical environment and the livelihoods of rural people, his project addresses the question of how to balance sustainability with the challenge of building equitable societies.

Muscolino is a leading environmental historian of modern China. He is currently Professor and Paul G. Pickowicz Endowed Chair in Modern Chinese History at UC San Diego. He is the author of Fishing Wars and Environmental Change in Late Imperial and Modern China (Harvard University Asia Center, 2009) and The Ecology of War in China: Henan Province, the Yellow River, and Beyond (Cambridge University Press, 2015). 

Muscolino has previously been a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, an invited Visiting Professor at Harvard University, and Honorary Professor at Shaanxi Normal University and Lanzhou University in China. His research has also received support from the British Academy, the Chiang Chiang-kuo Foundation, and the Fulbright Program. 

For more information about his current work, visit